Evolution of Flight: A Recommended Resource

From the hot air balloons of yesteryear to the commercial airline carriers of today, mankind has always been fascinated by the concept of flight. Public interest in aviation peaked during the twentieth century, leading to rapid development of its corresponding technology. From this period of fervent focus emerged the celebrated pioneers of aviation:  Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and many others, who forever changed the way humans interact with the world. Their theories, feats, and record-breaking efforts are all captured in Evolution of Flight, 1784-1991.

 

Drawing from the treasure trove of images, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, government documents, and other primary source materials available within the National Air and Space Museum Archives, the National Air and Space Museum Library, the Smithsonian Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, this newest collection in the Smithsonian Collections Online series offers unparalleled insight into the era of aviation and its lasting impact on today’s society with content that spans more than two centuries, 1784-1991.

 

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

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Celebrating Amelia Earhart with the National Geographic Society

By Anne Marie Houppert

Amelia Earhart is in the news again amidst reports that wreckage originally discovered two decades ago does, indeed, belong to her missing plane. Rather than focus on the mystery of her disappearance, we’d like to celebrate this discovery by paying homage to the aviator’s many accomplishments.

For instance, did you know Amelia has a connection to the National Geographic Society? Not only was she awarded the Special Gold Medal by the Society, but she also authored a May 1935 National Geographic magazine article, “My Flight From Hawaii.” The article recounts her preparation for a solo flight from Honolulu to San Francisco, starting with the voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii with her Lockheed secured on the aft tennis court of the ship Lurline—photos included! On January 11th, 1935, the weather conditions were deemed favorable enough and she took off:

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