America's First Woman Avaitor Dies - History

Harriet Quimby, America's first woman pilot, plunged to 1500 feet to her death when her place went into a dive and hurled her to the ground. The tragedy took place at the Harvard- Boston Air meet in Squantum Massachuesetts.

Flying With America’s Most Famous Female Aviators

Well-mannered women were not supposed to engage in the daring and dangerous pursuit of aviation when a journalist named Harriet Quimby talked her editor into paying for her flying lessons in 1911.

Just eight years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made history for taking the first successful flight, the vocation was considered to be firmly a man’s domain.  But despite those critical of women engaging in aviation, Quimby decided to pursue her pilot’s license.

Quimby was not the first woman who wanted to pilot her own aircraft. Indeed, in 1880, May H. Myers, later dubbed "Carlotta, the Lady Aeronaut," earned a reputation for her ballooning skills and even established a world record when she went four miles high in a balloon filled with natural gas instead of hydrogen. Nevertheless, as Quimby chronicled her story for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, she became an object of media fascination. She proved her critics wrong though when on August 1, 1911, she became the first American woman to earn a pilot’s license (License No. 37).

Woman aviators have come a long way since Quimby’s time. Learn about some of history’s greatest fly girls who helped blaze a trail in the sky for others to follow.

Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls

WASP (from left) Frances Green, Margaret Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leave their B-17, called Pistol Packin' Mama, during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Air Force base in Ohio. They're carrying their parachutes. National Archives hide caption

In 1942, the United States was faced with a severe shortage of pilots, and leaders gambled on an experimental program to help fill the void: Train women to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas.

WASP Interactive

The group of female pilots was called the Women Airforce Service Pilots — WASP for short. In 1944, during the graduation ceremony for the last WASP training class, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Henry "Hap" Arnold, said that when the program started, he wasn't sure "whether a slip of a girl could fight the controls of a B-17 in heavy weather."

"Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men," Arnold said.

A few more than 1,100 young women, all civilian volunteers, flew almost every type of military aircraft — including the B-26 and B-29 bombers — as part of the WASP program. They ferried new planes long distances from factories to military bases and departure points across the country. They tested newly overhauled planes. And they towed targets to give ground and air gunners training shooting — with live ammunition. The WASP expected to become part of the military during their service. Instead, the program was canceled after just two years.

WASP with a plane named "Miss Fifinella," the mascot designed for the women by Walt Disney Studios Courtesy of The Woman’s Collection, Texas Woman's University hide caption

They weren't granted military status until the 1970s. And now, 65 years after their service, they will receive the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. Congress. Last July, President Obama signed a bill awarding the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Women With Moxie

Margaret Phelan Taylor grew up on a farm in Iowa. She was 19, had just completed two years of college and was ready for adventure in 1943 when a Life magazine cover story on the female pilots caught her eye. Her brother was training to be a pilot with the Army. Why not her? She asked her father to lend her money for a pilot's license — $500, a huge amount then.

"I told him I had to do it," Taylor says. "And so he let me have the money. I don't think I ever did pay it back to him either."

But there was a problem. She was half an inch shorter than the 5-foot-2-inch requirement.

"I just stood on my tiptoes," she says. When she arrived at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, where most of the WASP were trained, "Well, there were a lot of other short ones just like me, and we laughed about how we got in."

Short, tall, slim, wide, they all came in knowing how to fly. The military trained male pilots from scratch, but not the female civilian volunteers.

"They didn't want to bring in a bunch of girls who didn't know how to fly an airplane," says Katherine Sharp Landdeck, associate professor of history at Texas Woman's University, who's writing a book about the WASP, tentatively called Against Prevailing Winds: The Women Airforce Service Pilots and American Society. "So you have women who are getting out of high school and taking every dime they had to learn how to fly so they could be a WASP."

A Dangerous Job

Once when Taylor was ferrying an aircraft cross-country, somewhere between Arizona and California, she saw smoke in the cockpit. Taylor was trained to bail out if anything went wrong. "But the parachutes were way too big. They weren't fitted to us," she says. "The force of that air and that speed and everything, why that just rips stuff off you. You'd slip right out."

Margaret Phelan Taylor was a WASP during World War II. Courtesy of the Taylor Family hide caption

So her plane was smoking and Taylor faced a defining moment.

"I thought, 'You know what? I'm not going until I see flame. When I see actual fire, why, then I'll jump.' "

Was she scared? "No. I was never scared. My husband used to say, 'It's pretty hard to scare you.' "

The plane's problem turned out to be a burned-out instrument.

But 38 female pilots did lose their lives serving their country. One was 26-year-old Mabel Rawlinson from Kalamazoo, Mich.

"I've always known of her as the family hero," says Rawlinson's niece, Pam Pohly, who never knew her aunt. "The one we lost too soon, the one that everyone loved and wished were still around."

Rawlinson was stationed at Camp Davis in North Carolina. She was coming back from a night training exercise with her male instructor when the plane crashed. Marion Hanrahan, also a WASP at Camp Davis, wrote an eyewitness account:

It's believed that Rawlinson's hatch malfunctioned, and she couldn't get out. The other pilot was thrown from the plane and suffered serious injuries. Because Rawlinson was a civilian, the military was not required to pay for her funeral or pay for her remains to be sent home. So — and this is a common story — her fellow pilots pitched in.

