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Aviation

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Sat, July 14 2018

The Grave of Quentin Roosevelt

On July 14, 1918, Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, died outside of Chamery, France, his Nieuport 28 shot down by a German pilot. To American aviators and soldiers, the grave of Quentin Roosevelt became a shrine, his death a touchstone for service and sacrifice, appearing in many World War I era scrapbooks and collections held by the National Air and Space Museum Archives.

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Soldier Views Grave of Quentin Roosevelt, Chamery, France
Tue, July 3 2018

Here's Why The US Flag Sometimes Appears Backwards

Is the American flag backwards on the side of Space Shuttle Discovery? No, the “backwards” flag is actually part of the US Flag Code.

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Space Shuttle Discovery on Display
Wed, June 27 2018

Helen James' Fight for Equality in the Military

A new National Air and Space Museum Archives collection documents the story of Helen James, a member of the United States Air Force who was arrested and discharged as part of a campaign to remove LGBTQ people from government employment in the 1950s.

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Helen G. James Inside a Douglas C-47 Skytrain
Mon, June 25 2018

Armistice and Peace: Victory Letters from WWI

Letters home from the front reveal the personal side of wars.  On Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I, many American soliders serving abroad were instructed to write victory letters to their fathers. As we move towards the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a pair of victory letters from France and Connecticut illustrate a different understanding between home and the front, armistice and peace. 

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Portrait of Harold F. Pierce, September 1918
Fri, June 15 2018

Bessie Coleman: Barnstorming Through Barriers

While Bessie Coleman never realized her dream of opening a flight school for African American pilots, her legacy as the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license has impacted and inspired flight students for decades.

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Bessie Coleman
Wed, June 13 2018

The 12,000 Hours That Made the USS Enterprise Model

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has the world’s premier collection of aviation and space artifacts. Less well-known is that the museum also has an outstanding collection of aerospace models.

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The 12,000 Hours That Made the USS Enterprise Model

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Jets Abaord the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier Model
Tue, June 12 2018

#ALLCAPS and Aerospace Achievement

When a team accomplishes what, at times, seemed impossible, it becomes a victory for all—an entire city or country, or all humankind. We see this in milestones throughout aviation history, and we celebrate those shared victories throughout our Museum. And when a sports team brings a championship to a city that hasn’t seen one in 25 years, the whole city comes out to celebrate. 

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Ellen Stofan Rocks the Red
Wed, June 6 2018

Using Science to Solve an Object Mystery

Conservationist and decorate art historians help solve a mystery behind two balloon-themed chairs in our Museum's collection. 

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Balloon Chair X-Ray Detail
Thu, May 24 2018

Racing Champion Nemesis NXT Comes to Air and Space

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, has a new addition: Nemesis NXT, a record-breaking Sport-class air racer.

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Racing Champion Nemesis NXT Comes to Air and Space

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Nemesis NXT
Wed, May 16 2018

What it Takes to Become a United Airlines Pilot

Do you have what it takes to fly the friendly skies? Becoming a commercial pilot takes time, training, and dedication.

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United Airlines 787 Dreamliner

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