The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world, with over 9 million visitors a year.
I've split this photo tour into two parts, one "Air" and one "Space". The "Space" exhibits were diaried here: http://www.dailykos.com/... . So here is a photo tour of the "Air" exhibits.
The atrium exhibit, "Milestones of Flight".
The Wright Flyer, 1903.
The "Gnome" rotary airplane engine. The first really practical power plant for airplanes.
The Bleriot XI, the first plane to fly across the English Channel.
Exhibit depicting the world's first commercial airline flights, in St Petersburg, Florida in 1914.
I did a diary on this here: http://www.dailykos.com/...
French Voisin Type 8 WW1 bomber.
Cutaway view of an FE-8, an early British fighter, showing the interal structure.
German Albatross DVa fighter, from the First World War. Although Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron", is most closely identified with the Fokker Dr1 Triplane, he actually won most of his victories in Albatross fighters.
Spad 13 fighter. The US in WW1 had no combat airplanes of its own, and used French fighters like the Nieuport 28 and the Spad 13.
De Haviland DH4 bomber used for WW1 photo reconnaissance.
Pfalz D12 German fighter. This one was used by Hollywood after the war to film air combat movies.
British Sopwith Snipe. The replacement for the highly successful Sopwith Camel, the Snipe was introduced just a few weeks before WW1 ended.
German Fokker D7 fighter. The best fighter plane produced during World War One, but it came too late to win back air superiority for the Germans.
Ford Tri-Motor, 1925. One of the earliest commercial passenger planes.
The "Spirit of St Louis", used by Charles Lindbergh to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1927.
Pitcairn PA-5 Mailwing. In 1927, the US Government contracted with several companies to carry airmail, as a way of subsidizing the development of commercial aircraft.
Northrop Alpha. In 1931, the Alpha was used to fly one of the first transcontinental air passenger routes from New York to San Francisco, by the Transcontinental and Western Airline (TWA)
The "Winnie Mae", a Lockheed 5C Vega used by Wiley Post to fly around the world in 1931 and then fly around the world solo in 1933.
Northrop 2B Gamma "Polar Star", used for exploration in Antarctica in 1935.
Douglas DC-3. One of the most successful commercial airliners in history. During World War Two, it was also used as a troop transport under the name C-47.
Boeing 247-D. One of Boeing's early passenger airliners.
A Lockheed Vega 5B flown by Amelia Earhart. While flying a similar plane in an attempt to fly around the world, Earhart disappeared in 1937.
Boeing F4B fighter. US Navy carrier fighter during the 1930's.
Grumman F4F Wildcat, US Navy's carrier fighter at the outbreak of World War II.
SBD Dauntless US Navy WW2 dive bomber.
British Spitfire Mk VII.
Italian Macchi C202 Folgore, the best Italian fighter of WW2.
American P-51D Mustang fighter.
Japanese A6M5 Zero fighter.
German Messerschmitt BF-109G fighter.
The Me-262 from Germany, the first operational jet fighter.
P-80 Shooting Star, America's first operational jet fighter.
Bell X-1, used by Chuck Yeager to break the sound barrier and reach Mach 1, 1947.
Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, the first plane to reach a speed of Mach 2.
An F-104 Starfighter in NASA configuration. The first operational fighter to reach Mach 2, NASA used it as a chase plane and research vehicle.
X-15 rocket plane, which reached the edge of space.
U-2 photo reconnaissance spy plane.
Douglas A4C Skyhawk, a carrier-based attack plane from the Vietnam War.
"Gossamer Albatross", the first human-powered airplane. Flew across the English Channel in 1979.
The Rutan Voyager, the first airplane to fly around the world nonstop, 1986.