About 82,000 American service members are listed as Missing in Action – 72,000 from World War II alone. Recent technologies like robotic submersibles, advanced sonar, and DNA matching are making it easier for recovery operations to find the downed airplanes, and identify the remains of service members.
As we collect the delivery drone used by Wing for the first commercial drone delivery to a U.S. home, we talk to Wing CTO Adam Woodworth about his work at Wing, his passion for aviation, and how it feels to have a project he worked on join the Smithsonian collection.
Alverna Babbs challenged the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1944 for a waiver to earn her student pilot’s license. The CAA was reluctant due to Babb’s disability—a double leg amputation at the age of 13 months. With her own persistence and the assistance of Roscoe Turner, Babbs earned her waiver and her full pilot’s license in 1946, the first person with a disability to do so (as documented in the previous blog in this series celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act). After remarrying and having children, Alverna Williams took a 30 year hiatus from flying. She returned to aviation in the 1970s, determined once again to take her place in the sky.
Thirty years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act came into effect. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Forty-six years earlier, without the protection of law and its accommodations, Alverna Babbs, who had lost both legs as a child, fought to receive a waiver for her student license. When she succeeded, she became the first American pilot with disabilities to earn a pilot’s license.