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Aircraft

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Mon, August 8 2016

On This Day: Wilbur Wright Flies in Europe

On this day in 1908, Wilbur Wright publicly demonstrated a Wright aircraft for the first time in Europe at the Hunaudières racecourse at Le Mans, southwest of Paris.

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1908 Wright Flyer at Le Mans
Sat, August 6 2016

On This Day: Enola Gay Drops Atomic Bomb

On this day in 1945, during the final stages of World War II, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

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Enola Gay Landing at Tinian
Fri, August 5 2016

The Year Aeronautics Was an Olympic Event

Today, marks the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Modern opening ceremonies are often accompanied by a flyover. In the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany, an actual gold medal was awarded for Aeronautics. Gliding, in which aircraft were catapulted into the air, and aerobatics were demonstration events, with the hopes of becoming full-fledged events in the future.

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Bücker Bu 133 Jungmeister
Tue, August 2 2016

On This Day: The First U.S. Military Airplane

On this day in 1909, the United States government purchased its first military aircraft, designed by the Wright brothers and costing $30,000.

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1909 Wright Military Flyer
Fri, July 29 2016

Flying the SR-71

The Museum is fortunate that among our corps of docents, or guides, are people with direct experience flying or flying in a number of our aircraft. Among those docents are Buz Carpenter and Phil Soucy who know what its like to sit inside one of the world's fastest aircrafts, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Landing at Dulles
Thu, July 28 2016

Setting Records with the SR-71 Blackbird

Today in 1976, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird broke the world’s record for sustained altitude in horizontal flight at 25,929 meters (85,069 feet). The same day another SR-71 set an absolute speed record of 3,529.6 kilometers per hour (2,193.2 miles per hour), approximately Mach 3.3. As the fastest jet aircraft in the world, the SR-71 has an impressive collection of records and history of service. The Blackbird’s owes its success to the continuum of aircraft that came before it.

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SR-71
Fri, July 15 2016

Ten Artifacts That Transformed the World

“What is your favorite artifact?” When you work at a museum that is the question people always ask you. Most of my museum colleagues say it’s impossible to pick just one. I agree.

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Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Fri, July 15 2016

An Anniversary for Dash 80

Sixty-two years ago today, the monumental Boeing 367-80, commonly called the Dash 80, made its first flight, revolutionizing commercial air travel.

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Boeing 367-80 Moving to the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center
Wed, March 30 2016

Images from the 1961 All Woman’s International Air Race

Documented in our National Aeronautic Association collection is the 1961 All Woman’s International Air Race that ended in Nassau, Bahamas on May 29.

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Pilot Margaret Callaway
Mon, March 14 2016

Celebrating the Centennial of Coast Guard Aviation with the Seaguard

Unless you live in a coastal area, or on one of the nation’s waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard is usually out of sight, out of mind, unless something very wrong happens. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that they are overlooked in their significance to our national welfare and security as well as in terms of their own historical legacy and contributions to aerospace.

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Sikorsky HH-52A Seaguard

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