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Aviation

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Sat, October 17 2009

Fly Now! Making the National Air and Space Museum's Poster Collection Accessible, Online

As mentioned in Dom Pisano’s recent post “From Collecting to Curating,” six interns, including myself, and two volunteers (with our supervisor, enough for a baseball team!) photographed, scanned and catalogued much of the museum’s collection of over 1,300 posters at the Paul E. Garber Facility's collections processing unit this summer. It sounds like a lot of posters, but you may not have seen any of them, unless you have a great memory of advertisements you glimpsed in airports over the years while running to catch your plane.

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Mon, October 5 2009

A Beautiful Bird Grounded

Concorde service came to an end in 2003 when British Airways made the last commercial Concorde flight from New York to London. 

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Concorde at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Mon, September 14 2009

From Collecting to Curating

The Museum-going public doesn’t often get the opportunity to observe the work that goes on behind the scenes in a museum. The National Air and Space Museum’s poster collection is a case in point. The items in this collection, which range from notices for early aviation exhibitions to commercial airline advertising, were collected over many years. It is only recently, however, that the posters have been curated; i.e., cared for as a collection. 

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Fly The Finest Fly Trans World Airlines
Mon, August 10 2009

The Day I Met a Communist Defector

When you are visiting the Udvar-Hazy Center, you will come across a display case that holds the flightsuit of a former MiG pilot named Frank Jarecki. 

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Lt. Franciszek Jarecki flight suit at the Udvar-Hazy Center
Fri, July 31 2009

Missing Something?

Most of us have a "junk drawer" that contains, among other oddments, stray keys.  Restoration specialists working on the Douglas World Cruiser "Chicago" recently found two such strays in the aircraft.

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Items Found Inside Douglas World Cruiser "Chicago"
Wed, July 29 2009

The Veteran Behind the Airplane

The docents at the Udvar-Hazy Center enjoyed meeting a special visitor on May 16, 2009. His name is Jim Henry, a WWII naval aviator. Henry was one of the pilots that flew the F4U-1D Corsair that is on display at the Center.

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Veteran F4-U Corsair Pilot Jim Henry and Museum Docent Bruce Cranford
Thu, July 23 2009

The World’s First Military Airplane

This summer, the world is marking the 40th anniversary of one of the greatest milestones in aerospace history, and one of the most remarkable of all human achievements—the first Moon landing by Apollo 11.  But the summer of 2009 also marks another meaningful event in aerospace history.  It is the centennial of military aviation. 

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Wright 1909 Military Flyer
Fri, June 26 2009

Insect Power

When a colleague of ours, the curator of the model airplane collection, Tom Dietz, passed away recently, I was reminded of the time I spoke with him about two of the Museum’s model airplanes that I find most intriguing.

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Insect Power
Fri, June 19 2009

What the Well-Dressed Pilot Wore in 1941

Looking elegant but a bit bulky, Lieutenant Gilbert L. Meyers of the 35th Pursuit Squadron models his government issued flying ensemble: an A-8 oxygen mask, B-6 goggles, B-3 winter jacket, A-3 trousers, B-5 helmet, A-9 gloves, A-6 shoes, and S-1 harness. 

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Rudy Arnold Photograph of Lt. Gilbert L. Meyers in Flight Gear
Fri, June 19 2009

Friends Forever

On June 23, 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded ground access to West Berlin, at that time occupied by the United States, Great Britain, and France. All road, rail, and barge traffic was shut down. President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the American Military Governor of Germany, resolved to keep the city supplied by air. The resulting “Operation Vittles” – also known as the Berlin Airlift – was a massive combined effort of all the U.S. armed services and the Western powers.

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Operation Little Vittles, Berlin Airlift

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