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Aviation

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Thu, December 23 2010

Rutan Voyager

On December 23, 1986, nine days, three minutes, and 44 seconds after taking off, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, in the Rutan Voyager aircraft to finish the first flight around the world made without landing or refueling.

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Rutan Voyager
Fri, December 10 2010

The Curtiss-Wright Corporation Collection – Patent Files

In 1929, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company merged with the Wright Aeronautical Corporation to form the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. The merger of these two companies created one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the country, which held numerous patents for aircraft.

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Curtiss-Wright Patent
Wed, November 24 2010

First Aircraft Moves Into Udvar-Hazy Center Restoration Hangar

This week, the Museum moved its first aircraft into the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hanger in the new wing of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. The aircraft is the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, the same type of aircraft flown by former Museum director, Don Engen during World War II.

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Staff Move Helldiver into Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar
Thu, November 18 2010

A New History of the Museum

Built in 1918, the Aircraft Building housed most of the Museum's aviation collection for decades.  Taken in 1938, this photo also shows a tank and artillery piece displayed by the front door. Featured in National Air and Space Museum: An Autobiography

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Thaddeus Lowe Balloon Reconnaissance at Battle of Fair Oaks
Mon, November 8 2010

Vintage Aircraft Tool Cataloging, Re-housing and Preservation Project

In the years following WWII the United States and her Allies conducted engineering and flight tests of many different types of captured or surrendered Axis aircraft, primarily from Germany and Japan. Many of these aircraft were acquired by Allied and US technical intelligence collection teams.  It was ordered that at least one of each type of enemy aircraft be captured and evaluated by these teams, and that each aircraft type be maintained in flyable condition for a minimum of one year. To make this possible all technical data and support materiel available (such as tool kits, parts, etc.) had to also be captured to meet this requirement.

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German WWII Focke-Wulf
Mon, November 1 2010

Restoring and Preserving Aircraft

Next year, the National Air and Space Museum will begin restoring and preserving aircraft in the brand-new Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, part of the Phase Two complex now under construction at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  To treat the aircraft, the Museum applies a philosophy and range of techniques that have steadily evolved through the years.

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Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall
Mon, October 25 2010

The Airplane and Streamlined Design

To American industrial designers of the 1930s airplanes were not simply machines of transport, but emblems of technological innovation and progress. The National Air and Space Museum’s newly redone Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery includes a unit devoted to “The Airplane and Streamlined Design,” which demonstrates how industrial designers appropriated the imagery of the modern airliner for their products.

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Streamline Design
Thu, October 14 2010

Chuck Yeager

On October 14, 1947, Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager became the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound in his Bell X-1, which he named Glamorous Glennis, in tribute to his wife. He reached a speed of 1,127 kilometers (700 miles) per hour, or Mach 1.06, at an altitude of 13,000 meters (43,000 feet).  

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Charles "Chuck" Yeager with Bell X-1
Tue, October 12 2010

Eugene J. Bullard

October 12, 2010, marks the forty-ninth anniversary of the death of Eugene Jacques Bullard at the age of 67. Bullard is considered to be the first African-American military pilot to fly in combat, and the only African-American pilot in World War I.

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Portrait of Eugene Bullard

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