Airborne Awesomosity

Air & Space Archives: Two If By Sea

In our continuing look at the Air & Space Museum’s Fly Now! poster collection, I present to you some more fine flying boat and floatplane posters from the early days of air travel. Once, the seaplane was seen as the natural way for air travel to work. People were already used to traveling to seaports, and little infrastructure had to be built to support them. The planes just needed a nice calm stretch of water. Once the modern airliners like the DC-2 came into existence, and opened up air travel across the country, the passenger seaplane began its slow decline. No longer did people have to take a long train ride to get to the seaport/airport, the land based airport could be right in their hometown. These posters date from the good old days, so let’s take a look!

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Airborne Awesomosity

Air & Space Archives: Imperial Flying Boats

In order to break up the Fly Now! poster collection of the Smithsonian Air & Space museum into manageable sections, I tried to find some general categories which I could group the images into. One such category is a type of plane that has always tickled my fancy–the flying boat. Starting today, and over the next few Sundays, we’ll be focusing on these gentle giants. The first group up highlights Imperial Airways, an early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939. This airline serviced not only much of Europe, but also the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East.

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Airborne Awesomosity

Air & Space Archives: For Rent

Deep in the depths of the Smithsonian Air & Space Fly Now! poster collection lie these advertising gems for the American Space Commerce Corporation. This company was acting as an agent selling launch space on a variety of Soviet launch vehicles, as well as room for whatever experiments you could dream up on the Mir station, in the late 1980s. While not a huge part of the poster collection, they are an interesting part of space history, especially in light of the current status of NASA’s mission capability.  A harbinger of things to come perhaps?

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