Category Book of Flight

Douglas World Cruisers

NE of the most famous early distance flights was that of the Douglas World Cruisers in 1924. 1 hey were the first planes ever to go around the globe. Built for the L’.S. Army Air Serv ice, the \ orld Cruisers were open-cockpit biplanes. They had landing gear that could be changed from wheels to floats so the craft could land on water or ground. Named tor tour cities, the planes were the Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, and Seattle.

On April 6, 1924, the four planes with two – man crews took oft from Seattle, \ ashing Von. They were to fly west over Alaska, around Asia, across the North Atlantic, and back across the United States. On the trip, the Seattle crashed in Alaska and the Boston went down in the North Atlantic. Only the Chicago and the New Orleans completed the llight, traveling through 29 coun­tries. After six months they returned to Seattle, ending the incredible 26,«345-mile journey.

< Good Luck (harm

Подпись: FUN FACT: REPAIR WORKПодпись: Changing all the World Cruisers’ pontoons for wheels during the trip took three days. Changing the planes' engines also took three days.The two surviving planes used nine engines each.image81
image82"A toy monkey named "Maqqie" (left) rode in the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago on its long journey. The plane’s open cockpit (below) had few instruments, but a big steering wheel to control ailerons and elevators. Leather trim was to protect the pilot in a possible crash.

image83* The (и к Або

One of the two surviving World Cruisers, the Chicago is in the National Air and Space Museum. The two-seat biplane carried a crew of two, a pilot and a mechanic. It had no radio, radar, or weather instruments to help make the long round-the-world flight.

▼ Resting at Anchor

Подпись: % № ' image85image86The diorama below, in the Museum collection, depicts the World Cruisers refueling in Seward, Alaska. At right, the planes sit on their pontoon floats, anchored off Sitka, Alaska. Soon after, the Seattle crashed into a mountain in fog.

Space Suits

Подпись:image220"image221HEN astronauts venture outside their spacecraft to explore or work In space, they must be well protected. Otherwise they would quickly die in the hostile environment of space. A space suit is the astronaut’s protection and life support system. Going outside the spacecraft is called an EVA (extravehicular activity). Wearing a space suit, the astronaut can survive up to 8 hours.

Early space suits were bulky, with up to 15 layers of material, and uncomfortable to move in. Today’s suits have layers ol light, airtight material such as nylon and Tefljgn. ‘1 hey protect against extreme heat or cold and against the destructive impact of tiny particles called micrometeoroids.

The space suit provides oxygen, a waste removal system, and radio communication. Astronauts can also move freely by attaching a chair like jet pack called the MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit). It is propelled by small gas – jet motors called thrusters. I he astronaut controls them with buttons, much like video game controls.


Early Pilot’s Suit

Flying at altitudes over 10,000 feet, early pilots had to breathe oxygen through face masks to survive in the thin air aloft. Above, pilot Wiley Post developed the first practical pressure suit for making his record high-altitude flight in 1935.

* Hah or Rocket?

Designed in 1960,this early space suit called the "tripod teepee"was not a success. A rigid metal cylinder with holes for the arms and legs, it was bulky and inflexible. The wearer here could hardly move his arms to use tools and could not bend over or sit normally.

Mercury Space Suit

This space suit was worn by Gordon Cooper, one of America’s first astronauts. The suit had an aluminized nylon covering and 13 zippers for a snug rit. The gloves had tiny finger lights to help the astronaut see controls and charts.

Подпись: As an astronaut works in space, the side ol the EMU that faces the sun may heat up to a scorching 290 degrees Fahrenheit while the side facing the dark of space may be as cold as -264 degrees Fahrenheit.image224< EMU

Ihe space su t the shuttle astronauts wear to work in space is the EMU, or Extravehicular Mobi Fry Unit. It provides air, protection from severe heat or cold, arid communication. Adding a jet-powered Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), the astronaut can move around freely outside.

1. TV camera

2. Sun visor

3. Fights to see in dark

4. Microphone for communication

5. Backpack with oxygen

6. Tool tether to keep tools from floating away

7. Procedure check list

8. Harness to hold jetpack in place

9. MMU hand control to fire thrusters for movement

10. Safety tethers

11. Tough outer fabric to protect against tears

12. Aluminum mylar layer for warmth

13. Underwear with water tubing to cool body

14. Coated nylon protective layer

15. Gas-powered thrusters on MMU jetpack


Suiting Up

Подпись: Iimage226Astronaut M. S. Weber adjusts a glove in her pressure suit before getting on the space shuttle. The astronauts wear this suit at critical times such as launch and reentry. In some emergency situations, the astronauts can escape by parachuting out of the hatch.

