The Sikorsky developed X2 high speed co-axial helicopter first flew on August 27, 2008. Before it's retirement in 2011, it had raised the helicopter speed record to 260 knots. The design won the Robert J Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association in 2010 and test data became the basis for the new Sikorsky S-97 Raider, now under development. The aircraft was donated to the Smithsonian in 2016.
Based in the USA during World War II, this Corsair was placed in storage in 1946 at several US Navy bases. Transferred to the Smithsonian in 1960 it remained at their Paul E Garber storage facility and was restored in the markings of F4U-1A "Sun Setter". In 1993 it was loaned to the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, VA until space became available at the Nation Air & Space Museum's new Udvar-Hazy Center in 2003.
This is the sole surviving true JRS-1 amphibian and is the only aircraft in the Smithsonian collection that was stationed at Pearl Harbor on 7th Dec. 1941, being one of ten JRS-1s at the base when the Japanese attacked. All survived and were immediately pressed into service and flew many missions patrolling for Japanese submarines and searching for the enemy fleet. It was acquired by the Smithsonian in 1960 and still bears the blue paint scheme hastily applied after the Pearl Harbor attack.
This Prowler participated in the decommissioning of VMAQ-2 on 8 March, 2019, following which, on the 14th of the same month, it was flown from MCAS Cherry Point to Washington Dulles for display in the Udvar-Hazy Center.
Seaplane variant of the Curtiss Jenny. Note the beautifully crafted central float. Wind tunnel research was employed in the succesful redesign of the aircraft. The N-9 was apparently the first seaplane to perform a looping.
This upper walkway is cleared by the Udvar-Hazy staff 30 min before the rest of the museum closes. I hung on for as long as possible to try and get this shot people free but alas they kicked me off too soon. Still, it was really something to finally see the wonderful 'Dash 80' in person.
Horten craftsmen built this glider in 1944 at Göttingen. It probably first flew as a two-seat Horten IIIg but was modified into a single-seat glider, with special test apparatus installed to measure angle-of-attack, yaw and speed, leading to the change of designation to IIIh. The British found this glider at Rottweil, approximately 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Stuttgart in 1945 'in perfect condition'. Precisely what happened between then and it becoming part of the NASM collection is unknown.
Of the 1,261 Crusaders built, 73 were modified to RF-8G reconnaissance models. This F-8 was delivered as an F8U-1P and spent it's first seven years with the Marines flying 400 combat hours in SE Asia. It was the last operational USN F-8 and the total of 7,475.2 flight hours is the most of any USN F-8. Now on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
The USAF retired it's two Presidential transport UH-13J's in 1967 and transferred them to museums the following year. The Smithsonian received this example, which was the first to carry President Eisenhower, and is now on display at the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center. The other UH-131J was donated to the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, OH.
The two-seat Model 47B was the first commercial evolution of Bell's pioneering Model 30 and this example, the 36th built, is on display at the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center. This rather unassuming helicopter has actually a rather impressive pedigree: it set the World's hovering record of fifty hours, fifty seconds and its last flight occurred in Dec. 2004, more than 57 years after its first flight to make it the longest-flying helicopter in history.