June/July 2020

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opener: shadow of quadcopter against brick floor


Answer: Nobody knows.

Mars surface

Armada to Mars

A mini-armada of landers and orbiters is about to descend on the Red Planet.

Zeb Harrington with his Japanese Oscar

Junkyard Warbird

A Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa could be the first homebuilt to be built of actual pieces of a home.

Lockheed Constellation over a lake in monochrome

The First Air Force One

When Dwight Eisenhower was president, he traveled in style. Now a team is restoring his airplane to presidential perfection.

Holly Ridings in the Blue Flight Control Room

Woman in Control

As Holly Ridings takes the helm of Houston’s famed Mission Control center, another glass ceiling breaks.

Reporters clustered around Bong

A Dare Turned Deadly

When the line between duty and ambition began to blur.

social: grid of ephema, including a Pan Am baggage label from 1937, a French airplane brochure from 1910, and an entrance badge from the WRight Military flyer trials

Trash to Treasure

Instead of ending up in the trash, aviation ephemera from the last 100 years turn out to be treasure.



Journeys to Other Worlds

From the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

Up to Speed

Storm Chasers in Outer Space

Scientists hope to develop an early-warning system for hailstorms of radioactive particles.

Up to Speed

Wedge Fund

Small damage can lead to huge delivery delays.

Up to Speed

Barry Eccleston

The recently retired head of Airbus Americas is learning to be a pilot—again.

I Was There

My Duel with a Tweet

The Cessna T-37 trainer is a fun airplane to fly, so why couldn’t I master this one simple procedure?

At the Museum

Where Everyone Can Tour the Solar System—and Beyond

A pair of researchers at the National Air and Space Museum want everyone to be able to tour the solar system.

Reviews & Previews

Fate of Four

A new book chronicles the final air battle over the Pacific

One More Thing

Katydid Drone

Say hello to the Katydid, one of the first UAVs.