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Aviation

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Thu, February 20 2014

Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, The Greatest Stick and Rudder Man, is Honored in Hollywood

On the evening of Friday, February 21, friends of legendary pilot Bob Hoover will gather with him at Paramount Studios Theater in Los Angeles to celebrate his “Lifetime of Achievement.”  We doubt this Red Carpet event will make Access Hollywood but of course that is not the point.  Instead, these friends will gather to honor an exceptional man with extraordinary flying skills and, hopefully, to hear Bob tell a few more of his incredible stories.

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Bob Hoover
Tue, January 28 2014

(Almost) True Comics!

For many people, sitting down and reading a thick history book is not the most exciting proposal.  I have had more than one relative question my choice to study history, and inform me that it was their least enjoyable class in school.  Luckily for them, history can be found in more places than traditional scholarly textbooks.  History can be found in television, movies, and even comic books.  Although it may be more enjoyable to experience history in this way, these sources may not always be the most accurate representations.

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First Panel of Lincoln Flying Fighter Comic Strip
Thu, January 23 2014

Restoring the Museum’s “Battling Beast”: The Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver

On Friday, March 14, 2014, the Museum will put on display its latest restored aircraft, a Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. For those of you attending the Center’s Open House on Saturday, January 25, you will get a chance to tour the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar and see some of the work-in-progress firsthand  (note that the fuselage will not be on view). In anticipation of those events, I would like to share with you some aspects of my work on our example of the famous American World War II dive bomber.

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Staff Move Helldiver into Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar
Thu, January 2 2014

First Flight?

December 17, 2013, marked the 110th anniversary of the first powered, controlled flight of an airplane. Wilbur Wright had made the first attempt three days before, when the brothers laid their 60 foot launch rail down the lower slope of the Kill Devil Hill...He had set up a camera that morning, pointed at the spot where he thought the airplane would be in the air. When John T. Daniels walked up the beach with three other surf men from the nearby Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station, Orville asked him to squeeze the bulb operating the shutter if anything interesting happened. The result was what has arguably become the most famous photograph ever taken. Recently, however, some skeptics have suggested that the image does not depict a real flight at all.

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Wright Brothers First Flight
Sun, December 29 2013

The WASP in the 2014 Rose Parade

The Women Airforce Service Pilots, aka WASP, easily illustrate the theme of this year’s Rose Parade, Dreams Come True, as that is what happened for each woman selected to be a WASP. 

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The WASP
Thu, December 19 2013

Birthday Star

This is a story about light and time and distance, about years and light years and how they intersect. It is partly a personal story, so I beg your indulgence. I hope it will inspire you to find your own star. I moved from Boston to Northern Virginia in November 1983 to work as an editor for a national association. In my free time, I began exploring the museums on the National Mall. I visited the National Air and Space Museum for the first time, and there I encountered an exhibit I’ve remembered ever since.

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Stars Exhibition
Sun, December 15 2013

10 Cool Things About the Udvar-Hazy Center

Aeronautics curator Jeremy Kinney talks about 10 cool things you might not know about the Udvar-Hazy Center and definitely won't want to miss.

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Thu, December 5 2013

Horten H IX V3 “Bat-Wing Ship,” November 2013 Update

Led by object conservator and project leader Lauren Horelick, the National Air and Space Museum staff continues preparing the Horten IX V3 center section to move early in January (weather and roads permitting) to the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where it will eventually be joined to the outer wing panels that are already displayed in the hangar.

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Horten H IX V3
Tue, November 26 2013

Movember

November means Movember, a month to celebrate moustaches around the world and promote awareness on men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer.

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Orville Wright
Tue, November 5 2013

The Most Fashionable Balloon of the Civil War

Although the collection of the National Air and Space Museum contains some of the best air- and spacecraft, it also has one of the best collections of artifacts from the often forgotten days of ballooning. Before humans were able to fly into the heavens on wings or rockets, they first rose off the ground in balloons, often tethered to prevent complete flight.

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General Edward Porter Alexander

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