"They collected enough money to ship her remains home by train," says Pohly. "And a couple of her fellow WASP accompanied her casket."

Even though she was considered a civilian, Mabel Rawlinson's family draped her coffin with a flag, a tradition reserved for members of the armed forces. Though the funeral appears lightly attended, many were lined up behind the photographer, as seen in the reflection of the car. Courtesy of Pam Pohly hide caption

Even though she was considered a civilian, Mabel Rawlinson's family draped her coffin with a flag, a tradition reserved for members of the armed forces. Though the funeral appears lightly attended, many were lined up behind the photographer, as seen in the reflection of the car.

And, because Rawlinson wasn't considered military, the American flag could not be draped over her coffin. Her family did it anyway.

The Program Is Pulled

The head of the WASP program was Jacqueline Cochran, a pioneering aviator. (After the war, she became the first woman to break the sound barrier.) Cochran's goal was to train thousands of women to fly for the Army, not just a few dozen integrated into the men's program. She wanted a separate women's organization and believed militarization would follow if the program was a success. And it was. The women's safety records were comparable and sometimes even better than their male counterparts doing the same jobs.

But in 1944, historian Landdeck says, the program came under threat. "It was a very controversial time for women flying aircraft. There was a debate about whether they were needed any longer," Landdeck says.

By the summer of 1944, the war seemed to be ending. Flight training programs were closing down, which meant that male civilian instructors were losing their jobs. Fearing the draft and being put into the ground Army, they lobbied for the women's jobs.

"It was unacceptable to have women replacing men. They could release men for duty — that was patriotic — but they couldn't replace men," Landdeck says.

And so, Arnold announced the program would disband by December 1944, but those who were still in training could finish. The Lost Last Class, as it was dubbed, graduated, but served only 2 1/2 weeks before being sent home on Dec. 20, along with all the other WASP.

Lillian Yonally served her country for more than a year as a WASP. When she was dismissed from her base in California, there was no ceremony. "Not a darn thing. It was told to us that we would be leaving the base. And we hopped airplanes to get back home." Home for Yonally was across the country in Massachusetts.

Lillian Yonally in a 1943 publicity photo at Camp Irwin in California. Courtesy of Lillian Yonally hide caption

Lillian Yonally in a 1943 publicity photo at Camp Irwin in California.

Courtesy of Lillian Yonally

That was a familiar story, but Landdeck says there were some bases that did throw parties or had full reviews for their departing WASP.

Riling The WASP's Nest

The women went on with their lives.

A few of them got piloting jobs after the war, but not with any of the major airlines. And some of them stayed in the air as airline stewardesses. In those days, no major commercial airline would hire these experienced women as pilots. Like many World War II veterans, most WASP never talked about their experiences.

And according to Taylor, they never expected anything either.

"We were children of the Depression. It was root hog or die. You had to take care of yourself. Nobody owed us anything," she says.

The WASP kept in touch for a while. They even formed a reunion group after the war. But that didn't last long. Then, in the 1960s, they began to find each other again. They had reunions. They started talking about pushing for military status. And then something happened in 1976 that riled the whole WASP's nest.

"The Air Force comes out and says that they are going to admit women to their flying program," Landdeck says. An Air Force statement says "it's the first time that the Air Force has allowed women to fly their aircraft."

Thirty years later, that comment still upsets former WASP Yonally.

"It was impossible for anybody to say that. That wasn't true. We were the first ones," Yonally says.

Margaret Phelan Taylor at her Palo Alto, Calif., home Cindy Carpien/NPR hide caption

Top 10 Pioneering Women of Aviation

After reading the autobiography of Chuck Yeager, I was impressed not only by his exploits, but by those of a lifelong friend and female pilot. Appearing on the list, she was a true pioneer and adventurer in a time when women were not welcome in a male-dominated field. Spanning almost a century, these women should be remembered for their determination, as well as their skill as aviators.

The first woman to walk in space, Svetlana Savitskaya was born August 8, 1948 in Moscow. She began parachuting at an early age, having made 450 jumps and setting a record for a 14km free fall before her 18th birthday. She attended the Moscow Aviation Institute, and went on to be licensed to fly 20 different aircraft. She set a woman&rsquos speed record of 2,683 km/hr in a MiG-21. She joined the Soviet space program, becoming a cosmonaut in 1980. She became the second women in space, aboard Soyuz T-7, and then was twice stationed on the Salyut 7 space station. On the Salyut 7, she participated in the first spacewalk by a woman, lasting just over 3 and a half hours. She retired in 1993 from the Russian space program, having twice been awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

The United States Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and the British Women&rsquos Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) were created to employ women pilots in roles that were traditionally occupied by men. The WASPs trained a total of 1074 pilots to fly planes between factories and air bases, freeing male pilots for combat and other military roles. They also flew cargo planes and towed target planes for target practice. Although civilian, they were trained to fly most of the military planes flown in WWII. Tragically, 38 WASP pilots were killed in training or active duty accidents, but did not receive military funerals. WAAFs, the British Women&rsquos Auxiliary Air Force was composed of over 180,000 women at its peak. Women of the WAAF assumed flying roles in the Air Transport Auxiliary, as well as many non flying roles, including packing parachutes, radar and communications duties, as well as plotting and directing planes in the defensive Battle of Britain.

