What makes an airplane fly? How does a spacecraft stay in orbit? Why does a balloon float in the air?

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Forces of Flight on this Page

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Ask an Explainer


What is an Explainer?


An Explainer is a trained high school or college student who will answer your questions about how things fly. Explainers also host the webisode videos you’ll find thoughout this website. And, if you visit the How Things Fly gallery in Washington, D.C., you will find Explainers assisting visitors to interpret exhibits and presenting hands-on demonstrations on the science of flight. The National Air and Space Museum Explainers Program is generously funded by GE Aviation.

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Distance Challenge

33,253,669 miles flown

How far can your plane fly in 30 days? Start a flight and see!

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