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 […]
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.
Airline transport pilot and certified flight instructor Wang Zheng (also known as Julie Wang) became the first Asian woman to circumnavigate the Earth in an airplane, and the first Chinese woman to fly solo around the world, when she returned to the Texas town of Addison in the Dallas area 33 days after starting her […]
By Robert L. Sumwalt As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we at the NTSB reflect on the thousands of women who have made a profound impact on transportation—at the NTSB and in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The contributions women have made to advance transportation safety, currently and throughout America’s history, are immeasurable […]
I was annoyed from the start by the attitude of doubt by the spectators that I would never really make the flight. This attitude made me more determined than ever to succeed.
— Harriet Quimby, just prior to her flight across the English Channel, 1912.
Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress
I might have been born in a hovel
but I am determined to travel with the wind and the stars.
— Jackie Cochran
Photo courtesy: This Day in Aviation
On June 3rd, 1964, Jackie Cochran breaks her own speed record with the Lockheed Starfighter averaging 1,127.4 miles per hour.
Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress
E. Lillian Todd is the first woman to design and build an airplane in 1906, though it never flew.