Category Book of Flight

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.

Apollo to the Moon


IN 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared that America would land a man on the Aloon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade. On July 16, 1969, the first craft scheduled for a Aloon landing, Apollo 1 1, lifted off. On the craft were astronauts Neil Armstrong, Alichael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.

The spacecraft had three parts: The command module carried the astronauts to and from the Aloon. The size of a large automobile, it was where the astronauts ate, slept, and worked.

The service module contained fuel and power equipment. The combined command and service module unit was called Columbia. I he lunar module, called the Eagle,, was the vehicle to land two astronauts on the Aloon.

After breaking away from earth’s gravity, Apollo 1 1 set a course for the Aloon. Michael Collins separated Columbia from the Eagle, then maneuvered around to dock with Eagle in position for the Aloon landing. It took three days of traveling to reach the Moon. An amazing event in history was about to happen.


Onboard Computer

This computer, in the Museum’s collection, controlled many systems on tne Apollo 11 spacecraft, including its movements fn space. Sometimes the astronauts switched to manual controls to steer the craft if they saw unexpected obstacles in the way.

► Ready for Launch

In this scene, experts gather at an early launch control center at Cape Canaveral, Florica, for the launch of an early Saturn rocket. Some peer up periscopes to check the rocket. Today, a control center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida monitors launches. After liftoff, Mission Control in Houston, Texas takes over monitoring the spacecraft.

* Log Book

Apollo 11 astronauts took this log book along on their historic mission to the Moon. It gives instructions for tasks they performed in fi ght, indud ng photographing clouds and other objects for scientists on Eanh to study.


^ ..



> –


Fun Fact: Space Meals


Talk about fast food! The Apollo 11 astronauts ate freeze-dried meals that were lightweight and easily stored in sealed packets. A typical meal? Dried chicken and rice, biscuit cubes, and juice. The astronauts squirted water into the bags of dry foods to eat them.




* Orbit Нар

After launch, Apollo 11 orbited around the Earth as the astronauts carefully positioned the craft for the lunar journey. Then, the ship blasted free of Earth orbit, and set course for the Moon. This map plots the path of Apollo 11 as it traveled around the Earth.

► Mission Ратсш

Embroidered mission patches show the names of astronauts on each mission and a picture symbolizing each flight. Missions include, from top: Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 10,and Apollo 11.

One recent design idea for a reusable spacecraft was the X-33, or VentureStar

Based on the "lifting body," it would lift off in an upright position, orbit, then return to Earth and land belly-down on a runway.

Another design was the X-37. It would be launched into orbit from the space shuttle. It would work in orbit, then return to Earth by its own power.

The X–43 was a plane designed to launch spacecraft into orbit. Known as the “Hyper X, th is plane would fly at "hypersonic" speeds, many times the speed of sound. A “scram-jet engine would allow it to use oxygen from the air to burn fuel, instead of using costly rocket fuel. The Hyper-X could launch craft into space at a tenth the cost of the rocket-propelled space shuttle. In coming years, scientists will continue research to develop new experimental concepts.


4 Hyper-X

In this artist’s concept, the X-*3,or Hyper-X research plane, roars up towa’d the fringes of space. Such planes, resigned to fly many times tne speed of sound, may one day oe usee to launch vehicles into space orbit.


The X-33, or VentureStar, flies in Earth orbit in this artist’s concept. It is one of many ideas for reusable vehicles to lower the cost of space travel. It would take off like a rocket, orbit, and land horizontally, like an arpiare.

Fun Fact: Split-Second Timing

The fastest "air-breathing," wingec aircra’t today, the SR-71 Blackbird, travels in soeeds measured in tens of miles-per-minute. Hypersonic p’a^es like the Hyper-X may travel in speeds of miles-per-second!

Подпись: IZI image256image257► Mother Ship

This art shows how the Hyper-X would be launched, riding on a rocket uncer the wing of a B-52. Dropped at 43,000 feet, the rocket would boost the Hyper-X to

100,0 feet, then fall off. The plane would fly on by its own power.

