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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 route between Buenos Aires and Darwin Australia is 220 miles shorter on the great circle, but QF14 diverged to hug the Antarctic coast to meet regulations for maximum distance from an alternate airfield if one engine fails.

Qantas Airways' Longest-Ever Commercial Flight

The flight odyssey went from Argentina to Australia.

The mood was celebratory aboard the Japanese ship Izumo last October when U.S. Marines landed and took off again. After the cross-deck exercise, Japanese sailors and airmen cheered along with U.S. Marines of Fighter Squadron 242.

U.S. Marines on a Japanese Carrier

The F-35B test represents the first landing on a Japanese carrier by a U.S. fixed-wing aircraft since World War II.

Tiny Broadwick, the first woman to jump from an airplane, handles her wind-filled canopy after a safe landing. She made 1,000 jumps between 1907 and 1922. In 1964, she was made an honorary member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

What the History of Early Flight Might Tell Us About the Future of Space Travel

The acting director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on the new 'Early Flight' gallery

Though that isn’t his name on the Skyhawk pictured, this is indeed a photo of the author taken aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in 1969.

Skyhawk Homecoming

Dad wanted to be impressed, and he paid dearly for the privilege.


Moon Crater Spudis

A lunar landmark gets a new name to honor a distinguished scientist.

Bruce McCandless II during a panel discussion marking the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015.

The Patient Astronaut

Bruce McCandless waited almost two decades for his first space flight.

Not just a ship, but a shipyard. The SpaceX plan to launch hundreds of vehicles a year from Starbase (seen here in January 2021) will require a pace of operations never even attempted in the rocket business.


Elon Musk’s giant Starship will leave the world behind.

Helicopter pilots Clyde Romero, James Casher, Eldridge Johnson, and Bob Farris provided aerial support in 1971 for Operation Lam Son 719.

The Condors Quartet

Operation Lam Son 719 changed them. Then they waited for the world to catch up.

Otto Lilienthal’s glider dominates this artist’s rendering of the Early Flight gallery, as Lilienthal did 19th century aeronautics. His data from 2,000 flights became a starting point for the Wrights.

A New Gallery Celebrates the Pioneers of Flight

In flight’s first decade, the challenges—and the possibilities—were endless.

For her 1937 flight, Amelia Earhart (shown in 1936) had to get permission from the Sultan of Oman to fly over his territory. The British interfered, but finally relented.

They Couldn’t Stop Amelia Earhart

The famous American’s attempt to fly around the world was nearly thwarted by British officialdom.

Complementing the New York City skyline, from right: a McDonnell F3H Demon, Vought F-8 Crusader, Grumman A-6 Intruder, and Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat.

Defend the <i>Intrepid</i>

It survived two wars, but now it faces another grave threat: the environment of New York City.

An artist’s rendering shows Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander already on the moon. But the 2,240-pound spacecraft isn’t scheduled to arrive until next year, when it will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The Next Robots on the Moon

In the 1960s, the moon race was war. This time, it’s commerce.

At an airshow near Moscow in 2013, where bad weather grounded most aircraft scheduled to fly, the Airbus A380 showed why it was an international star.

Farewell to a Giant

Airbus struggled to invent the world’s biggest airliner. In the end, it wasn’t technology—it was timing—that killed the beast.

A rare three-ship formation of TransAvia PL-12 AirTruks led by Ian Bell (in yellow) with Nick Wills (center) and Steve Death (top) departs an October 2018 airshow in Temora, New South Wales, Australia.

The Ugliest Airplane: An Appreciation

The Transavia AirTruk ain’t pretty, but it had purpose.

An artist’s rendering of the Bell NEXUS on display in the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building on the National Mall.

The Air Taxi Arrives at the Smithsonian

The company that gave us the first supersonic airplane and the V-22 Osprey presents something new.

Charles Somers’ Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI  and Dean Thomas’s Twin Beech 18, along with other aircraft, on display at Stead airport in Reno, Nevada.

The Best Vintage Airplanes of 2021

This year’s winners at the National Aviation Heritage Invitational.

Blue skies: The choice of colors in your airliner is no accident.

Flying Colors

How they pick the paint scheme in your airplane, and other tricks of passenger cabin design.

From "Hello, Star" written by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic and illustrated by Vashti Harrison.

Best Children's Books of 2021

The top aviation- and space-themed books for kids.

Seaman Matthew Kortie of the USS George H.W. Bush Deck Department stands watch as signalman during a weekly replenishment at sea. An aircraft carrier’s Supply Department may do more than a dozen jobs, including paying and feeding sailors, managing repair parts, equipping its medical and dental staffs, and running barbershops, convenience stores, and its own version of a Starbucks.

Black Shoes and Brown Shoes: Beyond the Flight Deck of an Aircraft Carrier

In a floating city of several thousand people, there’s a lot to do beside just flying airplanes.