Flying Machines: A History of Early Aviation Exhibition Cover
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Flying Machines: A History of Early Aviation

Introduction

About this Exhibition

This exhibition explores:

When Orville and Wilbur Wright first flew their airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903, transportation moved at a slow pace. Railroad steam engines, automobiles, and steamboats averaged from 5 to 20 miles per hour. But within a generation of the Wright Brother’s invention, aviation had developed into transatlantic flights and forever changed the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the world. Flying Machines explores the history of heavier-than-flight from the 18th century to the 1910s.

Photo of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight

Langley’s unpiloted Aerodrome 5 catapults from the houseboat on May 6, 1896, over the Potomac River. Manly, Charles. “Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight: Part II, 1897 to 1903.” Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, vol. 27, no. 3, Smithsonian Institution, 1911. View Source.

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only photograph of Samuel Langley’s Aerodrome A in flight
05

The Return of Langley’s Aerodrome

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