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Put your piloting skills to the test in this lively air show that introduces you to the history, majesty, science, and technology of powered flight! Hear the roar of planes overhead as you explore the basic principles of aeronautics and explore life stories and artifacts from the earliest aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers, Bessie Coleman, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Amelia Earhart.

Learn about airflow and how to control it for flight. Stand in front of a giant fan while wearing foam “wings” on your arms and feel the lift force. Try flying a kite like the Wright Brothers did to see how challenging it can to balance the forces. Make a paper whirligig and watch it rise on an updraft. You’ll find the activities in this exhibit uplifting!

Things to Do and See in The Franklin Air Show

  • The Wright Brother's 1903 drawing Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    See Artifacts from the Wright Brothers Collection

    See the drawing of the original 1903 Wright Flyer. It’s just one of many fascinating artifacts in the Wright Aeronautical Engineering Collection.

  • Flight Simulator machine at the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    Take Flight in a Flight Simulator

    Fully interactive and intensely fun, you’ll experience the thrill of flight without leaving the ground in one of our flight simulators.

  • The 1911 Wright Model B Flyer artifact in the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    See the 1911 Wright Model B Flyer

    This amazing piece of history is the most intact Wright airplane remaining in the world!

  • A boy sitting inside the T-33 Jet Trainer in the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    Take Control of a 1948 T-33 Jet Trainer

     Climb inside one of the most successful jet trainers ever built and handle real jet controls.

  • Pilot training interactive in the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    Take the Controls as You Enter Pilot Training

    Learn how rudders control lift and direction so you can take flight.

  • A boy using the foam wings interactive in the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    Feel the Force of Lift as You Attempt to Take Off

    Hold onto your "wings" and feel the force of lift as the wind comes right at you!

  • A visitor flying a kite with the Wright Brothers in the Franklin Airshow exhibit at The Franklin Institute.
    Go Fly a Kite

    Can you balance the forces and keep the glider aloft?

Interactive Map

Floor

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Map of the second floor, showing the locations of major, permanent exhibits, The Giant Heart, and the Benjamin Franklin Memorial..
Map of the second floor, showing the locations of major, permanent exhibits, The Giant Heart, and the Benjamin Franklin Memorial..