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Tag Archives: early flight

Halloween Horrors of the Air: 13 Terrifying Images of Aero Fashion

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From witches to winged demons, humanity has long harbored a horror of airborne denizens. Even when we ventured forth into the heavens without supernatural support, we sometimes adopted some truly terrifying attire. This may only have been a matter of form and function for open cockpits with freezing temperatures and limited oxygen at altitude, but   …Continue Reading

Obscure Objects: Octave Chanute and the Richard Anemometer

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Many people, if not most, have never heard of Octave Chanute or know what an anemometer is, but the man and the instrument both played an important part in Orville and Wilbur Wright’s aeronautical experiments. First, some background on Chanute. Octave Chanute was a Paris-born civil engineer in the United States who played a significant   …Continue Reading

Obscure Objects: Glenn Curtiss Motorcycle

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You may know the name Glenn Curtiss in association with early aviation, but did you know he was a pioneer in motorcycle design too? Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, New York, in 1878, and from a young age exhibited strong mechanical ability. In his teens he was a champion bicycle racer with a keen interest   …Continue Reading

First Flight Around the World: An Adventure for a New Generation

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Several years ago I had the privilege of working on the core team that developed the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight gallery. The exhibition tells fascinating stories featuring some spectacular aviation icons of the 1920s and 1930s, including Amelia Earhart’s bright red Lockheed Vega and the Lindberghs’ Lockheed Sirius Tingmissartoq.  One that I wasn’t familiar with   …Continue Reading

An Extraordinary Journey: The History of Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds

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The possibility of human mechanical flight held particular fascination for Leonardo da Vinci.  He produced more than 35,000 words and 500 sketches dealing with flying machines, the nature of air, and bird flight.  He produced one notebook, or codex, almost entirely on flight in 1505-1506, known as the Codex on the Flight of Birds.  In   …Continue Reading