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Arriba! The History of Flight in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean

August 31, 1998 – November 30, 1998

Museum: Air and Space Museum

Location: Air Transportation, Gallery 102, 1st Floor, West Wing

View 35 photographs and 8 models that chronicle the development of aviation in Latin America. The exhibition covers such topics as early aviation pioneers, women aviators, military aviation, and the development of commercial aviation and reveals the little-known stories of the colorful individuals who gave flight to Latin America.

Highlights include:

  • Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian who designed, built and tested more than 20 aerial craft including balloons, airships, biplanes and monoplanes.
  • Jorge Chavez, a Peruvian pilot, who made the first aerial crossing of the Alps between Switzerland and Italy.
  • Aida D'Acosta, a Cuban-American, who became the first woman of Latin American descent to solo an airship in 1903, when she flew Santos-Dumont's Dirigible No. 9.
  • Emma Catalina Encinas, a dance school owner from Mexico, who became the first licensed female pilot in the country. Encinas soloed at Mexico City on Nov. 20, 1932, before a crowd of 4,000.
  • Sonora, the Glenn Martin pusher biplane that was piloted by Capt. Gustavo Salinas. It became the first aircraft to carry out an aerial attack against a warship. The action took place at Guaymas, Mexico, on May 10, 1913.
  • SCADTA Junkers F 13, one of the first commercial airlines in Colombia. SCADTA (now known as AVIANCA) is the oldest continuously operating airline in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Brazil's 1º Grupo de Aviação de Caça (1st Fighter Group), a Brazilian fighter group that served with distinction alongside the U.S. 350th Fighter Group during World War II. The unit flew Republic P-47D Thunderbolts into combat in Italy and earned a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation.

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