Airplanes

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

In a 1929 column, Amelia Earhart name-checked Keating as an example of a woman in aviation who had beaten the odds, writing, "She photographs from the air and helps make the beautifully accurate maps which compose aerial surveys."

Women Who Shaped History

In 1920s New York, This Woman Typist Became a Pioneering Aerial Photographer

Edith Keating survived the Halifax Explosion and eventually took to the skies, marking a path for other women to fly in her wake

Tom Cruise revives his Top Gun role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the new film arriving in theaters May 27.

'Top Gun' Is Back. But Is the Elite Navy Fighter Pilot School Really Like the Movies?

The Smithsonian’s Chris Browne flew the much-feared F-14, and as a former TOPGUN student, knows well the power of a Navy-trained fighter pilot

Salma brachyscopalis Hampson

U.S. Customs Agents Find Rare Moth Last Spotted in 1912

Larvae and pupae found in seed pods at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport last fall hatched into <em>Salma brachyscopalis Hampson</em> moths

This fall, visitors to the Smithsonian&rsquo;s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., can see the glider and other treasures, when the &ldquo;Early Flight&rdquo; exhibition opens in the museum&#39;s newly transformed west wing.

This Quirky Contraption Lifted 19th-Century Pilots Into the Air for a Short, Exhilarating Glide

The rare Lilienthal glider, one of only a few originals known to exist, is newly conserved and ready for its public debut

A Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 lifts off at a 2017 airshow in the U.K. The Su-27 is Ukraine’s long arm, an offensive fighter with great range and the capacity to carry nearly 10,000 pounds of bombs, rockets, and missiles.

The Russian Jet That Fights for Both Sides

What Ukrainian air force pilots had to say about their aging Su-27s.

The massive aircraft was initially built as part of the Soviet aeronautical program in the 1960s and 70s while the Soviet Union was undergoing a space race with the United States.
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Ukrainian Officials Say the World's Largest Aircraft, Antonov AN-225, Has Been Destroyed

The plane was undergoing maintenance in an airfield near Kyiv

Experts have authenticated the leather hat worn by Amelia Earhart through archival photographs.

Amelia Earhart's Leather Flying Cap Sells at Auction for $825,000

Worn by the famed aviator during her 1928 flight across the Atlantic, the lost helmet was kept for nearly a century in the closet of a Minnesota home

A monument in Germany acknowledges Halvorsen&#39;s contributions during the Berlin Airlift.

How the 'Candy Bomber' Left a Lasting Legacy in Cold War Germany

Former WWII pilot Gail S. Halvorsen is still fondly remembered as the American who delivered sweets to German children during the Berlin Airlift

Zara Rutherford greets reporters at&nbsp; Wevelgem International Airport on January 20, 2022 in Kortrijk, Belgium. At age 19, she became the youngest female pilot to circumvent the globe, traveling across five continents in five months while flying in a single-seater sport plane.

Good News

19-Year-Old Woman Completes Around-the-World Solo Flight

Zara Rutherford flew 28,000 nautical miles of five continents to become the youngest woman to finish a solo global flight

&ldquo;Bessie Coleman (above: with her Curtiss JN-4 &quot;Jennie&quot; in her custom designed flying suit, ca. 1924) was a real gutsy woman for the era,&rdquo; says&nbsp;Dorothy Cochrane, a curator at the Smithsonian&rsquo;s National Air and Space Museum. &quot;Anyone else might have quit at any time.&rdquo;

For Pilot Bessie Coleman, Every 'No' Got Her Closer to 'Yes'

Despite fierce obstacles in her path, the Black female aviator became a hero that would pave the way for generations to come

&quot;As soon as this idea of aerial application for farming began to take shape, nearly everyone agreed this was the way to go,&rdquo;&nbsp;says Dorothy Cochrane, curator at the Smithsonian&rsquo;s National Air and Space Museum, where one of only two known to exist, is on view.

The Little 'Puffer' That Could, and Did, Change an Industry

The Huff-Daland Duster ushered in the era of agriculture aviation

The T-38 Talon that Jacqueline Cochran flew, pictured before its recent restoration.

When Jackie Cochran Flew This Jet, She Broke All Kind of Barriers

The spirited aviator came out of poverty to soar to great heights

On October 24, 1944,&nbsp;the Battle of Leyte Gulf&nbsp;had just begun when two Hellcat pilots U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell&nbsp;and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing spotted a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes (above: a 1943 photograph of Grumman F6F Hellcats in flight).

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

U.S. Navy Pilots David McCampbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf

Smoke pours from the west wing of the Pentagon building September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia, after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion.

Smithsonian Voices

Smithsonian's Chris Browne Was the Manager at Ronald Reagan National Airport on 9/11

The acting director of the National Air and Space Museum reflects 20 years later on the rapid grounding of air traffic across the US

Flight attendant Lorraine Bay carefully recorded every flight she worked in this log book, found near the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11

Thirty-One Smithsonian Artifacts That Tell the Story of 9/11

From a Pentagon rescuer's uniform to a Flight 93 crew log, these objects commemorate the 20th anniversary of a national tragedy

Fixed up to look like "Dusty," the Disney animated aircraft that had high-flying aspirations, the Air Tractor AT-301/400A became a hit at air-shows following the success of the first film and its 2014 sequel Planes: Fire and Rescue.

Disney's Dusty Crophopper—the Little Airplane that Could—Comes to the Smithsonian

Iconic Air Tractor aircraft on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center this Saturday

The P-51 Mustang was the darling of the Army Air Forces. Aerodynamically agile and acrobatic, the aircraft was fast and furious in its effectiveness in downing enemy aircraft.

The P-51 Mustang Was the Quintessential Aircraft of the World War II Era

In duels over Eastern Europe, the agile fighter scored kill after kill

The Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe, meaning Swallow, held in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum was captured in 1945 by a special U.S. Army Air Force team led by Col. Harold Watson. The Americans and British, who were also developing jet aircraft, used captured Swallows to enhance their own programs.

The Day Germany's First Jet Fighter Soared Into History

Allied pilots were surprised by the aircraft's speed and armament; but it was a case of too little too late

An undated photograph shows Wally Funk standing with a U.S. Air Force jet.

Trailblazing Pilot Wally Funk Will Go to Space 60 Years After Passing Her Astronaut Tests

Wally Funk, the youngest of the 'Mercury 13,' will join the inaugural crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule

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