The Golden Age of Flight

April 5, 1984 – Closing fall/winter, 2018

National Air and Space Museum
Independence Avenue and 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing, The Golden Age of Flight, Gallery 105 Floor Plan

This gallery covers the years between the World Wars (1919-1939) but focuses on the period shortly after Lindbergh's flight in 1927 through 1939. Described as "golden" because of many advances in aviation technology, record-making flights, and intense interest by the public in aviation events, the era produced many of today's legendary aviation heroes. Aircraft and engines, newsreel coverage of aviation events, photographs, models and reproductions, and newspaper headlines are included. The opening of this exhibition coincided with the 60th anniversary of the takeoff of the Douglas World Cruisers, a major event during the Golden Age.

Highlights include:

  • Wittman Buster: 1947 air racer that won the most races in aviation history
  • Beechcraft Staggerwing: popular general aviation aircraft of the 1930s
  • Northrop Gamma Polar Star: first transantarctic flight, 1935
  • Hughes H-1 racer, set transcontinental and closed-course speed records in the 1930s
  • Curtiss Robin Ole Miss: set endurance record of 27 days over Meridian, Mississippi, in 1935
  • a reproduction of the Gee Bee Z
  • the Golden Age Theater, featuring film footage of famed pilot Jimmy Doolitle