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The National Aeronautical Collections - Smithsonian Institute

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC has one of the world's finest collections of historic flight artifacts. From the Wright Flyer through the Space Shuttle, the collection is absolutely superb and a mecca for anyone interested in flight.

The archives of the collection are purpoted to hold many smaller artifacts that would be of interest to kite flyers. For example, the collection includes a genuine Eddy War Kite and other kites from the golden age of kiting that are not generally on display

Periodically the museum publishes a kind of catalog overview booklet of significant items, mostly airplanes, in the collection. The publications are differentiated by the date of their publication and the focus of the collection at the time of print.

The 1956 version is of special interest to kiters.

Edited by Dr. Paul. E. Garber, Curator of the Museum at the time, the introductory section covers important ground in the history of kites leading up to early aviation.

This particular catalog covers aeronautical progress from the notions of fantasy of flight through early attempts to puzzle out the principles of aeronautics on to the fairly modern aircraft of the mid-1950's. The table of contents and illustrations provides and outline that shows a delightful homage to kites in the lead up to powered flight.

There are also plenty of acknowledgements of the work of Glenn Curtiss (one of the AEA Boys) as well as, of course, the Wrights. Good coverage is given to early thinkers from daVinci through Cayley on through Henson, Stringfellow, Penaud, Lillienthal, Chanute et al. This edition provides excellent coverage of the lively early aeronautical scene on the continent of Europe and England as well developments in North America.

It is a good little volume for the serious aficionado of early aeronautics and the role of kites in the very earliest notions of controlled flight.



Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 10:53AM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada | CommentsPost a Comment

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