A British pilot, Amy Johnson earned her pilot license and ground engineer&rsquos license in 1929. She began flying long-distance record-breaking flights shortly after. She was the first woman to fly from London, England to Australia solo, the first (along with Jack Humphries as co-pilot) to fly from London to Moscow, and set speed records for flying to Japan, and Cape Town, South Africa. During WWII, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), flying military planes to and from air bases, factories, and Maintenance Units. On January 5th, 1941, she was flying from RAF Prestwick in Ayrshire to RAF Kidlington in Oxfordshire when she was forced to ditch her plane in the Thames Estuary. She was off course, and out of fuel when she bailed out. There has been some controversy surrounding her death, including a claim that she was the victim of a friendly fire incident, and the theory that she was on a top secret mission when she crashed. The first ATA fatality in the war, her body was never recovered.

Sabiha Gokcen was the first Turkish woman to earn a pilot license and the first woman in the world to fly a plane in a combat role. She learned to fly at Turk Kusu, a Turkish Civilian Aviation School, and then received advanced training in Russia. She flew bombers for the Eskisehir First Aircraft Regiment, flying combat missions in the Dersim Rebellion in 1937. In 1938, she was appointed Senior Instructor of the Turk Kusu School of Aviation, a position she held until 1955. The Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul is dedicated to her.

Harriet Quimby was the first woman to earn a pilot license in the United States, in August 1911. A journalist and screenwriter, she became a minor celebrity and was extremely influential to other women in the early days of aviation. Her flying career, although brief, was highlighted by a crossing of the English Chanel, the first woman to do so. On April 16, 1912, she flew a 50 HP monoplane from Dover, England to Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais. Her achievement was overshadowed by news of the sinking of the HMS Titanic the previous day. On July 1st, 1912, she was killed while flying in an airshow in Massachusetts. Quimby and her passenger fell to their deaths after the plane went into a steep dive, throwing both of them from the plane.

Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman in the world to earn a pilot license. She was awarded license number 36 by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, on March 8th, 1910. Competing in the Coupe Femina, she won the 1913 award with a flight of over 4 hours. She set two world records in 1919 for longest flight by a woman, with a distance of 201 miles, and for reaching an altitude of 15,700 feet. On July 18th, 1919, she was killed while flying in an experimental airplane when it crashed while trying to land.

Helene Dutrieu was a daredevil from an early age. She began racing and performing stunts in bicycles, motorcycles, and cars. Her first attempt at flying was less than successful, as she crashed her plane on take off. She was able to fly solo some time later, and earned her pilot license from the Aero Club of Belgium on November 25, 1910. Only the fourth woman in the world, and first Belgian women to earn her license, she quickly began setting records for altitude and distance. She was the first woman to fly more than an hour, and the first women to fly with a passenger. In 1910, with a flight time of 2 hours 35 minutes, she won the Coupe Femina, a competition that awarded 2000 francs to the woman with the longest flight-time by the end of the year. For her aviation achievements, she was awarded the Légoon d&rsquoHonneur (the French Legion of Honor).

Elizabeth &ldquoBessie&rdquo Coleman, an African American, overcame many challenges on her way to becoming the first African American woman to earn a pilot license. The first African American female pilot, she was unable to gain admission to flight schools in the US, so she learned French, and then traveled to Paris to learn to fly. She earned her license on June 15, 1921, and then returned to the United States where she earned a living performing stunts and demonstrations at air shows. A champion of equality, she fought to break down racial barriers in the segregated south, requiring equal facilities for her air shows. Although she died in a plane crash in 1926, her life was seen as an important first step in breaking the racial and gender barriers in the early days of aviation.

No list of women pioneers of aviation would be complete without Amelia Earhart, one of the the most famous pilots of all time. She was only the 16th woman to earn her pilot license, receiving it on May 15th, 1923. She became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger, becoming a minor celebrity in the process. She then set a record as the first woman to fly across North America and the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic. As her fame grew, she began setting other records for aviation, setting her ultimate goal of circumnavigating the globe. Although she wouldn&rsquot be the first, her plan was to fly the longest route around the world. Her first attempt ended when she crashed on take-off, with some claiming pilot error. Her second attempt ended with one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century. Flying west to east, she began her trip with a flight from Oakland, CA to Miami, FL. On one of the last, and most difficult legs of the trip, the plane disappeared on the approach to Howland Island in the central Pacific. Many theories and controversies surround her disappearance.

