The Montgolfier Brothers and the Rise of Balloonomania

On September 19, 1783, a duck, a sheep, and a rooster all made history as the first passengers to ever travel through the air in a balloon. While their names didn’t go down in the history books, the names of the balloon’s inventors certainly did. The Montgolfier Brothers Beginning in [...]

Plane of the Week: F-16 Fighter Falcon

The Lightweight Fighter Mafia contributed to the F-16 Fighter Falcon design used today. As founding members of the Fighter Mafia, John Boyd and Tom Christie did more than attract controversy by advocating for a new US air combat doctrine. The informal group wanted military reform in one way—do more with [...]

Marilyn Monroe Was Discovered Working at a Radioplane Factory

When we think of Marilyn Monroe, we think of a seductive superstar of the 1950-60s. We think of Joe DiMaggio. We think of John F. Kennedy. We think of… airplanes? Born Norma Jeane Mortenson, this forever famous actress and model’s career came to be from her time working in an [...]

From Off the Ground to Out of this World: The Beginnings of NASA

Long before Neil Armstrong made one giant leap for mankind (or, you know, didn’t, if that’s your belief), NASA’s work was a lot closer to home. In fact, it had nothing to do with aerospace at all. At least, not technically. The NASA we know and love today grew out [...]

Plane of the Week: de Havilland Vampire

Not all vampires suck, you know. Not all vampires can fly, either. In both American and European folklore, only some can. But Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Little Vampire, and The Lost Boys all could fly. So could this de Havilland Vampire. And fly it did. Britain’s Second Jet-Powered Aircraft Post-WWII [...]