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Aviation

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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
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 17 2020

Remembering Emily Howell Warner

National Air and Space Museum fellow Caroline Johnson remembers the pioneering life of Emily Howell Warner.

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Emily Howell Warner
Fri, July 10 2020

Better Propellers for “The Few”: Desmond Cooke’s Legacy in the Battle of Britain

Curator Jeremy Kinney explores the contribution of Royal Air Force leader Desmond Cooke to the improvement of Supermarine Spitfires prior to the Battle of Britain.

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New Spitfires for 65 Squadron
Wed, July 8 2020

K-Ships vs. U-Boats

Historian Thomas Paone explores the important role played by K-ships in hunting German U-Boats during World War II.

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K-Ship
Wed, June 17 2020

Neal V. Loving: Pilot, Engineer, Aircraft Designer

Curator Russell Lee shares the story of aircraft designer Neal V. Loving.

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Neal Loving Flying WR-3
Thu, June 11 2020

AirSpace Movie Club
Sully

Today we’re talking about Sully, the movie based on the real-life emergency water landing of US Airways flight 1549 which ditched in the Hudson River in January 2009. 

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AirSpace Movie Club
Sully

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast 2020
Wed, May 20 2020

Flying on the Homefront: Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

Aeronautics curator Dorothy Cochrane explores the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and their fight for recognition for their contributions to World War II.

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WASP at Avenger Field
Thu, April 2 2020

Pat the Pilot: American Aviatrix, WAFS Member, and Allied Liaison

Aline “Pat” Rhonie made a perfect three-point landing in her 125 hp Luscombe Phantom when she touched down in Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 6, 1940. Owned by Rhonie, the plane was a Warner-powered, high-wing, two-seat cabin monoplane that she flew as the American Liaison for the French Aero Club. Rhonie piloted civilian and military aircraft throughout the United States as an American aviatrix and eventual member of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, yet her mission traversed international borders to support the Allied cause.  

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Aline Rhonie

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