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Smithsonian Directory of Airplanes Now Available Online

The National Air and Space Museum Archives and the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System now offer online an expanded version of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes, Their Designers and Manufacturers.

Available for free at and edited by former museum archivist Dana Bell, the guide serves as a single authoritative listing of aircraft names organized by designer and manufacturer.

Museum efforts to process and describe its aircraft reference files led to creation of the directory, which is a valuable resource for any institution or private collector involved with cataloging aviation material. Previously there was no existing single reference of its kind to serve the needs of the museum's archives.

The directory covers human-carrying, heavier-than-air vehicles that are supported primarily by dynamic lift. Included are airplanes, gliders, hang gliders, helicopters, autogiros and ornithopters. The directory does not include lighter-than-air craft (such as balloons and dirigibles), missiles, rockets, spacecraft and any aircraft designed to fly as a remotely piloted vehicle or unmanned aerial vehicle.

Features of the online expanded directory include:

• more than 34,000 individual aircraft and more than 6,600 aircraft manufacturers

• the ability to search by model or manufacturer using full or partial names

• additional background notes frequently provided with search results

• cross-references to assist in finding entries more easily

The Library of Congress has recognized the directory as a useful tool for aviation archives and libraries.

The museum's Archives Division supports the museum's mission by acquiring and preserving for public and curatorial use documentary materials of flight. These materials, which span the history of flight from ancient times to the present, include a wide range of visual and textual materials, many emphasizing the technical aspects of aircraft and spacecraft and their propulsion systems.

Smithsonian Institution Research Information Systems provides access for Smithsonian staff and public alike to the information resources held by the Institution's libraries, archives, art inventories and research units.

The National Air and Space Museum, composed of the flagship building on the National Mall in Washington and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., is home to the world's finest collection of artifacts of flight. From aircraft and space vehicles to engines, art and models, the wide array of the museum's holdings tells the story of the history and technology of air and space exploration.

The museum is also a key institution for research into the history, science and technology of aviation and space flight.

Peter Golkin

Office of Communications

National Air and Space Museum, MRC 321

Smithsonian Institution

P.O. Box 37012

Washington D.C. 20013-7012

phone (202) 633-2374; fax (202) 633-8174