Painting of the events of July 30, 1909.

The First Woman to Fly in an Aeroplane in the United States, October 27, 1909

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The periodical Aeronautics in its issue of December 1909 reproduced the official log of all the aeroplane flights undertaken at the United States Army Signal Corps aviation field at College Park, Maryland between October 8 and November … Continue reading The First Woman to Fly in an Aeroplane in the United States, October 27, 1909

Image of Plane in the sky

The United States Army Buys Its First Aeroplane, 1909

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The United States Army wanting an aeroplane, in early 1908, signed a contract with Orville and Wilbur Wright to a acquire one. The contract prescribed certain tests that the aeroplane would have to accomplish before the Army … Continue reading The United States Army Buys Its First Aeroplane, 1909

The Best Prophet of the Future is the Past, Part II: Cockpit Doors

This post was written by Chris Naylor, Director of the Textual Records Division. The devastating Germanwings plane crash on March 24, 2015 has reinvigorated the dialogue surrounding airplane cockpit doors, an issue of paramount concern both in 1970 as well as in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. I recently wrote a blog post about … Continue reading The Best Prophet of the Future is the Past, Part II: Cockpit Doors

Operation Clarion: February 22-23, 1945

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, archivist at the National Archives in College Park. In mid-September 1944 General Henry H. ( “Hap”) Arnold, commander of the U.S. Army Air Force, proposed that every available British and American airplane be used on some clear day to swarm all over the German Reich, attacking military objectives … Continue reading Operation Clarion: February 22-23, 1945

The German Jet Me-262 in 1944: A Failed Opportunity – Part II

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives in College Park.  Part 1 of this series can be found here. During August and September Galland lobbied unsuccessfully against the plane being used as a bomber. During September, 72 were produced as bombers and only 19 as fighters. Galland was, however, able … Continue reading The German Jet Me-262 in 1944: A Failed Opportunity – Part II

The German Jet Me-262 in 1944: A Failed Opportunity – Part I

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives in College Park. As early as 1937, the German Messerschmitt Company developed the jet plane, the Me-262 Schwalbe (Swallow).  It was flown experimentally in 1941 with a piston engine and then successfully in 1942 with jet engines, but was rejected by the … Continue reading The German Jet Me-262 in 1944: A Failed Opportunity – Part I