Topic

Early Flight

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Mon, December 5 2016

Exploring the History of our Chinese Kite Collection

In 1876, after the dust from the United States’ first World’s Fair and Centennial Exposition settled on the grounds of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, the Smithsonian Institution’s collections expanded exponentially. Sixty boxcars filled with art, mechanical inventions, and other materials from many of the 37 countries who participated in the Exposition pulled into Washington, DC as gifts for a brand new museum.

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Original loan photograph
Tue, November 8 2016

Stories from Inside the Spirit of St. Louis

Working on the Museum’s Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall gave us a unique opportunity to take a close look at many of the objects that have been on display since the gallery opened in 1976. The renovation of the gallery also allowed our photographers a rare opportunity to capture some very unique views of our aircraft, inside and out. This close inspection helped us uncover and rediscover interesting stories and facts. This is true of the Spirit of St. Louis, the aircraft that Charles Lindbergh famously piloted across the Atlantic.

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Stories from Inside the Spirit of St. Louis

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Spirit of St. Louis Tail and Rudder
Mon, October 31 2016

Frightful Early Flight Gear

Still seeking Halloween inspiration? We’re drawing spooky inspiration from our archives. These photos document early attempts at protecting aviators and their support crews. The results, while practical, were often quite creepy. 

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Twin Combat Team in Flying Togs
Fri, October 21 2016

Your Captions: Merrill and Princess Doreen

Last week we asked you to caption a number of intriguing images, and we promised to share more about each photo in the coming weeks. Let’s kick off with this ferociously furry snapshot.

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Henry Tyndall "Dick" Merrill and Princess Doreen
Wed, September 28 2016

1909: Flight Around the Statue of Liberty

Today in 1909, Wilbur Wright flew around the Statue of Liberty as part of the New York Hudson-Fulton Celebration, resulting in this historic Harper’s Weekly cover page. 

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Harper's Weekly October 9, 1909
Mon, September 5 2016

The 1924 Central Labor Union Trophy Race

On September 5, 1882, the Central Labor Union in New York City held a “monster labor festival” in Wendel’s Elm Park, an event that would become known as Labor Day.  On October 2, 1924, the Central Labor Union of Dayton sponsored their own trophy race at the International Air Races in Dayton, Ohio.

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International Air Races Trophy
Fri, September 2 2016

First Solo Hop

Although her flight is not considered “official,” this day in history we remember Blanche Stuart Scott, the first American woman to take a solo hop into the air.

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Blanche Stuart Scott
Thu, August 25 2016

1932: Amelia Earhart Flies Nonstop Across U.S.

Today in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the U.S. nonstop. Earhart  piloted her Lockheed Vega 5B from Los Angeles to Newark in a record 19 hours and 5 minutes.

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Lockheed 5B Vega in Pioneers of Flight
Mon, August 22 2016

1909: The First Major International Flying Meet

On this day in 1909, some of the world's leading aviators met at a racetrack in Reims, France, to compete in the first organized international air meet.

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Early Exhibition Flying
Fri, August 19 2016

Orville Wright Born Today in 1871

Today in 1871, aviator and inventor Orville Wright was born to Milton and Susan Catherine Koerner Wright. Orville was the sixth of seven children born to the Wrights.

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Orville Wright

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