Random Musings: A Blog Curated by beYOUteous — women in aviation RSS

Mary Riddle: Native American Pilot and Parachutist

Mary Riddle, also known as Kus-da-cha or Kingfisher, took up flying in 1929. She made her first solo flight on May 10, 1930 then went on to parachute out of planes and executed over 40 parachuting jumps. Some were of the misconception that women didn’t posses the physical or intellectual capability to pilot airplanes. There were few places where women could obtain flight training.

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Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes: America’s First Female Stunt Pilot

Pancho Barnes was born Florence Leontine Lowe on July 22, 1901. She went on to become Hollywood’s first female stunt pilot. In 1930, Florence Barnes broke Amelia Earhart's air speed record of 181.8 mph. She earned the title of World’s Fastest Woman. Pancho founded the Women’s Air Reserve to ensure female pilots had a place in military aviation. She was a pioneer and a trail blazer for women in aviation.

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Ruth Rowland Nichols: Pioneer in American Aviation

From the late 1920s through mid-1930s, Ruth Rowland Nichols was one of the best-known American women in aviation. Nicknamed the "Flying Debutante" by the press,  Nichols held more than 35 women's aviation records. She flew the dirigible, glider, autogyro, landplane, seaplane, amphibian, monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes, twin and four engine transports and supersonic jets. She became first woman in the world to earn an international hydroplane license.

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Olive Ann Beech: The First Lady of Aviation

Olive Ann Beech was born on September 25, 1903 in Waverly, Kansas to Franklin Benjamin Mellor and Susannah Miller Mellor. She was the youngest of four girls and would become the co-founder, president, and chairwoman of Beech Aircraft Corporation. Her career spanned 50 years prior to her retirement in September 1982, she was the first woman to head a major aircraft company.

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