Going the Distance

image87"Подпись: .Подпись: *7image88ROL’GHOUT the 1920s and 1930s. pilots competed to set new distance records as well as endurance records—staving the longest time in the air. In 1923, a Fokker T-2 Army transport plane made the first nonstop flight across the United States. Army Air Service Lieutenants Oakley G. Kelly and John A. Macreadv piloted the T-2 Irom New York to San Diego. The trip took 26 hours and 50 minutes. Along the way, people listened eagerly tor the plane and watched lor it in the sky. When the T-2 landed, a huge crowd cheered the landmark flight.

In 1929, the crew ot a tn-motor Fokker, the Question Alark, set an endurance record of 150 hours, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds in the air.

They flew over Caliiornia, covering 1 1,000 miles. The 1 light required midair retueling from another plane, using a 40-foot hose.

An astonishing record lor sustained flight was set in 1936 by the Curtiss Robin Ole Alios.

The pilots, brothers Fred and Algene Key, took oil trom Meridian, .Mississippi on June 4 and landed July 1 alter 653 hours—27 days in the air! The plane received lood and fuel in over 400 contacts with another plane. Such flights increased the public’s confidence in aircraft.


Risky Business

Pilot Fred Key services the eng ne of the Curtiss Robin Ole Miss by climbing on a special catwa k. During the record flight of 27 days, the two pilots took turns sleeping on top ofa fuel tank.

► Filling up in Flight

During its 1929 flight, the Question Mark gets fuel from another plane by a nose. This was dangerous, since a drop of gas eakirg on a hot engine could ign :e and Dlow up the plane. Left, a Boeing PW-9D "blackboard piane"carried messages to the Question Mark crew.

‘ * /Л Шіш



І t

Щ "


The Fokker T-2, now in the Museum, made the first nonstop flight across the United States in 1923. At right, pilots John Macready, left, and Oakley Kelly stand with the 737 gallons of gas and 40 gallons of oil used for the flight.




Going the Distance








Going the Distance

Подпись: FUN FACT: TRICKY REPAIRimage98Подпись:image99"

Record Distance Flights

Routes shown here trace four of the most famous flights of the 1920s and 1930s.

> Flight (rew

The crew of the Question Mark includes (left to right) Major Carl Spaatz, in command, chief pilot Ira Eaker, Harry Halverson, Lieutenant Elwood Quesada, and Sergeant Roy Hooe, chief mechanic.

Подпись: Charles Lindbergh"Here all around me, и the Atlantic — its expanse, ltd depth, ltd power, і to wild and open water… If my plane ran о lay aloft, if my engine can keep on running, then so can I. ’

—Charles Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. lews

ON May 20, 1927, 25-year-old Charles Lindbergh took

oil from New York on one ol history’s most famcus flights. An unknown mail pilot, he hoped to win a $25,000 prize by being first to fly nonstop from New York to Pans. He would fly 3,610 miles—alone. Six other pilots had died trying.

Heavily laden with fuel. Lindbergh’s monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louio, barely got off the ground. Lindbergh had not slept in 24 hours. But because the weather was clearing, he set oft. To avoid extra weight, he carried no radio, relying only on his instruments and navigational skills. At times he flew in total darkness, except tor the eerie glow of his instruments. On the difficult crossing, Lindbergh battled terrifying storms, fog, cold, and worst of all, sleep. He wrote, “I’ve lost command of my eyelids. They shut…stick tight as though with glue.. I’ve got to find a Way to stay alert. I here’s no alternative but death and failure.’ His flight lasted 35/2 hours. Landing in Paris, he became an instant hero.


“The Lone Cagle"

Подпись: IN THE COCKPIT The Spirit's cramped cockpit, squeezed in behind a fuel tank, had no forward window. Lindbergh used a periscope or turned the plane to look out the side windows. Instruments include a T-shaped altimeter to measure altitude. image101"Charles Lindbergh became the most famous aviator of his day. His courage, danng, and sheer endurance at achieving the solo flight won public admiration and acclaim. Lindbergh did much to inspire people’s faith in the airplane.

