Soar, Elinor… and Bobbi Trout, too!

November 27, 1929 Elinor Smith and Bobbi Trout took off in a Sunbeam biplane to become the first women to refuel in mid-air. With Elinor flying the plane and Bobbi operating the gas hose, they intended to stay in the air for over 100 hours. Unfortunately, the fuel plane, a rickety Curtiss Pigeon, lost altitude and could not keep up. At the 36 hour mark the Pigeon’s engine failed completely. Elinor kept the Sunbeam aloft for another six and a half hours until its tank was completely dry and set the woman’s refueling endurance record at 42 1/2 hours.

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