Testing, Testing

Scientist Vince Rausch holds a model Hyper-X mounted on a rocket in a wind tunnel. Wind-tunnel tests show such a plane could fly to Mach 10 to reach space. In an artist’s concept (right), a Pegasus rocket lifts a Hyper-X on its nose.

* X-37


Подпись: l .. .

In this imaginary scene, the X-37 is ready for launch from the payload bay of a space shuttle, Aoout half the length of the shuttle, this craft would orbit up to 21 days, performing experiments. lt would then return to Earth on its own.




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.


One Small Step

ON July 19, 1969, Apollo 11 reached lunar orbit. The next day Alichael Collins piloted Columbia in I orbit around the Aloon as the other two! astronauts crawled into the lunar module Eagle. Neil Armstrong fired Eagle’s descent engine.

Th en he gently landed Eagle s spiderlike legs on the Moon’s surface. In words broadcast to parth, he announced to. Mission Control in I Iouston. Texas: "The Eagle has landed.”

Dressed in a space suit, Armstrong opened Eagle’s hatch and stepped down onto the Aloon. The first human to explore a new world, he described his step as a "giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin soon followed. A TV camera showed the amazing event to viewers on Earth. The two astronauts spent 2 hours on the Aloon s surface. They planted an American flag, collected Moon rocks, took photographs and scientific measurements, and received a telephone call from President Richard Nixon. Finally, they returned to the Eagle. Alter 21 hours and 36 minutes on the Aloon, they lifted off to dock with Columbia for the journey home.

< Greetings From Earth

During their historic visit to the Moon, Apollo 11 astronauts left this aluminum plaque behind. Its message of peace was signed by all three astronauts and by • U. S. President Richard M. Nixon.

► Moon Visitor

The second man on the Moon, astronaut Buzz Aldrin climbs down the ladder of the lunar module Eagle to the lunar surface. He and astronaut Neil Armstrong explored the Moon’s surface and collected lunar rock and soil samples.

Fun Fact: Feeling Light

image197"The Moon’s gravity is one-sixth that of Earth’s. This allowed the astronauts on the Moon to jump high easily. If you jumped lightly on the Moon, it would feel like bouncing on a trampoline.



Apollo ii Crew

Astronauts of Apollo 11 made the first successful landing on the Moon. From left: Neil Armstrong, flight commander, Michael Collins, pilot of the command module Columbia, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., co-pilot of the lunar module Eagle.

У Splashdown

After reentering Earth’s atmosphere, protected from the fiery heat by their spacecraft’s heat shield, the astronauts splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Navy divers arrived by helicopter to rescue them.

image201"FTER Apollo 11, five more Apollo missions landed on the Moon. The last three missions brought along a special car, called the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Known as the Lunar Rover, or "Moon buggy,” this battery-powered car helped the astronauts drive for miles over ihe Moon to collect rock and soil samples and explore its dusty surface.

The Rover had a TV camera so people on Earth could see what the astronauts saw. Viewers discovered an amazing variety of terrain, including lunar plains, canyons, anti craters.

The astronauts worked outside for several hours a day, exploring, doing scientific experiments, and collecting samples.

All together, the Apollo astronauts collected 855 pounds of rock in many dillerent sizes. One discovery was a rock found to be over four billions years old. Called the "genesis rock, ” it was thought to be part of the Moon’s original crust. Such geological clues helped scientists unlock many secrets ol the Moon’s past.

т Lunar Rover

Подпись: ▼ TAKING SAMPLES Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean holds a special metal sample container filled with lunar soil. His visor reflects astronaut Pete Conrad, who took the picture.The samples the Apollo astronauts brought back helped scientists learn about the history of both the Moon and the solar system.

image204The Lunar Rover was made of lightweight metal, mainly aluminum. It hail wire mesh tires to grip the dusty lunar surface. The battery- powered car had a TV camera, umbrella-shaped antenna, and tool rack. lt could travel 7 miles an hour. In it, the astronauts explored many miles from base.

One Small Step

One Small Step

* Rock Hunt

Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke looks for samples at Station 1,an exploration site.

