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May 2014 magazine cover

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The Legacy of Flight

Images from the archives of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.



Aided by a booster rocket from a Matador cruise missile, a Republic EF-84G Thunderjet lives up to its name, leaping off its launcher during a “zero-length launch.” Photographer Rudy Arnold captured the moment—vehicles and streaks of clouds neatly arrayed around the aircraft—at Edwards Air Force Base in 1955.

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