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Air and Space Museum

  • Originally published 04/02/2013

    Air & Space releases Wright bros. contract

    Were the Wright brothers first in flight? Read the fine print. A little-known 1948 contract between the estate of Orville Wright and the Smithsonian has the museum legally bound to call the Wright brothers first in flight: "The Smithsonian shall [not state] any aircraft ... earlier than the Wright aeroplane of 1903 ... was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight," it states.One aviation historian claims that contract is wrong, however, forcing the museum to ignore the truth. And for the first time, the museum has released the contract publicly to FoxNews.com, to let the world make its own decisions....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Smithsonian skeptical over CT first flight claims

    The ongoing battle between historians over who was really first in flight was rekindled last week.New research advances the theory that a German immigrant in Connecticut is responsible for the first powered and controlled flight, rather than the Wright brothers in North Carolina.But historians at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are saying not so fast....But Peter Jakab [associate director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum] and his colleagues at the Smithsonian firmly believe that the Wright brothers were the first to fly. There are clear and crisp photos to prove it. And he discounts the numerous newspaper stories about the [Connecticut] flight....