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Early Flight

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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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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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Sat, August 13 2016

Aug. 13, 1911: Second U.S. Woman to Earn Pilot’s License

On August 13, 1911, Matilde Moisant became the second woman in the United States to receive her pilot’s license, just a few weeks after her friend Harriet Quimby.

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Mon, August 8 2016

On This Day: Wilbur Wright Flies in Europe

On this day in 1908, Wilbur Wright publicly demonstrated a Wright aircraft for the first time in Europe at the Hunaudières racecourse at Le Mans, southwest of Paris.

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Tue, August 2 2016

On This Day: The First U.S. Military Airplane

On this day in 1909, the United States government purchased its first military aircraft, designed by the Wright brothers and costing $30,000.

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Sun, July 24 2016

Amelia Earhart: Using Fashion to Inspire Flight

Did you know Earhart created a clothing line called “Amelia Fashions” in 1933? Earhart had been interested in flying apparel for women for years. At the beginning of her career, Earhart had to wear aviation suits that were designed for men and poorly fitted for a woman. There was nothing else available.

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Sun, July 17 2016

Aeromarine Ice Cream Party

July is National Ice Cream Month!  On March 16, 1922, the staff of Aeromarine Airways in Miami, Florida, held an impromptu ice cream...

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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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Thu, June 16 2016

Capturing the Early History of Aeronautics

Among the treasures found within the special collections of the DeWitt Clinton Ramsey Room, a branch of the Smithsonian Libraries located at the National Air and Space Museum, is a collection of oversized scrapbooks with an interesting and complicated history. Originally bound in one volume, William Upcott’s Scrapbook of Early Aeronautica captures the history of lighter-than-air aircraft and aeronautics from 1783 to the 1840s through a rich collection of newspaper clippings, articles, illustrations, and letters.

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Thu, June 16 2016

Pioneering Aerial Archeology by Charles and Anne Lindbergh

On October 7, 1929, Anne Morrow Lindbergh gazed out the window of a Sikorsky S-38 flying boat, entranced by the view before her: gleaming stone structures only recently freed from the thick tropical vegetation of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico—Chichén Itzá, a remnant of the Mayan civilization that thrived there between 750 and 1200 AD. Her husband Charles A. Lindbergh piloted the aircraft that skimmed just above the ruins and treetop canopy.

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