From the Wright Brothers to the Boeing 747, explore the classic planes that helped forge an industry and alter the face of human transportation in the 20th century.
Steampunk enthusiasts imagine an alternate version of history, where the dress code demands petticoats and suit vests and airships are the most romantic forms of all transportation.
Since prehistoric times, people have wanted to take to the skies. Trouble is, humans weren't meant to fly. Of course, that didn't stop some determined souls from trying.
By John Fuller
The Wright Flyers established Orville and Wilbur Wright as aviation leaders. Sadly, the majority, especially in Europe, thought them liars. The insulted brothers stopped flying from 1905-08. Read about the story of the Wrights and their aircraft.
The golden age of flight was a time when innovations in flying helped capture the public's attention. People, such as Charles Lindbergh, helped raise the popularity of flight. Learn more about the golden age of flight.
The Dawn of Flight Timeline detailing the early history of the aviation industry. Follow the development of flight from 400 B.C. to the historic flight at Kitty Hawk. Learn more about the dawn of flight timeline.
The Flight in the Depression timeline chronicles some of the major milestones in this era of aviation. Highlights include the development of military planes for World War II. Check out the Flight in the Depression timeline.
The Bleriot XI monoplane was the culmination of five years of hard work by Louis Bleriot. The success of the Bleriot XI spelled trouble as pilots tried more and more daring maneuvers. Learn how these rash desires led pilots to abuse the Bleriot XI.
The first Curtiss aircraft was the Golden Flyer. The golden tint of the varnish on the fabric covering of the Golden Flyer's wings and tail inspired the name. Read about this classic early plane, and the Curtiss rivalry with the Wright brothers.
Every one of these classic airplanes was the product of loving care of an intelligent design team doing the best work of their era. Learn how aviation evolved and find links to classic airplane profiles, from the early years through today's jet age.
Over the years, 199 Ford Tri-Motors airplanes would be built. They would serve all three branches of the U.S. military, many airlines, many corporations, and 20 foreign countries. Learn about the strong, reliable, versatile Ford Tri-Motors aircraft.
The Ryan NYP monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, is inextricably linked with American aviator Charles Lindbergh. In 1927, the 25-year-old flier made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. Read more specifications for the Spirit of St. Louis.
The timeless Piper J-3 Cub was easy to fly and well suited to a variety of tasks. Because the Cub was economically priced, it helped democratize civil aviation. Learn the story and specifications for this classic, straight-forward aviation workhorse.
The Beech Staggerwing was an amazing leap forward on the date of its first flight, November 4, 1932. Learn how the reverse stagger of its wings, its clean fillets, and its retractable landing gear made this Depression-era gamble into a success.
The Lockheed Vega, which first flew on July 4, 1927, at the crest of the Lindbergh euphoria, was an all-wood, high-cantilever monoplane with a beautiful streamlined monocoque fuselage. Check out this beautiful, record-setting classic airplane.
The gigantic, ubiquitous Boeing 747 transport symbolizes the most important aspects of progress in civil aviation: the democratization and globalization of travel. Read about the challenges and successes that Boeing had with their new 747 airplane.
The Gee Bee Super Sportster R-1 classic airplane was designed by the Granville Brothers, who became some of the most famous names in aviation during the Golden Age of Flight. Learn about the records and ignominy of the speedy Super Sportster R-1.
With the Boeing 707, Boeing created the right plane at the right time, a landmark in aviation history that opened the doors to international travel for the masses. Learn how the Boeing gained a lead in airliners that is only now being challenged.
Wrecked aircraft ruins rest in remote worldwide spots. Who are the legion of aviation archaeologists dedicated to tracking down and preserving them?
You've heard all about the exploits of Amelia Earhart, but do you know the story of Bessie Coleman, the first Black American woman to receive a pilot's license?