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Exhibits > Early Years Gallery
Early Years Gallery Early Years Gallery

The museum's Early Years Gallery conveys the magic and wonder of the formative days of military air power. The gallery's aircraft collection, exhibits and artifacts combine to capture the spirit of imagination of that transformational era, chronicling the time from the Wright brothers and their contemporaries, through World War I and to the lead up to World War II.

 Watch the Early Years Gallery video (00:03:49)
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Lighter-than-Air Flight
Heavier-than-Air Flight
Meeting the Challenge: The Wright Brothers
Charles E. Taylor: The First Aviation Mechanic
Wright 1901 Wind Tunnel
U.S. Army Ballooning Renewed
Creation of the Aeronautical Division
Cpl. Edward Ward: First Enlisted Airman
Controllable Balloons: Dirigibles
Glenn Hammond Curtiss: Aviation Pioneer
Army Buys New Airplanes
Rodman Wanamaker Endurance Trophy
Flying Schools
First Military Multiple-Fatality Airplane Crash
World War I Begins
Pancho Villa Attacks New Mexico
Wright 1916 Wind Tunnel
Birth of Strategic Bombing
Escadrille Americaine
Escadrille Lafayette
Eugene Jacques Bullard
U.S. Entry into WWI
WWI Production
WWI Training
Air Service Enters Combat
American Air Combat Stories
Baron Manfred von Richthofen
McCook Field Wind Tunnel
"Stumpy" John Silver 
WWI Aircraft Radios
Occupation of Germany
Macready's Presentation Saber
Refueling Wagon
Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker
Lt. Harold E. Goettler
Lt. Erwin R. Bleckley
Lt. Frank Luke Jr.
WWI Sergeant's Field Uniform
WWI Regulation U.S. Army Air Service Pilot's Flying Outfit
Italian Aviation in WWI
Research & Development in the Interwar Years
Blunder Trophies
Air Corps Development, 1919-1935
Flights to High Altitude
Endurance Flights
Quest for Higher Speeds
Interwar Development of Bombsights
Aerial Route Flashing Beacon
Aerial Mapping
Ford Model T Ambulance
Battleship Trials
Brig. Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell
Pan American Good Will Flight
Balloons & Airships
B-10 Alaskan Flight
Advent of the All-Metal Airplane
Research & Development at McCook Field
Early Free-Fall Parachute
Airplane Landing Lights
Air Mail Ramp Light
Test Propellers
Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews
General Headquarters Air Force
Four-Engine Bomber
Strengthening the Air Corps
Hitler's Juggernaut
AAF Established
Flight Training on the Eve of WWII
RAF Accumulator Trolley
RAF Alert Shack
Eagle Squadrons
Maj. Don S. Gentile

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