Jacqueline Cochran, the inspiration for this list, earned her pilot license in 1932. A natural pilot, she first used her love of flying to promote &ldquoWings,&rdquo her own line of cosmetics. In 1934, she began racing and was the first woman to fly in the Bendix Race, which she won in 1937. A point to point race from Los Angeles, CA to Cleveland, OH, she received $9000 in prize money. Before the US involvement in WWII, she proposed a program to allow women pilots to staff non-combat duties, similar to the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). This proposal lead to her becoming the director of the WASPs. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. A lifelong friend of Chuck Yeager, she was the first woman to break the sound barrier, with Yeager flying in the chase plane. She went on to set more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, holding them until her death in 1980. No other woman, and very few men were as influential to the era of modern aviation.

Emily Howell-Warner learned to fly at Clinton Aviation Company, then became the school's manager and chief pilot. Her male students went on to get hired at commercial airlines, but none would accept female pilots. In 1973, she finally became the first female pilot at a scheduled US airline when Frontier Airlines hired her. She became the first female captain three years later.

On September 11, 2001, Bass' plane was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, along with 37 other flights when the FAA closed US airspace. In the Broadway musical "Come From Away" about the small town of Gander taking in thousands of stranded passengers, Bass is portrayed by actress Jenn Colella. The song "Me and the Sky" chronicles Bass' career as a groundbreaking female pilot.

‘Queen Bess’ Only Performed For Integrated Crowds

Coleman was hailed as “a full-fledged aviatrix, the first of her race” and was honored at a musical in New York, where the entire audience, including the several hundred white people in the orchestra seats, rose to applaud her accomplishment.

But as the age of commercial flying was still a decade away, Coleman’s only way to make a living as a pilot was to perform for audiences as a stunt flier. And to do that, she needed more training. She spent a year in France, Germany, and the Netherlands completing courses in stunt flying before returning to the states as a headliner.

The aviatrix held fantastic shows where she performed daring stunts thousands of feet in the air. Her audiences numbered in the thousands and Coleman made sure that those audiences were racially integrated. Indeed, she reportedly only performed for crowds that were allowed to go through the same entrance.

She garnered a reputation as a brazen and glamorous woman and mingled with African Prince Kojo from the Kingdom of Dahomey, the beautiful singer Josephine Baker (who received her own pilot’s license in 1933), and actor William “Bojangles” Robinson.

Public Domain A poster advertises the exciting arrival of Coleman in Ohio for a daring show.

Her life was even going to be the subject of a Hollywood film, but after Coleman learned that the director wanted to present her early life as one of poverty, she declined. “No Uncle Tom stuff for me!” she reportedly told Billboard magazine.

The fame didn’t come without incident, however. During one performance before 10,000 people in 1923, Coleman nose-dived from 300 feet, crashing into the ground. She came out of the accident relatively unscathed, but her dare-devilish tricks had to be hung up for a time.

Her return to the skies three years later would be her last.


Pioneer type Edit

  • Science: Contributions to aerodynamic theory, aviation principles, discoveries advancing aircraft development, etc.
  • Design: Original or derivative ideas or drawings for conceptual/experimental/practical methods of air travel
  • Construction: Building prototypes/experimental/practical aircraft
  • Manufacture: Building aircraft to fill commercial or government requests
  • Aviator: International firsts, major records, major awards received
  • Support: Significant industrial endorsements, philanthropic, founding of relevant organizations, etc.
  • () : A dagger following the pioneer's name indicates they died in or as a result of an aircraft accident. When available, the aircraft type/model and the place of the accident are included in the text.

Sorting Edit

The table is organized by pioneer name in alphabetical order. Columns for Name, Date of birth/Date of death, Country and Achievement can be sorted in either ascending or descending order. If two pioneers are paired together, sorting by DOB or Country uses the information for the first of the pair. The Achievement column will sort according to the date of the pioneer's earliest significant contribution to aviation.

The list is of outright records, irrespective of race, nationality or gender, and in which at least one of the following criteria is met:

