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Tag Archives: pioneers

Remembering Jerrie Mock (1925-2014)

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Shortly before the red and white Cessna 180 was to be suspended at the Udvar-Hazy Center for public display, I called its pilot to give her the news. Geraldine ‘Jerrie’ Mock was delighted that Charlie, as she affectionately called her plane, would be displayed again. Jerrie flew Charlie in 1964 to become the first woman   …Continue Reading


Antonie Strassmann – German Movie Star, American Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan Pilot

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The National Air and Space Museum Archives hold biographical information on many people related to aviation, but it is still surprising to find articles about one Antonie Strassmann, a famous German actress of the 1920s. The few clippings indicate a fascinating story – a woman pilot who had performed on stage and in silent movies,   …Continue Reading


The Big Jump

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The National Air and Space Museum boasts an extraordinary collection of record setting balloon baskets and gondolas. There is Explorer II, which carried U.S. Army Air Corps Captains Albert W. Stevens and Orvil Anderson to a record altitude of (22,066 meters) 72,395 feet on November 11, 1935. In August 1978, Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo, and   …Continue Reading


Amelia Earhart and the Profession of Air Navigation

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The recent seventy-fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, stirred up considerable media attention – particularly in light of another expedition to the South Pacific in the hopes of solving the mystery. While the fate of Earhart has enthralled the public since 1937, the story of how Earhart figures   …Continue Reading


Wiley Post

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July 22, 2010, marks the 77th anniversary of Wiley Post’s 1933 solo flight around the world in the Lockheed 5C Vega Winnie Mae. This record-breaking flight demonstrated several significant aviation technologies. It used two relatively new aeronautical devices—an autopilot and a radio direction finder. The autopilot corrected for errors in aeronautical bearing, keeping the aircraft on course. The   …Continue Reading