March 17, 1929 At the California-based Oakland Municipal Airport (now Oakland International Airport), 23-year-old Ira Louise McPhetridge Thaden completed a plane flight in which she set a new women’s endurance record for staying airborne. She brought her Travel Air biplane back down onto the airfield 22 hours, three minutes, and 12 seconds after flying from there […]Women in Transportation History: Louise Thaden, Pilot — Transportation History
In her exhilerating book Clipped Wings: The Rise and Fall of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, author Molly Merryman shines light on the critical and dangerous work of the daring female aviators who changed history. New York University Press classics series has just updated the book with Merryman’s reflections on the changes in women’s aviation in the past twenty years. A documentary based on Merryman’s work, Coming Home: Fight For A Legacy, is currently in production. The WASP directly challenged the assumptions of male supremacy in wartime culture. They flew the fastest fighter planes and heaviest bombers; they test-piloted experimental models and worked in the development of weapons systems. Yet the WASP were the only women’s auxiliary within the armed services of World War II that was not militarized. In Clipped Wings, Merryman draws upon finally-declassified military documents, congressional records, and interviews with the women who served as WASP during World War II to trace the history of the over one thousand pilots who served their country as the first women to fly military planes. She examines the social pressures that culminated in their disbandment in 1944—even though a wartime need for their services still existed—and documents their struggles and eventual success, in 1977, to gain military status and receive veterans’ benefits.Celebrating Female Pilots and their Contribution to WW2! Clipped Wings by Molly Merryman @DeborahBrosseau @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books #Veterans — Reads & Reels
Marie Marvingt In March 1915, an injured pilot of the French Aéronautique Militaire was transported to a field hospital behind Verdun, 200km east of Paris. There, one of his nurses learned he had been the only pilot available to fly an important bombing mission. Within days, that nurse would become history’s first female combat pilot. […]Eagle & dove — airscape Magazine
Ola Mildred Rexroat, who achieved fame as the only Native American to serve as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, …National Native American Heritage Month: Ola Mildred Rexroat, Pilot
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.
“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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]