365 Female Flying Feats

Faster, Higher Marta Bohn-Meyer

October 3, 1991 Marta Bohn-Meyer became the only woman to fly the SR 71 Blackbird. Bohn-Meyer, the chief engineer of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, was also a member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team. She was killed in 2005 when, during an aerobatic practice flight,  the front hinge canopy of her aerobatic plane suffered… Read more »

Smaranda Braescu Flits And Floats

October 2, 1931 Smaranda Braescu lept from a plane almost 20,000 above the ground and fluttered for 21 minutes 25 seconds to win the European Parachute championship.  Elinor Smith flew the first multiple person parachute drop- man or woman- and demonstrated her technique to the U. S. Army.

Pack ’em Esther Ammerman

October 1, 1942 Esther Mueller Ammerman soloed. She was Nebraska’s only female licensed parachute rigger and later flew the B-26 Marauder for the WASPs.

Harriet Quimby In Print

September 30, 1911 Harriet Quimby published an article called “Flying Not So Dangerous As It Seems” in Colliers Magazine. Over the next twenty years many popular magazines featured aviation columns written by women pilots. Amelia Earhart wrote for Cosmopolitan. Elinor Smith published articles in St. Nicholas, Liberty and others, and hosted a weekly radio show… Read more »

Women Into The Wide Blue Yonder

September 29, 1976 Twenty women began undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base. They were the first women to be trained to pilot military aircraft since World War II. In 1991 Congress lifted the ban on women flying in military combat. Now women can learn to operate any aircraft in the Air Force arsenal.

Nancy Love- Who cares about legs when you have wings?

September 28, 1942 Life Magazine announced that Nancy Harkness Love, director of the WAFS,  was one of six women in the public eye with “beautiful legs”. Educated at Milton Academy and Vassar, Love learned to fly at age 16. She was awarded the Air Medal for service during WWII and was the first woman to… Read more »

Katherine Stinson Delivers

September 27, 1913 Katherine Stinson, “The Flying Schoolgirl”, became the first woman to make an official airmail flight. In 1915, Stinson became the first woman to perform a loop and went on to execute over 500 of them without incident.

Melie Beese Takes Wing

September 26, 1911 German aviatrix Amelie Beese competed in the Autumn Fly at Johannisthal, near Berlin, setting a woman’s endurance record of 2 hours 9 minutes. In 1929, Elinor Smith competed against Viola Gentry and Bobbi Trout for the women’s record. Elinor prevailed, flying over 26 1/2 hours.

Bernetta Miller Ticketed

September 25, 1912 Bernetta Adams Miller became the fifth American woman to earn a pilot’s license. On October 5, less than two weeks later, she was selected by the Moissant company to demonstrate their Bleriot monoplane to the United States army. When asked why she was chosen she later said “I suppose that this was… Read more »

Dolittle Flies Blind

September 24, 1929 Aviation pioneer Jimmy Doolittle made a completely blind flight- take off, flight, and landing without visual aids. Earlier that year, flying his own plane alongside, Doolittle ushered aviatrix Elinor Smith to the ground for a dangerous nighttime emergency landing. And it’s my birthday!