Students fill a gallery at the National Air and Space Museum to talk to astronaut Leland Melvin (giving a thumbs up) and two more in orbit during a live video call.

Homework in Orbit

The next payload headed for the International Space Station is an 8th grader’s assignment.

In New York’s Hudson Valley, the new Spirit of St. Louis looks the part, but will never reach Paris.

Lindbergh’s Airplane (or a Close Replica) Takes to the Skies

At the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, it feels like 1927 all over again.

Janette Davis and her son Keith Yoerg inspect their famous relatives’ patent documents.

Wright Brothers’ Long-Lost Patent Gets a Private Family Viewing

At the National Archives, a close look at aviation’s birth certificate.

Clifford Turpin in a Wright biplane; he mastered all the Wright Exhibition Team moves, including spirals, dips, and glides.

Clifford Turpin, King of the Air

He was one of the great original airshow pilots. Why did he hide his past?

Tighten up (from the top): Heritage Flight Museum founder and Apollo 8 veteran William Anders, Merrill Wien and Alan Anders (in the same aircraft), Craig Nelson, and Greg Anders fly formation to stay sharp for larger warbirds—and just to enjoy the T-6.

The Best-Built Airplane That Ever Was

The worldwide cult of the T-6.

Ken Hyde’s collection, arrayed near his workshop (clockwise from top, left): 1911 Model B; 1909 Military Flyer; 1910 transitional Flyer; 1902 glider; 1911 EX Vin Fiz; 1911 glider (not shown: a second 1909 Flyer).

Airplanes Seeking Good Home

A one-of-a-kind collection of scratch-built Wright aircraft is up for sale.

Paul Mirat’s gouache painting of World War I aviators includes several members of the Lafayette Escadrille.

For France and Civilization

The romance of the French Foreign Legion was taken aloft by pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille.

Richard Wiese revisits mementos of his flying career. In 1959 he set a major distance record, but not many noticed.

The Accidental Record Setter

How a moonlighting ferry pilot landed in the history books, and other trans-Pacific tales.

In 1911, Starling Burgess towed one of his early aircraft from his seaside Massachusetts factory to an air meet at Squantum field, outside Quincy. Squantum would become known as the place where Harriet Quimby fell to her death from a Blériot in 1912.

The Most Talented Aviation Pioneer You’ve Never Heard of

Starling Burgess beat the Wright brothers at their own game.

“If you can drive a car, you can fly an airplane.” ERCO began selling the spin-proof Ercoupe from department stores in 1945 by marketing the vision that every family (represented in the publicity shot) could own one.

For a few magical years, it looked like every family would own an airplane.

Buy Your Plane at Penney’s

During a July 2012 jaunt, pilot Bob Newhouse raises his hands to prove that Fichera, in the front cockpit, is flying the 1930s-era aircraft.

The plane that taught Anne Morrow Lindbergh to fly is flying again.

Lindbergh’s Trainer: The Brunner-Winkle Bird

Millions of visitors to the St. Louis Exposition were awed by the feats of aeronaut Roy Knabenshue (in New Jersey, fourth from left, in 1910, with Walter Brookins, in short-sleeve shirt, and Glenn Curtiss, wearing bicycle inner tube).

Two showmen, one dirigible, and the flight that changed aviation

Kings of the air.

Henry Enerson, a University of Maryland freshman who runs track, is both lightweight and strong, which makes him an ideal powerplant for Gamera II.

University of Maryland Students Close in On The Human-Powered Helicopter Prize

Gamera is one of the few unusually made helicopters to have left ground.

Henry Walden designed two unsuccessful airplanes before coming up with a flyable monoplane, the Walden III.

Or Die Trying

After the Wright brothers flew, a handful of inventors were determined to join them.

Wilbur (holding onto the tail boom, suit wrinkled by prop blast) and Orville Wright (standing at front, cap backward) had high hopes that the Baby Grand would win the speed contest at Belmont. But the little racer never made it to the final event.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Aeroplane!

In 1910, showmen flew death-defying stunts in Wright airplanes. Sometimes, death won.

Page 2 of 2