Подпись: Charles Lindbergh took jus; two canteens of water and a bag of sandwiches to eat on his long flight. When he landed in Paris, he had been awake 7!'h hours!Подпись:image102

The Spirit of Sr. Louis

Charles Lindbergh’s famous airplane now hangs in the National Air and Space Museum. The sturdy monoplane was built with extra tanks to hold 450 ga ons of fuel for the Atlantic flight. It carr. ed Lindbergh into history May 20 21,1927.

Nose Art

Flags of many nations decorate the Spirit near the Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine circling the plane’s nose. The flags represent countries Lindbergh visited on a goodwill tour of Latin America and the Caribbean after his Atlantic flight.

▼ Fame and Fortune

The Spirit of St. Louis takes off on a national tour (bottom) following Lindbergh’s Atlantic flight. A check for $25,000 (below) was presented to Lindbergh as his prize for making the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.

The Space Shuttle

THE space shuttle is the world s only reusable

spacecraft. It was developed after the huge expense of the Apollo missions. Those craft were used only once. 1 he space shuttle can be reused over and over. It consists ol three parts: 1) the orbiter, an airplane-like both’ with three engines, 2) an external tank to fuel the engines at liftoff, and 3) two solid rocket boosters for extra energy at liftoff. The shuttle is launched like a rocket, orbits the Earth like a spacecraft, and lands like a glider.

The first shuttle to fly in space was Columbia. It lifted olf on April 12, 1981, with astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen. “T-iMinus 5…4…3…2… 1 Ignition!” Columbia’s engines roared to life and it blasted into the sky. twelve minutes later it was circling the Earth 200 miles high. The flight lasted 54 hours and made 36 Earth orbits. All systems performed well. The astronauts were thrilled wit h the two-day ride. Alter returning safely to Earth, John Young said, "We are really not that fax’…from going to the stars."

Подпись: 11
Подпись: FUN FACT: FAST RIDEimage227Подпись:A Fast Exit

Подпись:In case of emergency before launch, the crew exit the shuttle in a slidewire basket. Shuttle Endeavour mission specialists practice the exit. As Michael Foale pulls a lever to release the basket, Claude Nicollier and John Grunsfeld watch.






image229N amazingly complex machine, the space shuttle has over 600,000 different parts. Among its most important features is its tile heat shield.

I When the shuttle reenters Earth’s

ft atmosphere, it zooms at 25 times the speed of Ш sound. Air molecules cannot move out of the wav of the craft fast enough. They pile up and squeeze together. This generates heat of over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Thousands ot silica tiles on the shuttle absorb and throw oil scorching heat.

The shuttle’s launch system has three components. The orbiter’s engines ignite only at liftoff. A huge orange fuel tank feeds them 800 tons of liquid fuel. Two white solid rocket boosters burn solid fuel at lift-off, then fall oil. They parachute into the ocean to be recovered and reused. The orange tank tails olt and burns up in the atmosphere. The shuttle’s engines and boosters deliver an incredible 7 million pounds of thrust to launch the shuttle into orbit.


Heat Damage

Scorch marks and holes on the shuttle Endeavour’s tile covering show the effects of reentering the atmosphere. The heat shield of ceramic silica tiles protects the shuttle by insulating it from the heat. The shield must be repaired after each flight.

► Tile Armor

A closeup (right) shows some of the

34,0 ceramic tiles that make up the ther­mal shield on the shuttle’s top and belly. The tiles are one-half to З А inches thick. Above, a technician replaces damaged tiles on the Columbia, gluing each one by hand.

The Space Shuttle

Fun Fact: Power Up


The shuttle orbiter’s three engines consume 800 tons of fuel in about 10 minutes. They alone generate enough power to light up New York state!




Ready for Launch

The shuttle Atlantis stands assembled for launch outside the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, at Kennedy Space Center. The white shuttle orbiter uses its own engines plus two booster rockets and a disposable fuel tank to propel it into space.



Amelia Earhart

ELIA Earhart was the most lam oils woman pilot of her time. Adventurous and fearless, she pushed herself to the limits, setting many new records. On May 20, 1932, five years to the day after Lindbergh’s Atlantic crossing, Amelia took oil to fly solo across the Atlantic. In her bright rec Lockheed Vega, she left Newfoundland and landed nearly 15 hours later in Londonderry, Ireland. During the trip, her altimeter, which measured her altitude, failed. She encountered violent storms, icing on her wings, and a sudden downward drop ot 3,000 leet! Yet she managed to pull the plane up, and never lost hei nerve. She became the first woman to make the solo crossing.

