Every year, the Smithsonian holds a huge Kite Festival on the National Mall. The weekend prior to the festival, the National Air and Space Museum has a Kite Family Day where kids and their families can make their own kites, learn how to fly them, and watch indoor kite flying demonstrations.
I often search the web to find out what visitors are filming, photographing, blogging and tweeting about the Museum. I found lots of images and videos of the outdoor Kite Festival, but one of our educators found this great YouTube video which captures the fun of the indoor Kite Family Day in 2008.
We are so glad our friends at Wings Over Washington created this!
Did you attend the Kite Family Day or the Smithsonian Kite Festival this year? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
P.S. Keep sharing your thoughts about the National Air and Space Museum using your favorite social media outlet. We just might blog about it!
Vicki Portway is head of Web & New Media at the National Air and Space Museum.
The Korean War is often called the Forgotten War. Recently, one veteran had the opportunity to shed light on a remarkable aspect of one of the most challenging American conflicts of the twentieth century. Colonel Reinhardt Leu, USMC ret. recently visited the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to see the Sikorsky HO5S-1 helicopter now on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar. Leu flew this particular aircraft during combat medevacs in Korea. Also in attendance was Fred Clark, who had restored and donated the aircraft in 2007. He had acquired the aircraft as military surplus for Orlando Helicopter Airways, flew it as a cropduster and sightseeing aircraft in Florida and even experimented with installing an all-electric drive in it.
“Chief” Leu is an extraordinary individual. He flew extensive combat in three wars. He was in the first unit of Corsairs to deploy to the Pacific in WWII. Postwar, he pioneered the use of the helicopter with HMX-1, conducting some of the first tests of helicopter assault. Among his more harrowing experiences, he survived a fiery helicopter crash into the frozen Susquehanna River after flying into an unseen powerline. On March 27, 1952, he picked up the Museum’s aircraft at the Sikorsky factory for delivery to Quantico, where it was only the second of its type to be accepted. In July of the same year, Leu became the Chief of Operations for VMO-6, the Marine Corps’ sole liaison and medical evacuation squadron in the Korean War. He supervised the delivery of the first six HO5S-1s to Korea, including the Museum’s aircraft. A survey of Leu’s logbook shows that he logged 430 hours in VMO-6 helicopters, including twenty hours in the Museum’s example. He personally evacuated four wounded Marines from the front lines in this aircraft. Leu’s remarkable career as a Marine aviator continued after Korea, and he commanded helicopter squadron HMM-162 (flying Sikorsky UH-34Ds – a type also on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center) in one of the first Marine deployments to Vietnam. He retired as commander of the Marine Corps Air Station at New River. Leu greatly enjoyed the opportunity to sit in his old aircraft – a rare privilege extended only to those who can show that they had flown the actual artifact.
Chief" Leu with a HO5S-1 in Korea, ca. 1953, that may or may not be the one on display at the Museum.
"Chief" once again at the controls of one of his favorite aircraft.
Roger Connor is curator of vertical flight in the Aeronautics Division of the National Air and Space Museum
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“People Standing on Wings” is probably one of the more obscure genres of aviation photography found in the Museum’s Archives Division files. Originally, men and women stood on aircraft wings to demonstrate the strength of the wing and struts, as in this 1919 photograph of a Fokker D.VIII fighter, taken at the Fokker factory in Amsterdam (designer Tony Fokker, 1890-1939, stands to the right of the aircraft)…
… And in this shot of the advanced Dayton-Wright RB Racer, built as a contender for the 1920 Gordon Bennett air race. Despite the obvious strength of its cantilver wing, the RB had to withdraw from the race, after suffering a broken rudder cable.
But something glitzier than mere structural integrity was on the mind of the photographer of the Aeromarine 75 flying boat “Buckeye” of Aeromarine Airways, c.1921.