At left, a famous makeshift golf club was swung by Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard just before he left the Moon. The Moon’s gravity, one-sixth that of Earth’s, helped him hit two balls 200 and 400 yards.




OLLO 17 was the last mission to visit the Moon. At the end of the mission in 1972, the astronauts left behind a plaque. It signaled the end of the human Moon explorations. When the astronauts climbed into their lunar module and left lor home, they had completed a great adventure and an important job.

Подпись:image207image208A total ol 12 men landed on the Moon. They gathered a vast store of knowledge. From rock and soil samples, scientists learned about the Moon’s formation, history, and chemistry. They discovered that iMoon minerals are similar to Earth’s but many have heavier iron and titanium content. They found the Moon has a very thin atmosphere of helium, hydrogen, argon, and neon. They also found that the Moon has a magnetic. field.

Considered one of the greatest scientific achievements of human history, Apollo established the United States as the world leader in space technology. It also began an exciting new era of exploring the frontiers of space.

Подпись:Подпись:Подпись:Fun Fact: Long Way From Home

The Moon’s distance from Earth is about

239,0 miles. Apollo 11 took a total of four days to get to the Moon, traveling at speeds of up to 24,182 miles an hour.


Mission to Mars

MARS, the red planet, has tascinated people lor centuries.

Since the 1960s, many have dreamed of exploring: and perhaps colonizing Mars. Earth’s neighbor in the solar system, Mars lies about 40 million miles away. About hall the size of Earth, it has many features similar to Earth’s. These include mountains, canyons, and polar ice caps. Yet Mars’ air is 100 times thinner than Earth’s and the planet is a freezing desert.

In 1976, two ’iking landers touched down on Mars and in 1997, Pathfinder landed. I hese craft sent back images that showed Mars to be rocky and arid. Yet scientists believe. Mars once had water that may have held microscopic life. In 2001, .Mars Odyssey was launched to orbit Mars. It v ill analyze. Mars’ surface and look for water underground. Such probes may pave the way for human explorers. A human mission to Mars would take about two years. The travelers would explore Mars for months, extracting Oxygen from Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere. They might find fossils, actual proof of other life in the universe.

No one knows what lies in the future. Yet, as the story of flight has shown, tomorrow will be exciting as dreams become reality.


Parachute Landing

In this artist’s concept, a Mars landing module glides down from a spacecraft by parachute. After land ng, the astronauts would explore the planet by a rover vehicle and study its potential for supporting human life.

< Tales Told by Rocks

A mission specialist in geology examines a rock she has picked up on Mars. Scientists exploring the planet will look for clues to possible early life in rocks. If any life forms have existed, the best evidence would be found in fossils.

▼ Taking a Look

Iwo explorers stop their vehicle to get out and look at robot lander craft sent to Mars years before. No plans now exist for a human mission to Mars. Yet experts hope such a mission will take place perhaps in the next 20 years.

Fun Fact: Pure Fiction

In 1898, British author H. G Wells wrote the Worofthe Worlds, з novel about creatures from Mars invading Earth. ln 1938,the story was broadcast on radio. lt was so convincing, many believed the invasion was real1

Fun Fact: Sightseeing on Mars

Visitors to Mars will see remarkable things. Mars has a volcano three times taller than Mount Everest and a huge canyon. It is four times deeper and ten times longer than the Grand Canyon.



[1] Bendix Trophy

One of the top racing prizes, the Bendix Trophy was first awarded in was given to the winner of the Bendix Transcontinental Race between Los Angeles and Cleveland.

[2] It’s a Car, It’s a Plane

Called the "Flying Car," a 1947 Convair Model 118 ConAirCar consisted of a two – seater car and an aircraft frame with a 180 horsepower engine. Designed for convenient personal use, it was meant to fly and drive. Unfortunately, it ran out of gas in flight and crashed.

[3] R-7 Rocket

The 100-foot-high Soviet R-7 rocket which launched Sputnik was the biggest rocket in existence at the time. At liftoff, its five powerful rocket engines generated about 900,000 pounds of thrust, 16 times as much as the V-2.

