Synopsis: Americans have always had a fascination with flight. In 1896, man's first man-made aircraft left the ground...if just for a few seconds. Over the years followed such headliner successes such as the Wright Brothers (1903), Charles Lindergh (1927), Amelia Earhart (1928), Chuck Yeager (1947), and Neil Armstrong/Buzz Aldrin (1969).
By the early 1940's and World War II, it was clear that air power would play a decisive role in winning the struggle. War demands pushed aircraft technology and design ahead at a dizzying pace, quickly going further and faster than ever though possible and providing a treasure trove of legacy aircraft.
A new dream of flight began emerging in the early '60s, beyond birds and clouds, to visit a world beyond our own. The U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a race to the moon, generating huge advances in science, medicine, and technology.
The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (established in 1946), also know as America's Hanger, houses over 300,000 square feet of aircraft and is the world's most visited museum. It has preserved and displays many of the worlds's most renowned historic aircraft.
From the first airplane, commercial aircraft and spacecraft to take an American into orbit, Smithsonian Channel takes you on a personal tour of the collections of the National Air and Space Museum, chronicling the first century of flight.