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Wed, August 5 2020

75 Years Ago: The Flight of the Enola Gay

On August 6, 1945, the crew of a modified Boeing B-29 Superfortress named Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare, called “Little Boy,” on the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

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75 Years Ago: The Flight of the Enola Gay

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Enola Gay  at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Tue, August 4 2020

Delivery by Drone with Wing

As we collect the delivery drone used by Wing for the first commercial drone delivery to a U.S. home, we talk to Wing CTO Adam Woodworth about his work at Wing, his passion for aviation, and how it feels to have a project he worked on join the Smithsonian collection.

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Wing delivery drone No. A1229

National Air and Space Museum Collects Delivery Drone From Alphabet’s Wing

Commercial Delivery Aircraft Adds to Collection of “Firsts” at Smithsonian The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has accepted the Wing aircraft used for the first commercial drone delivery to a U.S. home into the national collection. The...

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National Air and Space Museum Collects Delivery Drone From Alphabet’s Wing

Wing delivery drone No. A1229
Thu, July 30 2020

Felice Figus, Regia Aeronautica Pilot

Curator Alex Spencer tells the story of Felice Figus.

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Felice Figus During World War II
Mon, July 27 2020

Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai GEORGE

Curator Russ Lee discusses the lesser-known Japanese fighter aircraft Shiden Kai.

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Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai GEORGE

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Shiden Kai Cockpit
Sun, July 26 2020

Alverna Williams: Returning to the Skies – Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Part 2

Alverna Babbs challenged the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1944 for a waiver to earn her student pilot’s license. The CAA was reluctant due to Babb’s disability—a double leg amputation at the age of 13 months. With her own persistence and the assistance of Roscoe Turner, Babbs earned her waiver and her full pilot’s license in 1946, the first person with a disability to do so (as documented in the previous blog in this series celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act). After remarrying and having children, Alverna Williams took a 30 year hiatus from flying. She returned to aviation in the 1970s, determined once again to take her place in the sky. 

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Alverna Williams in Ercoupe Cockpit
Sun, July 26 2020

Alverna Babbs: Fighting to Fly – Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Part 1

Thirty years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act came into effect. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Forty-six years earlier, without the protection of law and its accommodations, Alverna Babbs, who had lost both legs as a child, fought to receive a waiver for her student license. When she succeeded, she became the first American pilot with disabilities to earn a pilot’s license.

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Alverna Williams and Her Ercoupe 415CD
Fri, July 24 2020

Neil Armstrong’s Congressional Space Medal of Honor

Curator Margaret Weitekamps shares a new artifact to join our collection: the Congressional Space Medal of Honor awarded to astronaut Neil Armstrong.

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Congressional Space Medal of Honor

National Air and Space Museum Celebrates “Mars Day!” Virtually July 16–18

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will present this year’s “Mars Day!” program virtually. This annual tribute to the Red Planet will take place online Thursday, July 16 through Saturday, July 18.

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National Air and Space Museum Celebrates “Mars Day!” Virtually July 16–18

Viking Orbiter 1 Mosaic of Mars
Mon, July 13 2020

Launching Hope to Mars

Museum director Ellen Stofan reflects on the significance of the United Arab Emirates upcoming mission to Mars.

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Launching Hope to Mars

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Hope Spacecraft