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.
Airports are transitional spaces, serving the Earth and the sky, a zone where both humans and technology are intertwined. Since 2007, Athenian-born photographer Alexandros Lambrovassilis has been photographing the transition occurring at Ellinikon International Airport, the international airport in Athens, Greece that closed in 2001.
‘Tis the season for holiday cards. Many cards feature photos of families and pets dressed in festive (maybe even matching) outfits. Aviators, on the other hand, celebrate their airplanes! The many collections in the National Air and Space Museum Archives are filled with enough cards to last well beyond the 12 days of Christmas.
This month, the Smithsonian has been highlighting moments of ingenuity—trendsetters, groundbreakers, and individuals whose work embodies the spirit of innovation. As part of the Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival, the National Air and Space Museum celebrated the next generation of space and aviation pioneers, and those in history who paved the way.
Delivering supplies to unreachable locations, tracking endangered wildlife, performing at the Coachella music festival—some of the many, varied uses for drone technology. The innovative and creative industries emerging from commercial drones are part of the history being documented at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Throughout history, aviation has been shaped by daring Native American women who were pioneers in flight and innovation. Here are a few of their groundbreaking stories, in celebration of Native American Heritage Month.
La Grande Illusion is widely regarded as a masterpiece of French cinema and is often cited as one of the greatest films ever made. The story explores class relationships among a small group of French soldiers who are prisoners of war during World War I (WWI) and are plotting to escape.
On a clear December day in 1954, Colonel John Stapp strapped in for a ride on the Sonic Wind No. 1, a rocket sled, breaking speed records and researching safety standards in the process. The story of Stapp's rocket sled will be part of the upcoming Nation of Speed exhibition.