  • Scientific contribution to theory and principles (whether correct or not) that were used as contemporary resources, building blocks, or influenced period thought, significant scientific or theoretical achievements with model aircraft
  • Designing any aircraft (pre-1910), or a distinct/innovative new design
  • Constructing a prototype aircraft (pre-1910)
  • Manufacturing aircraft (including some direct or supervisory control over design) for commercial and/or military contracts (intended to represent founders of the aviation industry)
  • Flying (Aviator) solo in an aircraft and receiving a relevant flying certificate (pre-1910) or any significant national (e.g., a flight representing a country's first) or international achievement, or flight award (initial record holders or demolishing existing records, but not simply breaking established records)
  • Supporting aviation (e.g., positive publicity personal, corporate and/or philanthropic sponsorship, education).
List of aviation pioneers
Name Date of birth
Date of death
Pioneer Type Achievements
Clément Ader 4 Feb 1841
5 Mar 1925
France Science
Propeller First brief uncontrolled powered flight (“hop”) for 50 m (160 ft), 20 cm (8 in) from the ground in steam-powered Éole (9 Oct 1890), [1] [2] designed, constructed and tested Ader Avion II (1893) and Ader Avion III (14 Oct 1897). [3] [4] [nb 1]
Diego Marín Aguilera 1757
Spain Science
Glider Reportedly glided c. 400 m distance at c. 5 m height using his own invention (15 May 1793). [6] [7]
John Alcock †
Arthur Brown
5 Nov 1892
18 Dec 1919
23 Jul 1886
4 Oct 1948
(Great Britain)
(Great Britain)
Aviator Propeller First non-stop transatlantic flight in a modified Vickers Vimy (14/15 June 1919) [8] [9] (†) Vickers Viking, Rouen, France, en route to Paris.
Aldasoro brothers
Juan Pablo
14 Sep 1893
4 Oct 1962
27 Oct 1894
10 Nov 1968
Mexico Science
First Mexican aviators to graduate from the Moissant School Juan Pablo was the first to fly over the Statue of Liberty (12 Mar 1913). [nb 2]
Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari † unk
c. 1005
Kazakhstan Design
(†) attempted flight from the roof of the Nishapur Mosque in Khorosan (c. 1005). [10]
Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin 2 Jan 1882
7 Aug 1948
Canada Design
Propeller Chief Engineer, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09) [11] first powered flight by a Canadian in the Red Wing (12 Mar 1909) [12] [13] co-designer Red Wing (1908), White Wing (1908), and Silver Dart (1909) [14] with J.A.D. McCurdy (and financial support from Alexander Graham Bell) formed the Canadian Aerodrome Company (1909), Canada's first aircraft manufacturing company. [15]
Joaquín Loriga 1895
Spain Aviator Breguet XIX First raid between Spain and Philippines (5 May 1926). [16]
Juan de la Cierva 21 Sep 1895
9 Dec 1936
Spain Aviator and aeronautical engineer Autogyro or gyrocopter Invented the autogyro, the predecessor of the modern helicopter (9 Jan 1923). [17] [18] De la Cierva's flapping hinge overcame the problems of early rotor-winged flight, and is the basis of the modern helicopter rotor.
Alexander Graham Bell 3 Mar 1847
2 Aug 1922
(United States)
Founder and chair, Canadian-American aeronautical research group Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) (30 Sep 1907 – 31 Mar 1909) [11] in 1908 and 1909, the AEA designed, constructed, and flew four powered aircraft: the Red Wing, White Wing, June Bug, and Silver Dart technical innovations include the tricycle landing gear [19] [nb 3] and the wingtip aileron. [12]
Mabel Bell 25 Nov 1857
3 Jan 1923
United States
(United States)
Support n/a Financial sponsorship, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09). [12] [21]
Giuseppe Mario Bellanca 19 Mar 1886
26 Dec 1960
(United States)
Propeller Bellanca Flying School (1912–16) [nb 4] designed first enclosed monoplane cabin (1917) [23] founded Bellanca Aircraft Company (1927). [24]
Oskar Bider † 12 Jul 1891
7 Jul 1919
Switzerland Aviator
Propeller First crossing of the Pyrenees (24 Jan 1913) [nb 5] Swiss airmail flight (9 Mar 1913) [nb 6] crossing of the Alps (13 May 1913) [nb 7] [27] (†) Nieuport 21, Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Bladud 9th Century BC unk Design
According to Historia Regum Britanniae (written c. 1138 by Geoffrey of Monmouth), Bladud, a legendary King of Britain, made wings from feathers and attempted a flight (852 BC). [28] [29] [nb 8]
Louis Blériot 1 Jul 1872
1 Aug 1936
France Design
Propeller First airplane (Blériot VII) with a modern layout : monoplane, conventional tail, fully covered fuselage, front propeller / enclosed engine (1907). [31] [32] First to use a combination of hand/arm-operated joystick and foot-operated rudder control. [33] First heavier-than-air crossing of the English Channel in a Blériot XI (25 Jul 1909). [34] First actual industrial aircraft manufacturer - By the end of September 1909, orders had been received for 103 Blériot type XI. [35] Just two years later 500 Blériots has been sold. [36]
Enea Bossi, Sr. 29 Mar 1888
9 Jan 1963