Подпись: PROUD PILOT Amelia Earhart poses happily with her new Lockheed Electra 10E kabove).ln this plane, she attempted a round-the-world flight that ended with her disappearance in 1937. At left, fans greet Amelia in Ireland after he: flight across the Atlantic in her red Lockheed Vega in 1932.

In 1957, Amelia took off with a navigator for her most ambitious goal—a round-the-world flight in her new Lockheed Llectra. Flying back home over the Pacific, the Electra mysteriously disappeared. No trace ol Amelia, her navigator, or her plane was ever found.

"Please know l am quit’s aware of the hazard*. 1 want to do it beeauoe I want to do it. Wo nun /пи, tt try to do thing, і а, і men hare tried. ”

-Amelia Earhart

Подпись: HISTORY FACT: MYSTERIOUS LOSSПодпись: FUN FACT: HONORED FLIERПодпись: Amelia Earhart was showered with honors for her solo Atlantic flight.She received many awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the National Geographic Society's Special Gold Medal.image106

+ Flying Superstar

Thousands of admirers flock around Amelia after her landing in Oakland, California, m 1935 in another Vega. She had just made the first solo flight from Hawaii to the mainland arid was a worldwide celebrity.

When Amelia’s plane vanished over the Pacific in 1937, a huge search by ships and aircraft failed to find her. No one knows her fate. Yet many experts think she lost her way, ran out of fuel, and crashed into the ocean.

* Flight (heck

Before her round-the-world flight, Amelia takes a final look at the Electra with mechanics. After her flight, she planned to use the Electra as a "flying laboratory" for aviation research.

► Famous Airplane

Amelia’s red Vega is today in the National Air and Space Museum. One of the most advanced planes of its time, the Vega had a streamlined wood fuselage, molded plywood "skin," and internally braced wings.

Amelia Earhart

Airmail Pilots

Rugged airma’I pilots (top) pose for a January 1922 portrait. For warmth, they wore two pairs of socks, underwear, and gloves, as well as sweaters, fur-l’ned suits, and scarves. So bundled up, many had to be lifted into their cockpits.


The Douglas M-2 was an early a’rmail plane. It flew from Los Angeles to Salt .ake City from 1926 to 1930. Mannequins represent the pilot and mai1 workers in this Museum display. Occasionally, a passenger would squeeze in to ride with the mail.


Via Airmail

Early advertisements and a shipping label from the Museum collection promote airmail service in the 1920s and 1930s.


Fun Facts: Getting There


Early mail pilots had to find their own way and plot their own routes. They had no navigational tools, but simply looked down to spot landmarks and follow rivers, roads, or railroad tracks.



Подпись: FUN FACT: FLYING PETSПодпись: Цimage109image110

► Ford Tri-Motor

Ihe Ford Tri Motor, made by Henry Ford in 1926, was a popular early airliner. Noisy but reliable, it seated 13 passengers. Its all-metal body and three engines made people feel safer. It was known as the "Tin Goose."

Boeing 21,7В

First built in 1934, the Boeing 247D was used by United Airlines Sleek and comfortable, it cruised at 189 miles an hour. Now in the Museum, this plane was flown in the 1934 London-to-Melbourne MacRobertson Air Race (see map above). It came in third.

◄ Racing Star

Roscoe Turner, the most famous and colorful racing pilot of the 1930s, shows off his pet lion, Gilmore. Gilmore often flew along with Turner. In 1934,Turner piloted the Boeing 247D airliner above in the MacRobertson Race.

Many early pilots flew with unusual pets. One pilot had a 109-pound black Idaho wolf named "Ace." Another had a squirrel that loved to fly. It rode in the pilot’s top coat pocket or dung to his scarf.

Подпись: Air Transport
image111"Подпись: s:image112RLY passenger flights of the 1920s were rough. Planes had no heat or air conditioning. They were not pressurized and usually could not fly over storms. They pitched and bucked in turbulence, and passengers were very airsick.

In 1930, the first stewardesses, all nurses, were hired. Among the first rules they had to learn was: make sure passengers who want to use the restroom don’t walk out the exit door!

