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Aviators

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Thu, July 14 2016

Recognizing Figures in Early French Flight

This Bastille Day, we take time to recognize some of the most colorful personalities in early French flight including Jules Védrines who was known as a rough-and-tumble, foul-mouthed, and unpredictable aviator and Hubert Latham who once declared to the French president that he was "a man of the world."

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Hubert Latham in His "Antoinette IV"
Mon, April 4 2016

Put Me In, Coach!

It’s April and baseball is back!!!

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NAC Softball Team Portrait
Sun, February 7 2016

From the Archives: Celebrating a Super Helmet

Through the history of aviation, pilots have worn many types of helmets.  Exhibits at the National Air and Space Museum range from Paul Studenski's 1912 era leather flying helmet, to Apollo Soucek's furry helmet, to Mike Melvill's SpaceShipOne helmet. Today, however, in honor of Super Bowl 50, we will remember Robert "Bob" Eucker's football helmet.

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Robert Eucker Wearing a Football Helmet
Thu, December 17 2015

From the Library: Orville Wright Signed Book

On September 24, 1959, President Eisenhower declared December 17 to be Wright Brothers Day—thus commemorating the anniversary of the legendary duo’s flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. In honor of Wright Brothers Day, Smithsonian Libraries and the National Air and Space Museum turn to a piece of history found in the special collections housed in the DeWitt Clinton Ramsey Room of the Museum’s library.  

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Orville Wright Autograph
Thu, October 29 2015

Halloween Horrors of the Air: 13 Terrifying Images of Aero Fashion

From witches to winged demons, humanity has long harbored a horror of airborne denizens. Even when we ventured forth into the heavens without supernatural support, we sometimes adopted some truly terrifying attire.

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Mannequin Models Early Flight Mask
Tue, October 27 2015

Bridge of Spies: An Opportunity to Bust Myths about the U-2 and the Capture of Gary Powers

I recently attended a screening of Bridge of Spies, a new movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. Purportedly, Bridge of Spies was inspired by events surrounding the 1962 exchange of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers and graduate student Frederick Pryor for Soviet spy Rudolph Abel. The movie event was sponsored by Virginia’s Cold War Museum which was co-founded by Francis Gary Powers, Jr., who was also in attendance and served on a Q&A panel after the film.

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Lockheed U-2B in Flight
Tue, September 15 2015

Remembering Frank E. Petersen Jr.

The first black Marine Corps pilot and general officer, Frank E. Petersen Jr. died on August 25 at the age of 83.

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Frank E. Petersen
Sun, August 2 2015

The New Air Show in Town: Aerobatic Flight!

The Aerobatic Flight exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, Virginia, has a new addition—a film entitled, naturally, Aerobatic Flight! All the excitement of multiple airshows is packed into this lively film through clips of current pilots on the airshow scene and footage of legendary pilots from the dawn of the airshow.

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In Plane View: Extra 260
Sun, May 10 2015

Happy Mother's Day

On Sunday, May 10, the United States and many other countries will be celebrating Mother’s Day. Several National Air and Space Museum Archives collections contain photographs of aviators and their mothers. Here are a few.

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Lindbergh Poses with Mother
Mon, March 23 2015

Snapshots of Women, and Men, in the Aerospace Industry

March is Women’s History month and I recently attended several events that offer snapshots of women, and men, in the aerospace industry. In Dallas, Women In Aviation International (WAI) held its 26th annual conference, in Tucson, Arizona, the Pima Air and Space Museum opened a new exhibit entitled Women In Flight, and Southwest Airlines graduated its 307th class of flight attendants. And there were more moments.

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Betty Skelton Piloting Pitts S-1C Little Stinker

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