(United States)
Founder, American Aeronautical Corporation (1928) designer, Budd BB-1 Pioneer (1931), the first stainless-steel airplane [37] co-designer of the Pedaliante ("Pedal Glider") (1936), the first human-powered aircraft [38] [39] [nb 9] subsequent improvements (combined with a catapult-assisted launch) led to a 1 km (0.62 mi) flight 9 m (29.5 ft) from the ground (18 Mar 1937). [41]
Herbert G. Brackley 4 Oct 1894
15 Nov 1948
United States
Aviator Propeller First flight from Newfoundland to New York (1919) [42] organised the Japanese Naval Air Arm (1921-1924) [43] first Air Superintendent of Imperial Airways (1924) [44]
Eduardo Bradley 9 Apr 1887
3 Jun 1951
Argentina Design
Balloon First crossing of the Andes in a (coal gas-filled) balloon (24 Jun 1916) [45] [nb 10] set numerous ballooning records: duration (28 hours 10 minutes) distance 900 km (559 mi). [nb 11] [ citation needed ]
Marcel Brindejonc des Moulinais † 18 Feb 1892
18 Aug 1916
France Aviator Propeller Finished first (but did not win) the Geisler Challenge Trophy (1913) [nb 12] long distance champion [48] (†), Vadelaincourt, France (shot down).
Artur de Sacadura Cabral † 23 May 1881
15 Nov 1924
Portugal Aviator Propeller Director, Naval Aviation Services (1918) first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic with Gago Coutinho using a Fairey III-D [49] (30 Mar – 17 Jun 1922) [nb 13] († disappeared) , English Channel crossing.
George Cayley 27 Dec 1773
15 Dec 1857
England Science
Experimented in aeronautics at age 13 with a Chinese top (1796) [28] first design of a fixed-wing aircraft (1799) [51] used a whirling arm to test aerofoils at varying angles (1804) [51] presented a paper outlining specific design parameters for building a glider (1810) [51] designed, constructed, and had flown (short hop) a tri-plane (1849). Cayley was one of the most significant pioneers in aviation history. [nb 14]
Giuseppe Cei † 25 Jan 1889
28 Mar 1911
Aviator Propeller Flew around the Eiffel tower (19 Mar 1911) [52] [ citation needed ] (†) (Bleriot airplane), near Puteaux, France. [ citation needed ]
Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi 1609
Turkey Design
Glider Reportedly achieved sustained unpowered flight for 3.36 km (2 mi) (c. 1638). [53] [nb 15]
Lagari Hasan Çelebi 17th century Turkey Design
Rocket Reported to have achieved flight (20 seconds to an elevation of roughly 300 meters) using a winged rocket powered by gunpowder (c. 1630s). [53]
Henri Coandă 7 Jun 1886
25 Nov 1972
(Great Britain)
Designed Coandă-1910 with a propeller-less aero-reactive engine, exhibited Paris Air Show (Oct 1910), [55] [56] followed by a claimed but generally discounted first flight (16 Dec 1910) [57] before WWI designed the Bristol-Coanda Monoplanes in Great Britain discovered Coandă effect (1930). [58] [nb 16]
Samuel Franklin Cody † 6 Mar 1867
7 Aug 1913
United States
(United States)
(Great Britain)
Developed and flew human-lifting kites kite instructor for the Royal Engineers (1904) contributed to the development of the British Army Dirigible No 1 Nulli Secundus (1907) [60] first flight of a piloted airplane in Great Britain (16 Oct 1908, 1,390 ft) [61] [62] issued Royal Aero Club certificate No.10 (14 Jun 1910) (†) Cody Floatplane, with passenger William Evans, Aldershot, England.
Alfred Comte 4 Jun 1895
1 Nov 1965
Switzerland Design
Propeller Swiss pilot's license (1908) partner and chief pilot Ad Astra Aero (1920) designed and built aircraft (1923–35) [63] established an aviation school (1946–50). [64]
Gago Coutinho 17 Feb 1869
18 Feb 1959
Portugal Aviator Propeller First aerial crossing of the South Atlantic using a Fairey III-D [65] with Artur de Sacadura Cabral (30 Mar – 17 Jun 1922) [nb 17] developed a sextant-type instrument to create an artificial horizon. [67]
Glenn Curtiss 21 May 1878
23 Jul 1930
United States
(United States)
Director of Experiments, Aerial Experiment Association (1907–09) [11] designed the June Bug (1908) and won the Scientific American Trophy (4 Jul 1908) by making the first official one-kilometer flight in North America [68] co-designer Red Wing (1908), White Wing (1908), and Silver Dart (1909) founded his own company (1909) which became the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company (1916) designed, built, and flew the first successful flying-boat (12 Jan 1912) [69] established Canada's first aviation training school in Toronto (1915) [70] awarded the Langley Gold Medal (1913). [71]
Giacomo D'Angelis 1844 France
Propeller First reported flight in Asia (Madras, India) (10 Mar 1910) [72] in a self-constructed biplane. [73]
Félix du Temple 18 Jul 1823
4 Nov 1890
France Science(?)
Propeller With his brother, built a monoplane which (accelerating down a slope) “staggered briefly into the air” (1874), [2] considered by some to be the powered take-off [74] or hop of a powered fixed-wing aircraft. [75] [76]
Bertram Dickson 21 Dec 1873
28 Sep 1913
United Kingdom Aviator Propellor First British serviceman to fly [1910] gained Aero-Club de France license no. 81 on 12 April. [77]