[4] Apollo 11 Launch

Seconds after ignition, Apollo 11 rises as a tower of flames pours from Saturn V’s engines. In 27. minutes, the first stage boosted the craft 35 miles above Earth, traveling 6,000 miles an hour. Then the second stage fired.

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.


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‘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.

Book of Flight


MAGINE a time when people only dreamed ot flying, when the sight of a jet streaking across the sky would have been astounding, and the idea ol launching a rocket into space too fantastic to comprehend. You may be surprised to learn that time was not very long ago. It is possible that someone you know was born before airliners and jets even existed.

The stories you are about to read — and the amazing pictures you will see — capture the wonder and excitement of a history that is still unfolding. At the dawn of the 20th century, the first powered aircraft took to the skies. By the century’s end, the International Space Station was on its way to becoming a reality. In the first years of the new millennium, engineers are developing reusable space vehicles, designing airplanes that wi 11 fly at fi ve times the speed ol sound and exploring a human mission to Maes.

The pioneers of flight paved the way for a future idled with adventure and achievement, a fact demonstrated every day at the Smithsonian s National Air and Space Museum, hilled with history-making aircraft anti spacecraft, the Museum brings to life the work ol the inventors and scientists who created them, portrays the courageous av iators and astronauts who flew them and explains how our world is changing because of the progress in aviation and space exploration. The Smithsonian National Ліг anh Space Museum Book of Flight celebrates the Museum’s famous collection and reveals highlights ot its many exhibitions.

In the following pages, for example, you will be introduced to two brothers — \ ilbur and Orville Wright. As children they made and flew kites. \ hen they got older they designed and built bicycles. Soon they were able to put their mechaniCctl skills to use in achieving their dream: On December 17, 1905, on a windswept beach near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they flew the


first powered airplane into the history books.

Mill ions of people come to see the original Wright Flyer at the National Air and Space Museum every year.

People also come to the Museum to see other early airplanes like the Spirit of St. Louis. In it, a 25-year-old airmail pilot named Charles Lindbergh flew nonstop from New York to Paris in 1927, a 33’L hour flight that six other pilots died trying to achieve. Five years later, Amelia Farhart became the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. Her bright red Lockheed Vega sits in the Museum’s Pioneers of Flight gallery.

Aviation’s powerful influence on world history is shown in exhibits that describe military activities over the decades. In the Book ot Flight, you’ll learn all about famous battles and discover how the first bombers and fighter planes worked. You will meet heroes like America’s World War 1 flying ace, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, as well as other military legends such as Baron Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the "Red Baron.” (Do you know what lamous cartoon character is still waging war on the Red Baron? Look for the answer in one of the book s many Fun Facts.)

The courage of V odd V аг II fliers is shown in the inspiring story of the luskegee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots. This skilled and daring group fought against great odds to defend our country’ on two fronts — against the enemy in Europe and against racial prejudice in this country.

By the middle ot the 20th century, aircraft designers were focusing on speed. Suspended

image27* Touch the Moon

A young visitor at the National Air and Space Museum delights in touching the Moonrock, collected by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972.The Museum is one of only two places on Earth where visitors can touch lunar rock. The other is Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

▼ Hands-on Learning

In the Hail of Air Transportation, interpreter Katherine Tuow helps young visitors compare early passenger aviation with modern travel. She shows them a model DC-3 airliner and lets them try on early and recent pilot uniforms from a "Discovery Cart."


image29from the Museum’s ceiling is the Bell X-l, a bright orange, bullet-shaped plane equipped with a rocket engine. In 1947 an American test pilot named Chuck Yeager accelerated it to 700 miles per hour to break the sound barrier for the first time.

It was not long after this milestone that the race to conquer space was on. In 1962 America’s effort to orbit the earth was successful. Astronaut John Glenn ’s Mercury Friaubbip 7 capsule is now on display in the Milestones of Flight gallery. Other Museum exhibits trace the expansion and progress of space exploration, as well as the science and technology behind the breakthroughs. H undreds of displays and artifacts — rockets, capsules, tools, vehicles, equipment, space suits, even space food — tell this continuing story.

One of the National Air and Space. Museum’s most popular displays features a rock from the Moon. This four-billion-year-old sample was taken from the lunar surface in 1972 by astronauts participating in the Apollo 1/ mission.

