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Today marks 114 years since British aviation pioneer Amy Johnson was born. One of the most famous objects housed in the Flight Gallery at the Science Museum is the de Havilland Gipsy moth Aeroplane ‘Jason I’ flown by pilot Amy Johnson.

Becky Honeycombe from our Learning Support Team writes about one of her favourite objects in the Museum. Have you ever dreamed of being able to fly like a bird?  Well if you have, you’re certainly not alone. The ability to fly has been a human obsession for thousands of years. One of the earliest references to bird-like flight is found in the Ancient Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus who attached feathers to their arms to escape captivity. However, the […]

From November 1782, James Watt and his friends were excited by the Montgolfier brothers’ experiments with hot air balloons. Watt wrote to Dr Joseph Black in 1783 that “The Whole World is Full of these Flying Balls at present”. In August 1783 the Frenchman J A C Charles and two brothers called Robert substituted hydrogen, or“inflammable air”, for hot air. Alarmed locals pitchforked their balloon where it landed. In December Charles and one Robert brother set off on their first manned flight, using hydrogen made by […]

The Farnborough Air Show is a biennial jamboree that’s actually more market place than show. It’s where you come to buy aircraft or satellites or spare parts or just about anything you might need if your business is about flying high.  But this year I abandoned the trade halls to watch the Avro Vulcan XH558 bomber take off – its Olympus engines howling like no other jet, and then land, having thrilled the crowds with a beautiful, graceful and yes – […]

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how we got the aircraft into our Flight gallery, in response to a Twitter question. I said I’d been to our photo archive to see if we had any pictures of the 1960s aircraft installation, and I turned up lots of great images. Well, the scans have just arrived, so for those interested in how to get a Supermarine S6B world-speed-record-breaking aeroplane into a third-floor gallery in central London in 1961, here goes… […]

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