Dickson took part in the Lanark flying meet in August 1910, where he won the £400 prize for the greatest aggregate distance flown. [78] died 1913 of injuries from 1910 midair collision

First United Kingdom citizen to make a flight in Britain. [137]

First pilot to fly at more than 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) on 2 Feb 1912, won Gordon Bennett Trophy race in 1912 flying a Deperdussin Monocoque. †St Rambert d'Albon near Lyon en route for Rome flying a Caudron C-23. [183]

Women Involved in Aviation

Today, women pilots fly for the airlines, fly in the military and in space, fly air races, command helicopter mercy flights, haul freight, stock high mountain lakes with fish, seed clouds, patrol pipelines, teach students to fly, maintain jet engines, and transport corporate officers.

Women have made a significant contribution to aviation since the Wright Brothers' first 12-second flight in 1903. Blanche Scott was the first women pilo, in 1910, when the plane that she was allowed to taxi mysteriously became airborne. In 1911, Harriet Quimby became the first licensed woman pilot. And in 1912, Harriet became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman pilot. Because of the discrimination in the United States towards women as pilots and Bessie's race, Bessie moved to France and learned to fly at the most famous flight school in France--the École d'Aviation de Frères Caudron. Bessie returned to the United States and pursed a barnstorming career until 1926.

On March 16, 1929, Louise Thaden made her bid for the women's endurance record from Oakland Municipal Airport, CA, in a Travel Air, and succeeded with a flight of 22 hours, 3 minutes. The record was broken a month later by Elinor Smith with 26 hours, 21 minutes over Roosevelt Field, New York.

Other firsts followed: Katherine Cheung, in 1931 in Los Angeles, California was the first woman of Chinese ancestry to earn a license. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh, was the first U.S. woman glider pilot and first woman recipient of the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Award. And, Phoebe Fairgrave Omelie was the first woman transport pilot. Phoebe, considered to be one of America's top women pilots in the 1920s and 1930s, developed a program for training women flight instructors and was appointed as Special Assistant for Air Intelligence of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the forerunner of NASA), and was active in the National Air Marking and Mapping program to paint airport identification symbols on airports or nearby buildings.

Air racing was a way for women to demonstrate their abilities, and of course, the prize money was an incentive. All-women's air races were soon organized, the biggest being the National Women's Air Derby in 1929. The race was from Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH and flown in eight days. The idea of letting women race airplanes was not accepted by many people. During the air race there were threats of sabotage and headlines that read "Race Should Be Stopped." However, the Derby drew twenty women from across the country and gave them the chance to meet face-to-face for the first time.

After the race, these women kept in contact with each other and talked about forming an organization of women pilots. Clara Trenckman, who worked in the Women's Department of the Curtiss Flying Service at Valley Stream, Long Island, convinced two Curtiss executives to invite licensed women to meet in Valley Stream to form such an organization. Responding to the invitation, 26 licensed women pilots met in a hangar at Curtiss Field on November 2, 1929 to formally create The 99s Club. Later, after many rejected names, the organization chose its name "The Ninety-Nines" because 99 of the 117 licensed American women pilots in the United States at that time signed up as charter members.

Willa Brown was the first African-American commercial pilot and first African-American woman officer in the Civil Air Patrol. In her hometown of Chicago, IL, she taught aviation courses in high schools and founded a flight school at Harlem Airport. In 1939, Willa helped form the National Airmen's Association of America whose purpose was to get African-Americans into the U.S. Armed Forces as aviation cadets. Willa also was the coordinator of war-training service for the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA), and more important, was the director of the Coffey School of Aeronautics. The school was selected by the Army and CAA to "conduct the experiments" that resulted in the admission of African-Americans into the Army Air Forces. Later, Coffey became a feeder school for the Army Air Forces' program for African-American aviators at Tuskegee Institute.

By 1930 there were 200 women pilots, by 1935 there were between 700 and 800 licensed women pilots. A major breakthrough in aviation was allowing women to air race against men. In 1936, Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes won the prestigious Bendix Trophy Race. Women have competed against men ever since.

Most women who learned to fly during World War II, got instruction through the CAA's Civil Pilot Training Program. More than 935 women gained their licenses by in 1941 with 43 serving as CAA-qualified instructors. Mills College in Oakland, CA was one of the participating training colleges for women.

As World War II progressed, women were able to break into many aspects of the aviation world. They served as ferry and test pilots, mechanics, flight controllers, instructors, and aircraft production line workers. At the beginning of 1943, 31.3 percent of the aviation work force were women. World War II was very beneficial to the movement of women into aviation fields. The history of aviation during these years is immense.

The Women's Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS), founded by Nancy Harkness Love, and the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD), founded by Jacqueline Cochran, were fused together by President Roosevelt to become the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The new organization was a vital part of the history of women in military aviation. Although these women were civilians and outnumbered by women in the regular military service of World War II, their experiences present a paradigm for the service of WWII military women. Unfortunately, the WASPs were not recognized as military personnel until the Senate passed a resolution in November 1977 and it was signed into law by President Carter.

The years since World War II have brought down many more barriers for women pilots and records continue to be broken. Jackie Cochran went on to be the first woman pilot to break the sound barrier, with Chuck Yeager acting as her chase pilot, on May 20, 1953. In 1954 Marion Hart flew the Atlantic at the age of 62.

Women got their first step closer to space in 1959, when Geraldine Cobb, a talented young pilot, became the first woman to undergo the Mercury astronaut physiological tests. "Jerrie" was 28 years old, had 7,000 hours of flight time, and held three world records. She was a pilot and manager for Aero Design and Engineering Company, which made the Aero Commander aircraft, and was one of the few women executives in aviation. Cobb successfully completed all three stages of the physical and psychological tests that were used to select the original seven Mercury astronauts. Although thirteen women finished this first round of testing, NASA refused to authorize the completion of the tests for fear that such action might be taken as approval of female astronauts.