Since it opened on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. in 1976, the Air and Space Museum has welcomed more than 212 million people. The world’s most visited museum.


it is the length of three city blocks and has exhibitions on two floors. Amazingly, however, there is room tor only 10 percent of the national collection of aviation and space artifacts.

For this reason, the museum is constructing a new building that will be large enough to display an additional 80 percent of the collection.

Jn December 2003, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s historic flight will be celebrated by opening the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Washington Dulles International Airport. This amazing facility will be ten stories high and three football fields long. It is named for the man who provided a major contribution to help construct it.

lsitors to the Udvar-Hazy Center will be able to walk among artifacts on the floor and also along elevated “skyways” to view hanging aircraft. Many engines, rockets, satellites, helicopters, airliners and experimental flying machines will be displayed for the first time in a museum setting. Over 200 aircraft and 135 spacecraft will be on view, including the prototype space shuttle Enterprise and the SR-71 Blackbird, the world’s fastest airplane.

There will be an observation tower overlooking Dulles air traffic, plus restaurants

and shops. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting movies in a large-screen theater, and ride thrilling simulators.

As the Director of the National Air and Space Museum, I feel I am one of the luckiest men on the planet. I not only have the chance to be in the world’s most fascinating museum every day, I also know what it is like to be in the cockpit, having served for many years as a Marine Corps pilot. In addition, I was privileged to continue my flying and play a role in the space program by working at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Although my career has included many roles, the one I care most about is being a father and grandfather. It is for this reason that I want to preserve and share the magnificent history and technology of aviation and space explorat ion with you and others.

Over the past century, we have come a long way. But lor future generations, the best is yet to come.

General John R. “Jack ” Dailey, USAIC (Ret)


R ational Air ojw Space Museшп

Подпись: The Beginnings of Flight
Подпись:Подпись: The Montgolfie' brothers thought by burning straw and wool, they had created a new gas that sent their balloons into the airJhey called it"Montgc her gas." Actually it was simply hot air. Later in 1783, Jacques Charles created the hydrogen balloon. He filied oalloons with the gas hydrogen. It weighs one-fourteenth as much as air.Подпись:Подпись:image31"

!NCE ancient times, people have dreamed of living: like birds. In Greek myths, heroes made wings to fly. In Persian legends, people zoomed through the sky on magic carpets. Г he ancient Chinese invented kites, and some reportedly carried humans aloft. During the Middle Ages, many people tried to fly. Some strapped on wings of cloth or feathers and jumped off towers or cliffs. Yet nothing worked, and many died.

Then in 1783, two French brothers,

Joseph and Etienne. Montgolfier, invented the hot-air balloon. \ orking in their family’s paper factory’, they noticed that paper put on a fire was lifted up the chimney. 1 hey filled a large cloth-and-paper bag with hot air from a fire. I’he hot air made the balloon lighter than air, and it rose over Pans, carrying two noblemen. This was the first recorded human flight.

In 1804, Englishman George Cayley invented the first heavier-than-air craft, a model glider. Later piloted by German Otto I. ilienthal, gliders we re the ancestors of the modern airplane.

4 Sir George Cayley (1773-1857)

Often caked the "Father of Aeronautics," Sir George Cayley first establ shed the scientific principles of heavier-than-a’r fl:ght. Studying b rds, he understood that wings create a force called’lift." He also understood propulsion and control in fi ght and he predicted powered aircraft in the future. He first built a five-toot – long model glider based on a kite. Later, in 1853, he built a large glider that carr e: his unw lling coachman a short way. Afterward, tne frightened coachman resigned, saying "I was hired to drive, not fly!"

< Up, Up, and Away

On November 21,1783, Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d’ Arlandes took off in a Montgolfier balloon before astonished Parisians.

Jhe brightly colored balloon rose 300 feet and floated for about 5 miles over Paris.



Flight Control

Lilienthal steers his glider by swinging his legs and shifting his weight. This method of control was limited and dangerous.

