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Aircraft

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Thu, July 3 2014

Monumental Views

Every Fourth of July, visitors and locals alike crowd the National Mall to watch the fireworks show with the Washington Monument as one of its focal points. The monument reopened to the public in May 2014 as the last vestiges of scaffolding were removed from it, a visible reminder of the damage caused by a 2011 earthquake. Every year, thousands of visitors photograph themselves on the National Mall with the monument in the background. It is no surprise that it is popular in aviation photography as well.

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Lincoln Beachey Circles the Washington Monument
Thu, June 19 2014

Where is Flak-Bait?

The Museum’s Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder Flak-Bait and its crews survived 207 operational missions over Europe, more than any other American aircraft during World War II. Recognizing that significance, the U.S. Army Air Forces saved it from destruction after the war.

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Flak-Bait’s Cockpit
Thu, June 5 2014

D-Day and the Wizard War

When we think of D-Day, we tend to envision the waves of landing craft approaching the beaches and Landing Craft Tanks (LCTs) with barrage balloons in tow, or maybe waves of C-47s winging away from their bases in Southern England with their paratroopers. These are powerful visuals and while the soldiers and paratroopers really did do the heavy lifting of liberating France, these images overshadow a remarkable and invisible war that is often forgotten.

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B-17G
Sun, May 25 2014

Horten H IX V3 “Bat-Wing Ship,” May 2014 Update

On April 24, we passed another milestone in preparations to move the Horten 229 V3 center section from the Paul Garber Facility in Maryland to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

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Horten Restoration
Thu, April 3 2014

The New Milestones

The National Air and Space Museum has provided a myriad of experiences and memories for the many who have visited. But there is one experience they have all shared.  Every visitor has begun their exploration of the Museum by passing through the Milestones of Flight gallery.

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Museum Visitors, 1976
Tue, March 18 2014

The X-15

During the 20th century, airplane design was driven by the mantra of “flying faster and higher.”

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North American X-15 in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall
Tue, March 4 2014

Horten H IX V3 “Bat-Wing Ship,” March 2014 Update

Conservator Lauren Horelick, Post-Graduate Conservation Fellows Anna Weiss and Peter McElhinney, and retired treatment artisan Karl Heinzel continue to prepare the Horten jet wing to move to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

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Horten H IX V3 -- Restoration
Tue, December 24 2013

A Very Wellman Christmas

In 1898, Walter Wellman led an attempt to reach the North Pole using ship and sledge via Franz Josef Land, a group of uninhabited Russian islands in the Arctic Ocean.  A journalist who had already made an unsuccessful polar attempt in 1894, Wellman also hoped to discover what had become of Swedish explorer Salomon A. Andrée, who had attempted to reach the Pole via balloon in 1897. Many notable names provided funding for the expedition, including President William McKinley, Vice President Garret Hobart, J.P. Morgan, and William K. Vanderbilt. The expedition arrived at Franz Josef Land in July 1898 and built their headquarters, “Harmsworth House.”  Wellman sent Evelyn B. Baldwin, a meteorologist with the United States Weather Bureau and a veteran of one of Robert Peary’s Greenland expeditions, ahead north to establish an outpost to be used in the spring for their push to the Pole.   

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Walter Wellman
Thu, December 5 2013

Horten H IX V3 “Bat-Wing Ship,” November 2013 Update

Led by object conservator and project leader Lauren Horelick, the National Air and Space Museum staff continues preparing the Horten IX V3 center section to move early in January (weather and roads permitting) to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where it will eventually be joined to the outer wing panels that are already displayed in the hangar.

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Horten H IX V3
Tue, August 27 2013

Wolfgang von Gronau and his Greenland “whales”

With the depredations of Nazi Germany dominating the international memory of the middle decades of the twentieth century, many German social, cultural, and technical contributions not associated with the tainted influence of the Third Reich have been forgotten or overlooked. One of the individuals who contributed significantly to the prospects of regular transatlantic air service before open warfare ended such endeavors was Wolfgang von Gronau.

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Wolfgang von Gronau

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