Fifty years ago today, the NASA Mariner V spacecraft flew by Venus, propelled there by a Bell Agena rocket engine built in Niagara Falls. In fact, this amazing engine propelled the first U.S. spacecraft to Venus, Mars, and the Moon. Come see an actual Agena engine and learn how it works at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
Sixty years ago today the Soviet Union launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, clearly proving
the U.S. was behind in the Space Race. But a few short years later we were clearly ahead thanks to
Bell’s Agena rocket engine, and in less than fifteen years we “put a man on the Moon and returned him safely to the earth” thanks to Bell’s Lunar Module ascent engine. Come see both world-changing rocket engines at the Niagara Aerospace Museum!
Nice article about the first flight of the first US jet fighter, the Bell XP-59A Airacomet. See the story at the excellent This Day in Aviation website.
- The buildings at the Curtiss Aerodrome
- Bailey Avenue is on the left and Eggert Road runs along the bottom of the photo. Sheridan Drive does not yet exist in this photo. An early aerial view of the aerodrome, looking south
- Same photo, inverted to use in comparison with other pictures.
- 1927 aerial view. Note that the neighborhood's streets have been laid out, but no homes have been built. Curtis (sic) Parkway is laid out on the former apron/taxiway
- Modern (2015) aerial view
- USAF Borthday Cake Thank you. Wegman's, for such a delicious and beautiful cake!
- Off we go! Staff and vistirs alike singing teh US Air Force song.
- Vistors learning from those who were there. Nelson Faso sharing stories with vistors.
- Visiting with the next generation A University of Buffalo engineering student and pilot speaking with museum board president, Walter Gordon.
- A full parking lot We love to see a lot of cars in fornt of the museum!
- The cake - after The cake was a big hit!
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the USAF’s 70th Anniversary with us!
On September 7th, 1956, US Air Force Capt Iven Kincheloe set a new altitude record of 126,000 feet in the Bell X-2 rocket powered aircraft. He would later be awarded the Mackay Trophy for 1956 for the most meritorious Air Force flight of the year by the National Aeronautics Association. The X-2, built and tested by Bell aircraft in the Wheatfield plant (only blocks from the Niagara Aerospace Museum), would soon become the first aircraft in the world to reach Mach 3.
Come see the museum’s historical display on the Bell X-1 and X-2 and learn more about these record breaking aircraft!
After receiving flight instruction from Glenn Hammond Curtiss, Miss Blanche Stuart Scott became the first woman in the United States to fly an airplane when she made a solo flight in a Curtiss biplane at Lake Keuka Field, Hammondsport, New York.
See more at This Day in Aviation