There have been great movies about military aviation for almost as long as there have been movies and airplanes—seriously, the very first Best Picture Oscar went to a WWI aero-epic called Wings (and if you ever win bar trivia with that, buy us a drink). Eventually, the US military realized that high adventure onscreen could boost their recruiting efforts, and began to officially cooperate with films featuring flying service members. In this episode, we’ll look at two movies staring iconic aviators—Top Gun and Captain Marvel—and discuss how the military leans into their role as supporting players on the silver screen.
In the quiet of the Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia sits the U.S. Air Force F-100D “Super Sabre,” serial number 56-3440. 440 was in Vietnam from June 1965 until July 1970, but its most intense combat was seen 50 years ago, during the Tet Offensive.
Airports are transitional spaces, serving the Earth and the sky, a zone where both humans and technology are intertwined. Since 2007, Athenian-born photographer Alexandros Lambrovassilis has been photographing the transition occurring at Ellinikon International Airport, the international airport in Athens, Greece that closed in 2001.
Throughout history, aviation has been shaped by daring Native American women who were pioneers in flight and innovation. Here are a few of their groundbreaking stories, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.
What began as a simple phone call between our STEM in 30 team and the United States Navy ended with us being catapulted off the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, going 0 to 165 mph in three seconds. How did we end up there?
The historic importance of the Sikorsky JRS-1—a weathered blue-gray airplane now on display at our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia—is not because of the type of airplane it is. Its importance lies in one of the places the JRS-1 has been and survived: Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
“The Millionaires’ Unit” was a moniker given by the New York press to group of wealthy Yale students who formed a private air militia in 1916 to learn to fly in preparation for the United States entering World War I. Author and historian Marc Wortman wrote a book about them in 2006, and a college friend of mine, Ron King, saw his grandfather’s face on the book’s cover. The archival material seemed rich, and we decided to make a documentary.