Gliding Pioneer

Jumping into the wind, Otto Lilienthal sails through the air in a hang glider as spectators watch. Lilienthal tested many of his glider designs by leaping off a custom-made, cone-shaped hill near Berlin. He flew over 2,500 flights, up to 64 feet high and nearly a quarter mile long.

Otto Lilienthal (18^9-1896)

Otto Lilienthal was a German engineer who studied bird flight and was the first person to actively pilot, or control, a glider. Between 1891 and 1896, he built and flew 18 glider designs of lightweight cotton, willow, and bamboo. Unpowered, they glided on winds and updrafts, the same way birds soar. Lilienthal scientifically recorded his research, which greatly helped later inventors. A fearless flier, he finally crashed when he lost control in a gust of wind. He died the next day. His last words were:"Sacrifices must be made."

High-Flying Act

Ballooning and gliding became exciting spectator sports in the 1800s. This 19th-century German poster ^

features a young woman л

balloonist and aerial acrobat НІ

named K. Paulus. Шш

◄ Go Fly a Kite

Some 19th-century thinkers returned to the idea of kites as ways to carry people aloft. Here, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, explains his idea fora large kite made up of many triangular surfaces.

Powered Flight: First Attempts

Подпись:Подпись:image33BALLOONING was popular in the 1800s. And with gliders, people could actually soar on wings like birds. Yet balloons and gliders were hard to con­trol. They drifted with the wind. Inventors now began trying to achieve powered, controlled flight.

In 1852, Frenchman Henri Giffard attached a steam engine to a cigar-shaped, hydrogen-filled bal­loon. He called it a “dirigible," meaning steerable. Yet the airship’s steam engine was heavy and the craft proved slovr and still hard to maneuver. Others tried adding power to heavier-than-air flying machines. Many were bizarre contraptions. A few hovered or hopped briefly off the ground, but never flew.

In 1896, an American scientist, Dr. Samuel Langley, launched an unpiloted steam-powered model aircraft. It flew nearly a mile. Yet when Langley tried launching a large piloted version, it crashed on takeoff — twice. This seemed to prove what most people believed: flowered, pilot-con­trolled flight was simply impossible.

image34"Подпись: ► READY FOR TAKEOFF Men prepare the Aerodrome No. 5 for launch from a houseboat on the Potomac River. A catapult drove the steam- powered model into the air. It flew 3,300 feet before running out of steam. ► Samuel PierpontLangley (1831,-1906)

Professor Samuel P. Langley, the third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., was a respected astronomer. The public was stunned when his unmanned steam-powered model Aerodrome No. 5 flew over the Potomac River in 1896.

In 1903, Langley attempted to launch a full-size "Great Aerodrome" with a pilot aboard. The craft was equipped with a large new gasoline engine, but no real means of control. On two attempts at takeoff, the big Aerodrome s flimsy wings collapsed. The craft sank in the water "like a handful of mortar," a newspaper reported, dumping the unlucky pilot in the river.

Fun Fact: Leviathan


▼ Airborne!

In this painting, the launching crew watch as Aerodrome No. 5 takes flight over the Potomac in May of 1896. This unpiloted model was the first powered craft of considerable weight to fly.



Wings on Wheels

Inspired by the Ferris Wheel, this early French flying machine was designed by the Marquis d’Equevihey. Its multiple wings were intended to increase lift. Instead, the machine proved too heavy to lift off

A, Early Triplane

A different attempt at multiple-wing design was this early French triplane. Although it looked more like an airplane, the craft could not fly either.

◄ Givaudan No. i

A third French invention, the aeroplane Givaudan No. 1 was a fanciful flying machine. Equipped with odd front and rear cyclinder wing sections, it never got off the ground.

< Aerodrome No. 5

This model of Langley’s Aerodrome No. 5 shows the machine’s tandem cloth wings, twin pusher propellers, and steam engine, in center. The No. 5 had a wingspan of about 13 feet, a fourth as big as the full – size Great Aerodrome.

The first powered flying machines used steam engines. Yet these were much too heavy and too weak to be practical for flying large aircraft. In the late 1800s, Otto Daimler invented the first gasoline engine. Eventually, lighter-weight and more efficient gas engines helped make manned powered flight possible.

