The National Naval Aviation Museum will be closed Thursday, November 23rd and reopen Friday, November 24th.

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Lighter-than-Air (Mezzanine)

The Lighter-than-Air (LTA) exhibit guides visitors through the history of naval LTA flight. The earliest naval use of lighter-than-air occurred during the Civil War, when Union balloons tethered to barges allowed for reconnaissance of Confederate lines. Interest in LTA aircraft did not renew until World War I, when balloons and airships were used as patrol and observation platforms. During the interwar period, giant rigid airships took flight, some even able to carry and launch fighter aircraft, but their use had ended by World War II due to a number of accidents. Non-rigid airships, however, continued to operate in the antisubmarine and airborne early warning missions well into the Cold War, the Navy in recent years renewing its interest in LTA as a surveillance platform.

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