Commercial air transportation grew rapidly during the 1930s and early 1940s. 1 he Boeing 247D was the first modern airliner, with comfortable seats and air conditioning. Yet it could only seat 10 passengers. Many airlines asked builders to design a bigger plane.

The result was the Douglas DC-3, which began service in 1936. It could seat up to 32 passengers, hast, comlortable, and dependable, the DC-3 was the tirst passenger aircraft to make a profit without carrying mail. By 1939, ninety percent of airline passengers worldwide were flown in DC-3s.

¥ Flight Attendants

image113"United Airlines stewardesses pose with a Boeing 247D. First serving as nurses, stewardesses later served meals and kept passengers safe and comfortable. These stewardess airline wings and identification badge are from the

image114Worldwide Travel

Подпись: COMFORTABLE RIDE In an American Airlines DC-7 of the 1940s, passengers enjoy chatting and relaxing in the plane's spacious Sky Lounge. image115"The Douglas DC-3 (above) became the world’s most successful airliner, flying cheaper, safer, and faster than competitors. Over 1,000 are still flying. By the 1930s, planes were taking people around the globe, as shown in these Museum advertisements.

In the Pilot’s Seat

A pilot and co-pilot sit at the controls of a DC-3.The cockpit had two sets of instruments and an autopilot. Pilots said the DC-3 handled so easily, it practically flew itself. The plane couid reach speeds up to 230 miles an hour.

He Glass Cockpit

THIS is the space shuttle cockpit, located on the flight deck. It is the main control area of the spacecraft. In this picture, the seats have been removed. Two spaces for seats face the orbiter’s front windows. The mission commander sits on the left and the pilot on the right. Either one can control the craft from his seat. Flying the shuttle requires a vast array ol instruments. Over 2,100 different controls line the cockpit. I he new shuttle cockpit has more computer screens, and so it is called the “glass cockpit.”

The flight deck and rest ol the crew cabin are pressurized so the crew do not need space suits once in orbit. They float around in weightlessness, often called "zero G,” inside the cabin, from the flight deck, the crew can control other parts ol the spacecraft. They can open and close the payload, or cargo, bay doors. They can move the shuttle’s big robot arm to grasp and retrieve objects such as communications satellites in space. The shuttle’s movements can be I controlled manually by the crew and also

by Mission Control in Houston.


In Command

image233Подпись: FUN FACT: MOM INSTRUMENTSПодпись: The space shuttle cockpit has more than three times the number of instruments and controls required by the Apollo command modules that traveled to the Moon.Mission commander Dominic LGone sits at the controls of the shuttle Endeavour during a 1999 mission. The pilot’s seat is on his right. The shuttle can also be controlled by a sophisticated autopilot that can react thousands of times faster than a human.

У Control Center

Inside the cockpit of the shuttle Columh a, instrument switches and other controls cover the walls. The complex system can be operated by a single astronaut. Closed circuit TV monitors give the crew live pictures of activities m the ship and outside.


History Fact: Shuttle Fleet


Today, a fleet of four shuttles operates:

Columbio, Discovery, Atlontis, and Endeavour. The shuttle Challenger was destroyed when it blew apart on launch in 1986. killing the crew.





URING W orld Wrar I. German airships were used Tor l long-range bombing raids over England. Their I ability to fly quickly over great distances led to a I golden age of passenger airships in the 1920s and

1930s. Two huge German ships, the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg, carried passengers ever the Atlantic.

Driven by diesel engines, the airships could cross the ocean in about two days, much (aster than a ship. The airships were like flying luxury hotels. They included private cabins, observation decks, fine dining rooms, and lounges. The trip was so comfortable one passenger described it as “Wing carried in the arms ol angels.”

Подпись:The Hindenburg, over 800 feet long, was the largest airship ever built. Passengers and crew occupied a small part ol the ship. ilost ol it was filled with gas cells that held hydrogen, the llammable gas that gave the ship its lilt. In 193/, the Hindenburg exploded and crashed. I he tragedy’ ended the age of passenger airships.

Подпись: і

Подпись: Ifl


The German airship Graf Zeppelin floats over a Dornier Do-X flying boat. The Graf Zeppelin was the Hindenburg’s sister ship. The two luxury airships carried thousands of passengers over the Atlantic between World Wars I and II.

