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.


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Bessie Coleman: America's First Black Female Aviatrix

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?

Eerie Plane Ruins Across the Globe Draw Wreckage Hunters

Wrecked aircraft ruins rest in remote worldwide spots. Who are the legion of aviation archaeologists dedicated to tracking down and preserving them?

Steampunk Blimps: Airships that Will Take You Back to the Future

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.

Golden Age of Flight Timeline

The Golden Age of Flight timeline chronicles some of the major milestones in this era of aviation. This era saw the shift from largely wooden planes to metal-build frames. Check out the Golden Age of Flight timeline.

Flight in the Depression 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.

Post-World War II Flight Timeline

The Post-World War II timeline chronicles some of the major milestones in this era of aviation. This era saw the rise of the commercial jetliner. Check out the Post-World War II timeline.

Conquering Air and Space Timeline

Aviation highlights from the late 1970s and 1980s include the Concorde supersonic jet and the first flight of the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter. Read more about the efforts to conquer air and space.

World War I Flight Timeline

The World War I flight timeline chronicles the major milestones in aviation history during this time. This era saw the aviation industry rise rapidly in popularity. Check out the World War I flight timeline.

Revolution in Flight Timeline

From the first man in space to new speed records, aviators launched into new frontiers in the 1960s. Read about flight highlights in the 1960s.

Top 10 Bungled Attempts at One-person Flight

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.

Jets and Rocket Flight Timeline

The boom after World War II led to revolutions in jet and rocket technology. Read about the developments in aviation during the middle of the century.

Dawn of Flight Timeline

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.

Jets and Rocket Flight

The Korean War had ended, but the world was on the brink of the long Cold War. Read about the rapid development of flight technology of the 1950s and 1960s.

Revolution in Flight

The 1960s brought the height of the Space Race and revolutions in flight technology. Read about advances in flight during the '60s and '70s.

The Heart of the Golden Age of Flight

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.

Chronicle of Flight

The history of aviation can be traced all the way back to the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC. How have aircraft and the aviation industry evolved since then?

The Dawn of Flight

The dream of flying might be as old as man itself as early hunters wished for ways to get a better view of hunting fields. What were the early attempts at flight like?

Boeing 707

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.

Ford Tri-Motor

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.

Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis

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.

Piper J-3 Cub

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.

Beech Staggerwing

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.

Lockheed Vega

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.

Boeing 747

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.

Hawker Hart

The Hawker Hart was one of the great classic aircraft of the Golden Age. The plane was deployed throughout the British empire, serving in India and the Middle East well into World War II. Learn the details about the clean-lined, speedy Hawker Hart.