An Army band on the tarmac at New York’s Idlewild Airport serenaded passengers as they boarded the Pan Am Clipper America for its maiden transatlantic flight on October 26, 1958—only 10 days after Boeing delivered the airplane.

The Flight That Changed Everything

When the 707 gave us the world.

After his celebrated trans-Pacific flight, Charles Kingsford Smith flies the famed Southern Cross over Sydney Harbor.

The First Airliner to Vanish

In 1930s aviation, airline passengers took the same risks as record-setting adventurers.

Before they mastered the air, the Wright brothers conquered the bicycle. And there’s no better place to contemplate that mechanical connection than on Dayton, Ohio’s aviation bike trail. The author, along with park ranger Ryan Qualls, above, started the trek outside the shop where the Wright brothers built, repaired, and sold bicycles from 1895 to 1897.

A Bike Ride Through Wright Brothers Territory

Because it all started with a bicycle shop in Ohio.

A KLM 747 on approach to Princess Juliana Airport adds another tourist attraction to St. Maarten’s aqua waves.

Under the Big Jets

On St. Maarten, the beach party is loud.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3 searches the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia for debris after the Malaysian airliner vanished.

What Went Wrong on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

Two years later, its disappearance is still unsolved. A new book reconstructs the last minutes in the cockpit.

Dubai airport, one of the world’s busiest.

How Much of the World’s Population Has Flown in an Airplane?

Some numbers, and some guesses.

Malaysian flight 17 was destroyed by a Buk missile over Ukraine.

Dutch Safety Board: Ukraine Should Have Closed its Airspace Before MH-17 Was Shot Down

The investigators’ preliminary report details the airliner’s last moments.

A recovery crew on the site of the 1979 Mt. Erebus crash.

The Man Who Solved the Mystery of Flight 901

Gordon Vette’s research helped explain one of history’s worst air disasters.

Low down and dirty: A United 747-400 flies a "dirty" pass (with flaps and gear down) by the Golden Gate Bridge during the 2010 Fleet Week Air Show.

The Jumbo Flies an Airshow

The Boeing 747, like you’ve never seen it fly.

A gigantic financial gamble at the start, the 747 paid off big for Boeing. Eighty-nine countries have used it to move people and freight (here leaving Anchorage, Alaska) around the globe.

747: The World’s Airliner

The first jumbo jet has transported the equivalent of 80 percent of the human race.

Air Force Second Lieutenant Paul LaTour is illuminated by a green laser during a landing in a Boeing 737 flight simulator at the FAA center in Oklahoma City. The Air Force and FAA worked to determine what level of laser exposure is safe for pilots.

The Laser Threat

Authorities struggle to shut off the beams aimed into cockpits.

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