"Tomboys" of the air? More like badass women of aviation.
September 7, 2020 12:08 PM   Subscribe

The first solo airplane flight by a woman took place 110 years ago this month. Was it Blanche Stuart Scott?

Blanche Stuart Scott was the first (or maybe the second ) woman to drive an automobile solo across the USA, in 1910. The feat drew the attention of the Curtiss exhibition team, who invited her to learn to fly. She flew solo in 1910 and spent six years as a barnstormer, performing inverted flight and "Death Dives" from 4,000 feet. Later she worked as a script writer, film producer and radio broadcaster.

Or was it Bessica Raiche? Dr. Raiche flew in an airplane of her own making, ran a home-based aircraft manufacturing company with her husband, and later embarked on a career as a medical doctor, having earned her MD in 1903.

Both owe a debt to Baroness Raymonde de la Roche of France, who earlier that year had received the first pilot's license awarded to a woman. Described as a talented engineer, she died in a plane crash in 1919.

Read about more about “a host of other women, whose exploits are now largely forgotten, [and who] were just as brash and, in some cases, a lot more foolhardy.” They include the first African-American woman pilot Bessie Coleman, who flew from 1921 to hear death in an airplane accident in 1926; the well-known Amelia Earhart, who also began flying in 1921 and disappeared in 1937; and Florence Klingensmith, who set a record of 1,078 consecutive inside loops.

I started this post about Blanche Stuart Scott, but quickly found so many other “forgotten” pioneers of aviation that this merely scratches the surface, and is sadly rather US-centric. Who is your favorite "forgotten" aviation pioneer?

Previously: Women of Aviation Week 2015
posted by evilmomlady (2 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Irene Koki Mutungi was the first African woman certified to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner:

Piloting the BOEING 787 DREAMLINER out of Nairobi

I enjoy watching cockpit videos that have a bit of explanation of what's going on included in them, and Shaima Rashed, who flies for ETIHAD out of the United Arab Emirates has some good ones:

Shaima Pilots the ETIHAD A380 out of Abu Dhabi

Super Smooth Landing ETIHAD A380 in Abu Dhabi
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:10 PM on September 7

I know nothing about aviation, so I did some research. Three female aviation pioneers from the Netherlands: Beatrice de Rijk, Ida Veldhuyzen van Zanten and Liane Latour.
Short article in Dutch (with pictures!)
And then there's Hélène Dutrieu from Belgium. Stuntwoman and all around badass. First woman in the world to fly with a passenger (as far as we know).
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:26 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]

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