Aviation can sometimes be downright inhuman.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, November 20, 2008
NASM SI 93-14656
The National Air and Space Museum’s Archives Division has more than 1.75 million photographs in its collections, a surprising number of which show animals, notes museum specialist Allan Janus in the introduction to his 2005 book Animals Aloft. Some of the animals were mascots and pets, a few were “passengers” or cargo, and still others served as test subjects. “Although men and women may have always dreamed of taking to the sky,” writes Janus, “the photographic evidence suggests that we’ve also liked having our favorite companions and helpers nearby.”
Consider, for example, "Monoplane" (above), who took to the skies in July 1912 with his owner, Shakir S. “Dude” Jerwan, a pilot with the Moisant Aviation School in Mineola, Long Island. “Ah, for the good old days when you could light up on the plane and enjoy a smoke with the wind whistling through your fur,” writes Janus.
Click on the gallery at right for more images from the National Air and Space Museum’s collections.