Last of Their Kind
Airplanes without equal at the National Air and Space Museum.
- By Patricia Trenner
- Air & Space magazine, August 2012
Arado Ar 234 B-2 Blitz
The world’s first operational jet bomber was not quite ready for full-scale bombing missions before the Allies invaded Normandy in 1944, but the Ar 234s later used in Luftwaffe units proved their worth as reconnaissance aircraft. Equipped with twin Walter rocket-assisted-takeoff units. Manufactured in 1944. Captured by British forces in Norway in May 1945; sent to Wright Field in Ohio for flight testing in 1946. First flight: March 1944. Transferred from the U.S. Air Force to the National Air Museum in 1949; sole survivor.
Abrams Explorer (not shown)
The Abrams Aircraft Corporation Explorer, with a glass-enclosed forward fuselage enabling superb views for both pilot and photographer, was designed for mapping and surveying. First flight: November 1937. Gift of Talbert Abrams, 1949. One built; in storage.