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Aircraft

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Fri, October 24 2014

Air & Scare: Better Together

Did you know that staff at the National Air and Space Museum enjoy dressing up for the annual Halloween event, Air and Scare, just as much as our visitors? The event, which will kick off tomorrow at 2:00 pm (ET) at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, will bring out lots of superheroes, Star Wars characters, princesses, pumpkins, and many more. It also brings out a creative side in the Museum’s Visitor Services staff, who have teamed up over the years with group costume themes.

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Air and Scare 2014
Tue, October 21 2014

From the Archives: Window Shopping

As I was flipping through a set of historical National Air and Space Museum photographs in the Archives a few months ago, one caught my eye—was that a Hecht’s window display?  Upon closer examination, it was!  But the display from the 1950s wasn’t highlighting the usual dresses, jackets, or shoes.  Instead, it featured models from the National Air Museum in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Anacostia Naval Air Station (NAS) in Washington, DC.

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The Hecht Co Building
Fri, August 1 2014

More Than Just an Internship

What truly captivated me this summer was feeling a personal connection to the history of aviation. I’ve always been interested in the topic, largely because my dad was a Marine Corps fighter pilot. Until this summer I hadn’t had a chance to truly dive into the subject, and finally learning about what my dad did as a pilot has given me a new perspective on his career. He flew F -18s for most of his pilot days, but he also flew F-4 Phantoms, the same plane used for simulator rides here at the museum. I’m sure piloting the simulator isn’t nearly as thrilling (or difficult) as flying a real fighter jet, but it gave me a small taste of my dad’s everyday job. As soon as I hopped out of the ride, I emailed my dad to tell him how exciting my three minutes of pretend-jet-flying had been. He responded by telling me, not for the first time in my life, that he had the “best job in the world.” I never understood the excitement he felt until now.

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Casey Tissue
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

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