Airliners carry their own portable atmosphere. How much can they afford to lose?

What happens if an airliner suddenly loses cabin pressure?

Let's just say it's not like it is in the movies

If you think airliner toilets are bad, check out the disposable pants (from the space shuttle era) you’d use in space.

In the Museum: Toilet Training

In the Museum: Toilet Training

AmSafe's commercial aviation airbag

Is Bracing For Impact Really Helpful in an Airline Crash?

Or is it just meant to make us feel like we're doing something?

Swimming Lessons

Astronauts had to swim before they could walk.


Dog Is My Co-pilot

Debi Boies had finally found the perfect Doberman. Unfortunately, the rescue dog was in Florida, and Boies couldn’t figure out an easy way to get him to her home in South Carolina. Based on her experience with a Doberman rescue group, she knew the animal would have to be transported by car, chang...


In the Museum: Flight at the Museum

In the Museum: Flight at the Museum

“I am here to tell the truth,” Colonel Billy Mitchell told cheering American Legionnaires upon his arrival in Washington, D.C.

The Billy Mitchell Court-Martial

Courtroom sketches from aviation's Trial of the Century.

Eric Brown at the Berkshire Aviation Museum. (Homepage photo: His 1969 Royal Navy Portrait)

Guess How Many Airplanes Eric Brown Has Flown

The Guinness World Record holder has 487 different aircraft types on his life list.

Australia at night, as seen by a military weather satellite. That's Perth in the lower left corner.

Did Australians light signal fires for the astronauts?

And would they have been visible from space?

The X-15: A different kind of high.

Who holds the altitude record for an airplane?

Depends on the category—and on who was watching.

NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California, Berkeley), and The Hubble Heritage Team

Hubble Favorites

A National Air and Space Museum astronomer picks some of his favorite images from the storied telescope.

Twentieth Century Fox “had really faithful re-creations of aircraft and spacecraft,” she says. But don’t look for the movie version of Amelia Earhart’s airplane (shown here) to enter the collection.

The Smithsonian’s Hollywood Moment

The makers of Night at the Museum took great pains to get it right.

Trial by Water

NASA tests the seaworthiness of its new moonship.


Voices of the Sky: Historic Sound Recordings

Cube life got you down? Download Voices of the Sky from Smithsonian Folkways

Musical Airs

Songs inspired by the early age of flight.


The Art of War

The paintings of Tom Lea, Life magazine's artist-correspondent during World War II.


Cities From the Sky

Sherman Fairchild, the photographer who transformed aviation


Women Who Fly

Portraits of female pilots

Warbird Obsession

It's an addiction. Admitting you have it is the first step.

Animals Aloft

Aviation can sometimes be downright inhuman.

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