► Lap of Luxury

On an airship’s promenade deck (top right), passengers relaxed and enjoyed breathtaking views out the window. In the dining room of the Hindenburg (right), stewards served passengers wine and gourmet meals from the galley.

Fun Fact: Not Cheap

During the 1920s, only the rich could afford airship travel. A one-way trip over the Atlantic could cost as much as a new car. A round-trip fare could equal the cost of a moderate house.

▼ Нттинбі rash

On May 6,1937, the Hindenburg was approaching Lakehurst, New lersey. lt suddenly exploded, burst into flames, and fell from the sky. Of the 97 on board, 35 died. No one knows for sure what triggered the explosion.

History Fact: Better Gas

Airships like the Hmderiburg were prone to explosions because hydrogen, the gas that kept the ship up, was flammable. Today, airships use helium, a gas that does not burn.


Shuttle Orbiter


HE shuttle orbiter, the airplane-like part of the

shuttle, is about the size of a DC-9 jetliner. It has three main sections. The forward fuselage holds the crew cabin, with the llight deck. The mid fuselage houses the payload (cargo) bay and robot arm (Remote Manipulator System). The aft fuselage has the vertical tail, three main engines, and orbital maneuvering engines.

The crew of five to seven sleeps, eats, and cooks in the cabin mid deck below the flight deck. Crew members float about, moving between the decks through two hatches. The galley, or kitchen, contains a large variety ol foods. The astronauts take turns preparing three meals a day for the crew.

The payload bay is not pressurized.

To enter it. the astronauts go into an air lock. There, they change into space suits. Then they can work in the bay or outside the ship.

Flight deck and cockpit Commander’s seat Pilot’s sedt two crew seats Payload bay controls Air lock Crew hatch Toilet Mid deck

Подпись: f INSIDE THE ORBITER this cutaway view of the shuttle Discovery with its payload bay doors open reveals the orbiter's interior. About 120 feet long and 57 feet high, the orbiter has a wingspan of 80 feet. Its biggest area is the payload bay.The crew live in the forward fuselage cabin. Подпись:Avionics bay (onboard electronics)

Forward control thrusters Nose wheel for landing Reinforced carbon carbon (RCC) on orbiter nose Thermal tile shield Payload bay doors Payload bay Camera on RMS RMS fRemote Manipulator System)

Communications satellite, held by RMS Main landing wheels Delta wing

Elevon (combines function of aileron and elevator)

Main engine Aft control thrusters Orbital maneuvering engine Rudder and speed brake Vertical tail stabilizer

image236Fun Fact: Big Load

The payload bay can hold over 60,000 pounds, or 30 tons, of cargo, including space station parts, satellites, telescopes, Spacelab, a portable science laboratory, or other equipment.

Flying lioats

IN the 1930s, flying boats became the largest, most comfortable passenger planes in the world. The spacious planes had hulls shaped like boats and floats under their wings. They could land and take off on the sea, as well as lakes and rivers.

In a time when aircraft engines were still unreliable, people thought flying boats were a safer wray to travel over the ocean.

Pan American Airlines called its flying boats clippers, alter the speedy sailing ships. They carried passengers to exotic destinations, such as the Far East and South America, at a time when few airports existed.

Flying boats were luxury cralt designed to compete with ocean liners. The biggest was Pan Am s Boeing 314 Clipper. A 106-foot-long-giant, it carried passengers at 174 miles an hour to Hong Kong or other cites in unequaled comfort. Yet as airports were built all over the world, flying boats were replaced by land aircralt.

Подпись:image119Подпись: FUN FACT: SHIP-SHAPEimage120Подпись:When a flying boat landed on water, it tied up di a mooring buoy or simply dropped its own anchor, like a ship.

Подпись: A 1937 baggage label advertises a Pan Am flight from New York to Bermuda in five hours.image121image122

* Traveling the World

The cover of a 1930s Pan American timetable, in the Museum collection, shows routes spanning much of the globe. These routes opened the world to air travelers.

У China Clipper

The Martin M -130, the"China Clipper," rests at a mooring station off Manila after her first transpacific flight on November 29,1935.The streamlined plane flew from San Francisco to Manila in 59 hours.

image123ERY different from the flimsy biplanes of World War I, the fighter aircraft of World War II were tough, fast, and efficient. Aircraft had now become a primary means of waging war. Two nations, Germany and Japan, set out to dominate the world. In 1939, Nazi Germany began invading European countries. The German air force was called the Luftwaffe, or “air weapon.” Its Messerschmitt Bt 109 was a swift, fearsome fighter. More than 33,000 were produced.

