Before flight was even possible, it was the realm of fiction and of mythology. Panels here go into detail on how flight captures the imagination.
Cyrano de Bergerac used flight as a story concept.
As did H.G. Wells. This model is a Cavorite sphere, based on a 1901 Wells tale, The First Men In The Moon. It tells the story of a reclusive scientist who develops Cavorite, a material that can negate gravity, and takes a ship of that material to the Moon.
Jules Verne dreamed of flight. Robur The Conqueror was an 1886 tale featuring an airship flying around the world.
Stepping further back in time, the idea of flight enters into myth and religion across the world, most notably in the Icarus myth.
On the other hand, real experimentation into flight ideas was already underway centuries ago. The panels and artifacts examine early ideas.
One of those is reflected in this model. Francesco de Terzi was a 17th century Jesuit priest and professor who is considered a father of aeronautics. His airship design stayed on the page as opposed to being pursued, but this is a model of his concept.
The great scientist and artist Leonardo da Vinci was also known to have designed at least on paper flying machines.
Balloons and zeppelins as we know them today were the first big step forward in practical flight, and yet even they had their own limitations. The panels examine some of that.