Powered Flight: First Attempts


Observing buzzards gave Wilbur his wing-warping idea."My observations of…buzzards,"he wrote,"leads me to believe that they regain their lateral bal­ance, when partly overturned by a gust of wind, by a torsion of the tips of the wings."


The First Flight

On December 17,1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville takes off in the Flyer, as Wilbur watches. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. A beach lifeguard took this famous photograph.


► Pilot Control

A model shows how Orville controlled the Flyer, today in the National Air and Space Museum. He moved his hips to control wing-warping cables and moved a lever with his hand to make the Flyer’s nose go up or down.


Fun Fact; Coin Toss


The brothers flipped a coin to see who would test-pilot the Flyer first. Wilbur won, but the Flyer stalled. Orville tried next, and the rest is history.



“Js/i І it astonishing that all these secrets hare been preserved for so many years just so we could discover them!!”


A How Wings Lift

An airplane’s wing produces lift by its curved shape, called an "airfoil "Air passing over the rounded upper surface rushes faster than air moving over the flat bottom surface. Ihis creates a low pressure area over the wing. The high pressure area under the wing pushes the wing upward.



Pedal Power

The Wrights attached model wings to a bicycle wheel, and turned it by pedaling to test the wings’ lift. The bicycle men believed a pilot could learn to control an aircraft much as a cyclist learns to balance and control a bike.

The key methods the Wrights used to achieve powered flight were: 1) wings to lift the plane; 2) an engine to propel the plane forward; and 3) movable surfaces, such as wing edges, for control. These are the same principles used to fly a Boeing 747 today.

M Time It!

Wilbur and Orville used this stop watch to time their historic flights at Kitty Hawk. On December 17,1903, the Flyer made four flights, the longest 852 feet in 59 seconds.

image41The Wrights were the first to realize an airplane propeller is really a small, twisted wing that rotates. They designed propellers of carved wood.

Wright Brothers in France

FOR years after their first flight, the \ right brothers received almost no credit or recognition for their accomplishment. Alany at home and abroad scoffed and refused to believe they had even actually flown. Then in 1908. Wilbur went to France and demonstrated an improved Flyer, the Type A. Before a large, skeptical crowd, Wilbur took off. Soaring triumphantly into the sky, he circled the air field, making tight, steeply banked turns and perfect figure eights. The crowd went wild. Before this, they had only seen flying machines that could barely lurch off the ground anti fly with little control. Wilbur was a hero. He flew over 100 demonstrations, lasting up to two hours, and took many passengers up for rides.

After these European demonstrations, the W rights were widely accepted as masters of flight- The next year, W right planes led the wtiv at the world’s first air meet, the 1909 Grande Semaine d’Aviation in Reims, France.

f French Souvenir

Back in America in 1910, Wilbur adjusts a toy kite at Bayside, New Jersey.

image43He brought the toy from Paris for the son of friend Frank Coffyn.

Подпись: < FAMILY AFFAIR In 1909, rtip Wricjlit family was the toast of Europe. Here, Wilbur takes sister Katharine on her first flight in Pau, France. She and other lady fliers tied down, or hobbled, their full skirts.This started a new fashion fad: the hobbled skirt.

Подпись:Подпись: FUN FACT: LEGAL WARSimage45

Seeing is Believing

During a 1908 demonstration in France, Wilbur Wright flies a passenger over a country field. Two farmers watch in awe.

< Off to the Races

Wright planes were showcased at the world’s first air meet in Reims, France, in 1909. Flying a Wright Type A, Eugene Lefebvre rounds a pylon in a race.

After achieving powered flight, the Wright brothers remained fascinated by kites and gliders. They glided for pleasure until Wilbur’s death in 1912. He died of typhoid at age 45. Orville lived to see amazing advances in aviation. He died in 1948 at age 77.

The Wright brothers sued inventors who copied their idea of wing-warping with ailerons. These moveable devices on wings are still used today. They allow the pilot to bank the plane, lifting one wing while lowering the other, on turns. The courts ruled that ailerons are based on the Wrights’idea.