German fighters and bombers terrorized Europe. Allied nations, including the United States, produced thousands of aircraft to light Germany and Japan. Fight eggs escorted bombers deep into enemy territory and battled in dogfights. Pilot skill was paramount. Spurred by war, aircraft advanced rapidly. Sleek new fighters flew at over 400 miles an hour and went 2,000 miles without refueling. By war’s end, the iirst

Combat Pilot

image124"Подпись:Подпись:image125Подпись:Wounded and dazed, pilot Quentin C. Aanenson poses with his P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane, Topsy. Aanenson had just crash-landed on his base after being hit by "flak,"or antiaircraft fire, in a mission over Germany.


* Supermarine Spitfire

Britain’s most famous fighter, the Spitfire was fast and nimble and could outmarieuver the German Bf 109.This Spitfire in the Museum is a high-altitude version of the fighter, and could fly over

40,0 feet.


¥ Curtiss Р-і»о Warhawk

Lieutenant Donald Lopez stands with his P-40 Warhawk in 1943. Mow Deputy Director of the National Air and Space Museum, Lopez became an ace flying with the Fourteenth Air Force. They battled the Japanese in China.


North American P-31 Mustang

A pilot smiles inside his P-51 D Mustang. This U. S. fighter could fly at 440 miles an hour. It was fitted with a drop tank so it could fly extra miles to go deep inside Germany. Swastikas on the plane’s side represent German planes shot down.

► Messerschmitt Bf 109

Germany’s Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the main opponent of the P-51 Mustang and the British Spitfire. With a top speed of 385 miles an hour, it could swiftly climb, dive, and turn in dogfights.



Подпись: N Подпись: c^tiSS

image130? ScRAMBLt!

British fighter pilots run to their Hawker Hurricane fighters to take off during the Battle of Britain. Though not as agile as the Spitfire, the sturdy Hurricane easily shot down large numbers of slower, low-flying German bombers.


L ч


^ 4

‘Never… wao oo much owed by о о many to oo few. All heart,* go out to the fighter piloto, whooe brilliant actio no we, tee with out own eyeo day after day… ”

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

< Observer Corps

British men and women volunteered as aircraft spotters in 1940. this chart shows how to identify various planes. Many Allies fought with the RAF. The poster at right helped recruit pilots for the Royal Australian Air force.


▼ "Achtung, Spitfire!"

German pilots warn each other as a Spitfire zooms in to attack. ! he agile "Spit"could quickly train its 8 machine guns in a deadly hail of bullets and tear apart an enemy


Fun Fact: Super Binoculars


During the Battle of Britain, the British relied on their coastal radar, called the Chain Home system. It could detect German planes 40 miles away. German pilots called this new radac"super binoculars."


300 yards away.








THE United States produced thousands of bombers during World War II. Among the most famous was the Boeing B-17. Called the Flying Fortress, this plane lived up to its name. It could carry over 17,000 pounds of bombs, and was armed with 12 machine guns for defense against enemy fighters. Later U. S. bombers included the Boeing B-24 Liberator and the enormous B-29 Superfortress. Many bombers were destroyed by enemy fighters and antiaircraft guns early in the war. The use of fighter escorts helped bombers complete their missions. Later bombers, such as the B-29, could fly to high altitudes beyond the reach of most enemy fire.

Подпись: BOMBS AWAY! Flying over Burma, B-29 Superfortresses release a shower of bombs.Tneir target was a Japanese supply depot near Rangoon. First flown in 1944,the B-29 was the largest U.S. bomber. It could deliver a whopping 20,000 pounds of bombs.
Подпись: A B-2t,s ATTACK Under heavy antiaircraft fire, B-24 Liberator bombers attack an oil refinery in Romania in 1943. Black smoke rises from the ground where bombs hit the oil tanks.

image134"Bombers attacked in huge fleets of up to a thousand to knock out enemy luel bases, arms supplies, and transportation lines. Never before had aircraft been used to destroy on such a large scale.

Подпись: FUN FACT: HASS PRODUCTIONПодпись:image135"image136

► Flak Bait

The nose section of Flak Bvit, a Martin B-26 Marauder bomber, is now in the National Air and Space Museum. Ihis plane flew 200 missions over Europe, more than any other Allied bomber. Over 1,000 patches cover holes made by antiaircraft tire, or"flak."