Not even the Soviet Union's launch of Valentina Tereshkova into space in 1963, nor the 1964 Civil Rights Act broke ground for women in space. It was not until June 17, 1983, that Dr. Sally Kristen Ride, NASA astronaut and a South Central Section 99, made history as the first U.S. woman in space, serving as a specialist for STS-7 on the six-day flight of the orbiter Challenger.

By the 1960s there were 12,400 licensed women pilots in the United States (3.6 percent of all pilots.) This number doubled by the end of the decade to nearly 30,000 women, but was still only 4.3 percent of the total pilots. Today, women comprise about 6 percent of pilots in the United States.

Geraldine Mock became the first woman to fly around the world in 1964 in a single-engine Cessna 180 called the "Spirit of Columbus," which stirred up more interest in women's air races. The "Angel Derby," then the "All Women's International Air Derby, which thanks to Will Rogers, soon was became known as the "Powder Puff Derby." Today it is known as the "All Women's Transcontinental Air Race," or AWTAR. Other races that The Ninety-Nines have originated, developed and flown in are Formula 1, the Kachina Doll Air Race in Arizona, the Indiana Fairladies Air Races, the ever-popular Palms to Pines Air Race, and likely the largest and oldest proficiency race, the Michigan Small Race. Dozens of others, like the New England Air Race, have drawn competitors from many states and from Canada.

And the firsts continued— In 1974 Mary Barr became the first woman pilot with the Forest Service Ensign Mary Crawford became the U.S. Navy's first woman naval Flight Officer in June 1981 Charlotte Larson became the first woman smoke jumper aircraft captain in 1983 and Deanne Schulman was the first qualified woman smoke jumper in 1984, Captain Beverly Burns was the first woman to captain a 747 cross-country and Captain Lynn Rippelmeyer was the first woman to captain a 747 on a transatlantic flight. In 1995, the first woman pilot in the U.S. Space Shuttle program was Lt. Col. Eileen Marie Collins.

People become pilots for the same reasons. First, they love flying, and they love using their talents and being respected for them. And mostly, they love the feeling of belonging to this strong family called aviation.

Early life

Earhart’s father was a railroad lawyer, and her mother came from an affluent family. While still a child, Earhart displayed an adventurous and independent nature for which she would later become known. After the death of her grandparents, the family struggled financially amid her father’s alcoholism. The Earharts moved often, and she completed high school in Chicago in 1916. After her mother received her inheritance, Earhart was able to attend the Ogontz School in Rydal, Pennsylvania. However, during a visit to her sister in Canada, Amelia developed an interest in caring for soldiers wounded in World War I. In 1918 she left junior college to become a nurse’s aide in Toronto.

America's First Woman Avaitor Dies - History

She never reached her fortieth birthday, but in her brief life, Amelia Earhart became a record-breaking female aviator whose international fame improved public acceptance of aviation and paved the way for other women in commercial flight.

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas to Amy Otis Earhart and Edwin Stanton Earhart, followed in 1899 by her sister Muriel. The family moved from Kansas to Iowa to Minnesota to Illinois, where Earhart graduated from high school. During World War I, she left college to work at a Canadian military hospital, where she met aviators and became intrigued with flying.

After the war, Earhart completed a semester at Columbia University, then the University of Southern California. With her first plane ride in 1920, she realized her true passion and began flying lessons with female aviator Neta Snook. On her twenty-fifth birthday, Earhart purchased a Kinner Airster biplane. She flew it, in 1922, when she set the women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet. With faltering family finances, she soon sold the plane. When her parents divorced in 1924, Earhart moved with her mother and sister to Massachusetts and became a settlement worker at Dennison House in Boston, while also flying in air shows.

Earhart’s life changed dramatically in 1928, when publisher George Putnam — seeking to expand on public enthusiasm for Charles Lindbergh’s transcontinental flight a year earlier — tapped Earhart to become the first woman to cross the Atlantic by plane. She succeeded, albeit, as a passenger. But when the flight from Newfoundland landed in Wales on June 17, 1928, Earhart became a media sensation and symbol of what women could achieve. Putnam remained her promoter, publishing her two books: 20 Hrs. 40 Mins. (1928) and The Fun of It (1932). Earhart married Putnam in 1931, though she retained her maiden name and considered the marriage an equal partnership.

Earhart’s popularity brought opportunities from a short-lived fashion business to a stint as aviation editor at Cosmopolitan (then a family magazine). It also brought financing for subsequent record-breaking flights in speed and distance. In 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic — as a pilot. Her awards included the American Distinguished Flying Cross and the Cross of the French Legion of Honor. In 1929, Earhart helped found the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female aviators.

In 1935, Purdue University hired Earhart as aviation advisor and career counselor for women and purchased the Lockheed plane she dubbed her “flying laboratory.” On June 1, 1937, she left Miami with navigator Fred Noonan, seeking to become the first woman to fly around the world. With 7,000 miles remaining, the plane lost radio contact near the Howland Islands. It was never found, despite an extensive search that continued for decades.

Watch the video: Bau der ATOMBOMBE - Wettlauf der USA und der Nazis. Dokumentation. Real Stories Deutschland (January 2022).