Birth of Naval Aviation (South Wing)
U.S. Naval Aviation was born 8 May 1911, with a purchase request made by Captain Washington Chambers for the Navy's first aircraft. In the years leading up to World War I, pioneer aviators pushed the development of hydroaeroplanes and flying boats, turning them into effective tools for warfare and working to integrate Naval Aviation into the Navy's mission to protect and control the seas. On display are images chronicling those developments, along with the elevator of an old Curtiss flying boat, a propeller from Naval Aviation's first fatal accident, and fabric from the Wright Flyer which made heavier-than-air flight a reality.