Inside Flak Bait

This interior view shows the radio and navigation station of Flak Bait. Visible through the door is the cockpit instrument panel. It was shattered by a German Bf 109 Messerschmitt shell in 1943.The wounded pilot managed to safely land the plane.

► The WASPs

Women pilots train to fly B-17 bombers at a flight school during the war. Known as the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), they transported military aircraft to war zones. They flew everything from fighters to heavy bombers. Over 30 were killed in service.

4 B-17 Waist Gunner

Inside a B-17 Flying Fortress, gunner Robert Taylor fires a 50-caliber machine gun to ward off attacking German fighters. He wears warm clothing and a metal-lined "flak apron" to protect against shell fire.

AFTER Japanese warplanes bombed the U. S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States entered the war. During the next years, much of the war took place at sea. From 1941 to 1945, the L United States and Japan battled in the Pacific.

■ Their most powerful weapons were aircraft

carriers. Floating airfields, the huge ships known as "flattops” were 820 Feet long and carried up to 100 warplanes. Fighters and bombers took off and landed on their flat decks. The carriers allowed great mobility of air attack.

Подпись: A U.S. Navy airship guards a German submarine after it has surfaced and surrendered in the Atlantic in 1945. A Navy ship waits behind. Used for coastal surveillance, airships were an important part of U.S. naval defense.

image138"In 1942, Japan launched an attack on Midway Island with four carriers. Navy dive bombers From three U. S. carriers surprised and attacked die Japanese fleet. They sank all four Japanese carriers. With the ships, Japan lost 250 planes and their most veteran pilots. This was a crippling blow that marked the turning point against Japan in the Pacific.

Подпись: HISTORY FACT: DIVINE WINDПодпись:image139"


The Cherry Blossom, a Japanese Kugisho MXY7 Ohka kamikaze bomber, is today part of the Museum collection. Japanese kamikaze pilots flew these planes, filled with bombs, deliberately into Allied ships. They believed that suicide in such attacks was an honorable death.


U. S. Navy Douglas Dauntless dive bombers bomb the Japanese aircraft carrier Akogl in this painting. The bombers sank this and three other Japanese carriers near Midway Island in 1942. Most of Japan’s most skilled pilots and their planes, plus 3,000 sailors, v/ere lost.

Cleared to Go

A signal officer aboard a U. S. carrier waves the takeoff flag for a Grumman Hellcat fighter. Carrier takeoffs and landings took great pilot skill. A net across the deck helped damaged planes returning from battle to skid safely to a stop.

. Space Telescope

SPACE shuttle missions, which last usually one to two weeks, often launch equipment in space, retrieve it, or repair it. In 1990, the space shuttle DiWove/y launched the huge Hubble Space Telescope (HST) into Earth orbit. Called the “new window on the universe,” it was expected to give much clearer pictures of space than ever before because it would be orbiting outside Earth’s atmosphere.

Unfortunately» the first images from the HST were blurred because of a faulty mirror system. After over a year of training, crew in the space shuttle Епдшш(щг took off to repair the telescope in December 1993.

The astronauts worked on the telescope standing on the shuttle’s big robot arm, the Remote Manipulator System. They replaced corrective optical equipment, added a new camera, and other parts. By Januaryi images from the telescope showed the repairs had worked. Пае pictures were clear and spectacular! These images have helped scientists learn much more about the universe.

Underwater Training

image238"Astronauts prepare for a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in space by training in a huge tank of waterJhe feeling of moving in water is similar to that of floating in the weightlessness of space.



Space Repairmen

In December 1993, two astronauts of the space shuttle tndpovour repair the Hubble Space Telescope. They work at the end of the shuttle’s robot arm. (he astronauts inserted special mirrors to correct the flaw that had blurred the telescope’s images.


* Celestial £ye

This Hubble lelescope image shows a huge glowing "eye" known as nebula NGC 6751. fhe nebula is a luminous cloud of gas ejected from the hot star in its center.




Swirling Galaxies

An image from the repaired Hubble Space Telescope shows the close encounter of two galaxies. The starry pinwheels, galaxy NGC 2207 with a large bright center and galaxy 1C 2163, lie tens of millions of light years away from Earth.


. Space Telescope