The Flying White House

Presidential airplanes, past and present.

Pilot Max Miller and Air Mail Service superintendent Benjamin Lipsner (right) before Miller's pathfinding flight between New York and Chicago in 1918.

The Great Race

When the Air Mail Service decided to establish a route between New York City and Chicago, two pilots competed to fly it first.

Airmail pilots (from left) Jack Knight, Harvey Lange, Lawrence Garrison, “Wild Bill” Hopson, and Andrew Dunphy pose for photographer Nathaniel Dewell in 1922.

Delivery Men

In the 1920s, photographer Nathaniel Dewell produced iconic portraits of daring airmail pilots.

Pilot Eddie Gardner was wearing these goggles when he died in an airplane crash in 1921. Following another, earlier crash, he had made a point not to blame the airplane. He muttered "the ship was alright" while being carried to the hospital.

Crash Course

Accidents were everyday occurrences in the early days of airmail. Part of the problem was finding the right airplane.

Postmaster Farley did his part to promote airmail on its 20th anniversary.

“Receive To-morrow’s Mail To-day!”

For an entire week in 1938, the country celebrated airmail.

Addison Pemberton pilots his restored Boeing 40C earlier this year. On the September 10 flight, the author rode in the compartment beneath the upper wing.

A Ride in the Boeing 40C

Onboard “Airmail 1” for the first leg of the trip, from New York to Bellefonte.

Incoming correspondence is "triaged," says volunteer Guy Halford-MacLeod, who tracked down the 1963 Ozark Airline timetable to answer a recent query.

Mail Call

Need information? The National Air and Space Museum answers more than 3,300 questions each year.

Feng and assistants with the Feng Ru 2 in Guangdong, China

The Father of Chinese Aviation

Feng Ru made history on the California coast, then introduced airplanes to his native land.

Lee Ya-Ching with her Stinson Reliant SR-9B, Spirit of New China.

China’s First Lady of Flight

In an era when Chinese women weren’t allowed to drive cars, Lee Ya-Ching flew the globe.


The Airplanes of James Bond

After 46 hours watching all 22 films, our list numbers more than 150.

Advances in modern military UAVs have made it possible to strike an enemy from relative safety miles above ground.

In the Museum: Predators and Dragons

Stops on a tour through america's hangar


When did the term "jet lag" come into use?

And has anybody found a cure?

The swirling wing vortex from an agricultural airplane is highlighed during tests at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

Is the Boeing 757 a threat to other airliners?

An unusual wake vortex has landed this airliner in a class by itself.

Conservator Hanna Szczepanowska assesses the solar cells on a replica Vanguard satellite; the original will remain in orbit until at least 2109.

In the Museum: Second, But Still Up

Fifty years after launch, Vanguard 1 remains in orbit.

French ace Adolphe Pégoud in a Blériot XI at Buc, France in December 1913.

What does it take to become an "ace"?

And has anyone ever been stripped of that status?


In the Museum: Connie's Comeback

In the Museum: Connie's Comeback

A row of 737-800s at Boeing Field in Seattle.

What determines an airplane’s lifespan?

Some keep flying for decades, while others end up on the scrap heap

“After every 100 hours of flight time we’d have a post-flight inspection that would take five days to complete,” says former crew chief Bob DeVore.

I Remember Connie

A tribute to the National Air and Space Museum’s Super Constellation, by those who flew it.

Lemuel C. Shattuck works as a cropduster on the Great Plains.

Finding Fred McConnell

Aviation in the heartland has fewer than six degrees of separation.

"It's a pretty wonderful thing to have something like the moon all to yourself with a robot for awhile," says William "Red" Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon University.

Google the Moon

Famed roboticist Red Whittaker may have the inside track to win the next moon race.

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