Photo Source: Smithsonian Air and Space
Anne Baumgartner was born on August 27th 1918 in Augusta, GA. Her interest in aviation began when she learnt about Amelia Earheart in school. She learned to fly at Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and entered the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) training at Houston, TX in 1943. She was assigned to tow a target squadron at Camp Davis, North Carolina, flying Curtiss A-25s, and later transferred to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, where she became the first and only female test pilot.
Some of the aircraft she flew included: T-7, AT-17, AT-10, C-45, C-47, A-24, A-25, B-25, B-26, B-17, B-29, P-38, P-40, P-47, P-51, YP-59A as well as foreign-made Avro Lancaster, deHavilland Mosquito, Spitfire, Junkers Ju-88 and the Canadian C-64. She became the first women to fly a jet when she test flew the YP-59A in 1944.
When the WASP was disbanded in 1944, she returned to flight instruction and writing for New York Times. She died in 2008 at the age of 90.
Women in Aviation: Anne Baumgartner Carl
World War II Database: Anne Baumgartner
Photo source: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Pioneering aviator, Ruth Law Oliver, was born on May 21, 1887. She was inspired to take up flying by her brother who was parachutist and pioneer movie stuntman Rodman Law. In 1912, Law asked Orville Wright for lessons but he refused, because he thought women weren’t mechanically inclined. She enrolled in the Burgess Flying School and made her first flight on July 5, 1912 and soloed on August 12 of the same year.
She bought her first aircraft from Orville Wright in 1912 in which she became the first woman to fly at night. She set three records in 1916 on a flight from Chicago to New York. She had broken the American cross-country and nonstop record and the world’s record for continuous flight for women pilots. Her total flight time for the 884 miles from Chicago to New York was 8 hours 55 minutes and 35 seconds.
She had the honor of carrying the first official air mail to the Philippine Islands in 1919. After the war, she formed Ruth Law’s Flying Circus, a three-plane troupe that amazed spectators at state and county fairs by racing against cars, flying through fireworks, and setting altitude and distance records. She stopped flying in 1922 to appease her husband. She died on December 1, 1970, in San Francisco.
March is Women History Month and Women of Aviation Month.
Ruth Law—Queen of the Air: Challenging Stereotypes and Inspiring a Nation
Women in Aviation and Space History
This Ace Aviatrix Learned to Fly Even Though Orville Wright Refused to Teach Her
Canadian aviation pioneer Lorna de Blicquy was born in 1931 near the town of Goderich in the province of Ontario. De Blicquy, who developed a strong interest in aviation after a cousin took her for a flight over the Canadian capital of Ottawa, started to take flying lessons when she was only 14. At the […]
via Women in Transportation History: Lorna de Blicquy, Pilot, Flight Instructor, Civil Aviation Inspector — Transportation History
“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations…If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out … You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.”
— Dr Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison is an American Astronaut & Physician. She was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, AL. She obtained her BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford in 1977 and an M.D. from Cornell University in 1981. She served in the Peace Corps for 2 1/2 years and became the first African American selected to the NASA Astronaut Program in 1987.
She also became the first African American Women in Space when she orbited the Earth for 190 hrs, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds, with six other astronauts on STS-47 mission on September 12 1992.
After leaving NASA in 1993, she taught at Dartmouth College, and currently runs BioSentient Corp, a medical technology company. She continues to be a strong advocate for science eduction
March is Women History Month and Women of Aviation Month.
NASA Astronaut Bio
Air and Space
Trailblazing aviator Elinor Smith died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 98. She was born Elinor Regina Patricia Ward in 1911 in New York City. (She became Elinor Smith after her father, whose wide-ranging show business pursuits included singing and comedy, changed his name to Tom Smith.) Elinor Smith grew up in the […]
via Today in Women’s Transportation History – 2010: The Flying Flapper of Freeport Takes Her Last Flight — Transportation History
Photo Courtesy: NASA
Sally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951 in Encino, CA. Older of two daughters, her interest in science grew at an early age. She went on to get a bachelor of science in Physics, a bachelor of arts in English, a master of science and a PhD in physics from Stanford University.
When NASA was looking for woman astronaut candidates in 1977, Sally Ride was one of the six women selected. She became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard Space Shuttle Challenger on June 18th, 1983.
She made two shuttle flights, and later became a champion for science education and a role model for generations. She wrote five science related children’s books and co-founded, Sally Ride Science, to encourage children, especially girls, to study science.
She died of cancer in 2012.
March is Women History Month & Women of Aviation Month.
Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space
Amelia Earhart was all very well, but did she cycle the Tour de France? Amy Johnson was pretty good but did she swim the length of the Seine? Jackie Cochran achieved a lot but was she the champion precision shooter of all France? No. And how many people fly in a supersonic Voodoo jet on their 80th birthday? The remarkable…
via First female combat pilot and mother of the air ambulance: The remarkable story of Marie Marvingt — Hush-Kit
There was a news item earlier this week that Indian Women Pilots have surpassed the global average. I had written a brief article last year about how, even though there is no General Aviation activity, the proportion of women pilots in India was higher than other countries.
This past week, Avani Chaturvedi became the first Indian Women to fly a fighter jet solo, a MIG -21 Bison for 30 minutes. What is remarkable is, she is 24 years old and is one of the three women inducted into the Indian Air Force. The other two women are Bavana Kanth and Mohana Singh.
Indian Women Pilots
First Indian Women to Fly a Fighter Jet
Indian Women Soar past the Global Average
Geraldyn “Jerrie” M. Cobb, a well-established female trailblazer of the skies, was born in Norman, Oklahoma. Her father was a pilot and, with his encouragement, she developed a strong interest in aviation at an early age. By the time she was 12, Cobb was learning how to fly in her father’s 1936 Waco Aircraft Company […]
via Today in Women’s Transportation History – 1931: An Aviation Legend is Born — Transportation History
First Women to Fly
Blanche Scott was the first women to drive across the United States and the first women to fly.
Born in 1889, Blanche Scott’s life spanned from the era of airplane invention, to seeing the first man walk on the moon. In an age when women couldn’t vote and their place was considered to be at home, she became the first woman to drive across the US. There were only 218 miles of roads outside the cities.
Photo courtesy Wikepedia: Blanche Stuart Scott seated at the controls of a Curtiss Model D, circa early 1910s.
Some aviation firsts:
- She became the first women to take a shot solo hop in the air, when an aircraft she was taxing lifted off the ground.
- She was the first and only women to receive flight instruction from Glenn Curtiss.
- She made her first public flight in October 1910.
- She set the women’s long distance record for flight of 10 miles and later 25 miles in 1911
- She became the first women test pilot in America, the first woman stunt pilot or The Tomboy of the Air
- She played the lead role in The Aviator’s Bride, the first movie about flying
- She was also the first women passenger to ride in a passenger jet
March is Women History Month, and Women of Aviation Month.
National Women’s Hall of Fame
Smithsonian – Women in Aviation and Space History