The OX-5 era

Posted on January 10th, 2011 by

Dennis Parks is Curator Emeritus of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. After the end of World War I, surplus warplanes were dumped on the market at a fraction of their original cost, leaving manufacturers with little demand for new aircraft. Without... Continue Reading →

On the threshold of powered flight

Posted on December 8th, 2010 by

Dennis Parks is Curator Emeritus of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. During the closing years of the 19th century, there were important events that brought the development of aircraft to the edge of powered flight. It was a period of great... Continue Reading →

A new age of business travel

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by

Dennis Parks is Curator Emeritus of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The period after the end of World War II saw a rapid growth in the use of corporate-owned aircraft for executive transportation. That need was fed mainly by conversions of... Continue Reading →

A novel approach

Posted on October 13th, 2010 by

Dennis Parks is Curator Emeritus of Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Starting in 1908 and 1909, aviation began to have an impact on the public conscience and imagination, evidenced by its appearance in popular culture of the day, including music, books... Continue Reading →

An aerial adventure

Posted on September 15th, 2010 by

A decade after the Army’s pioneering flight to Alaska, two adventurous young men embarked on a month-long, 12,000-mile journey to Alaska in a de Havilland Gipsy Moth named “Flit,” a small two-seat biplane with open cockpits and a 90-hp, four-cylinder... Continue Reading →

Commercial aviation tries its wings

Posted on June 28th, 2010 by

The development of commercial air operations in the United States after the armistice that ended the First World War was a period of optimism founded on widespread public curiosity, thousands of newly trained pilots, and easy availability of surplus aircraft.... Continue Reading →

Flying on tandem wings

Posted on May 5th, 2010 by

Among early design considerations were the layout, location and configuration of wings. Several early concepts included that of the tandem wing, including Langley’s first successful powered aircraft in 1896 (pictured, below). A tandem wing aircraft implies use of two full-sized... Continue Reading →

The Flying Fortress: Celebrating 75 years

Posted on March 22nd, 2010 by

This summer marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most famous aircraft of World War II: The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Continue Reading →

The parasol era

Posted on March 2nd, 2010 by

In a period in American aviation history when the biplane configuration was dominate, there was a slight aberration when the parasol became popular. From the start of the Depression until the mid-1930s, there was a strong spurt of interest that... Continue Reading →

The Douglas incubator

Posted on February 4th, 2010 by

In the aftermath of the First World War, the stream of government money dried up and the manufacturing of aircraft declined drastically. In this period, when the market for new aircraft was almost nonexistent, it hardly seemed time for a... Continue Reading →