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Some Notable Women In Aviation History

1906 E. Lillian Todd (USA)
First Woman to Design and Build an Aircraft

1908 Therese Peltier (France)
First Woman to Pilot an Aircraft

1910 Blanche Stuart Scott (USA)
First Woman to Solo an Airplane

1910 Raymonde de Laroche (France)
First Woman in the World to Receive Pilot License

1911 Melli Beese (Germany)
First Woman in Germany to Receive a Pilot License

1911 Harriet Quimby (USA)
First U.S. Woman to Earn a Pilot Certificate and to Cross the English Channel

1915 Katherine Stinson (USA)
First Female Aerobatic Pilot

1918 Marjorie Stinson (USA)
First Woman Airmail Pilot

1921 Bessie Coleman (USA)
First African-American (male or female) to Receive a Pilot License

1922 Tadashi Hyodo (Japan)
First Woman in Japan to Receive a Pilot License

1927 Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie (USA)
First Woman to Obtain an Aircraft Mechanics License

1929 Louise Thaden (USA)
First Winner of All Women's Air Race

1929 Florence "Pancho" Barnes (USA)
First Woman Stunt Pilot in Motion Pictures

1929 Bobbi Trout (USA)
First Woman to Perform In-flight Aerial Refueling

1930 Amy Johnson (UK)
First Woman to Fly from England to Australia

1931 Anne Morrow Lindbergh (USA)
First U.S. Woman Glider Pilot

1932 Ruthy Tu (China)
First Woman Pilot in the Chinese Army

1932 Amelia Earhart (USA)
First Woman to Cross the Atlantic Solo

1934 Helen Richey (USA)
First Woman to be Hired as a Pilot for a U.S. Commercial Airline (Central Airlines)

1942 Mary Van Scyoc (USA)
First Woman Air Traffic Controller

1942 Nancy Harkness Love (USA)
Commanded the Women Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS)

1942 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP, USA)
First U.S. Women Pilots to Fly Military Aircraft

1943 Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES, USA)
First U.S. Women Navigators for the Military

1943 Janet Waterford Bragg (USA)
First African American woman to earn a commercial pilot's license

1947 Ellen Shaw Carter (USA)
First Woman to Receive a Helicopter Rating

1953 Jacqueline Cochran (USA)
First Woman to Break the Sound Barrier (in a F-86 Sabre)

1963 Valentina Tereshkova (U.S.S.R.)
First Woman in Space

1964 Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock (USA)
First Woman to Successfully Fly around the World

1968 Elinor Williams (USA)
First African-American Air Traffic Controller

1973 Emily Howell Warner (USA)
First Woman to be Hired as an Air Transport Pilot for a Modern, Jet-Equipped Scheduled Airline (Frontier Airlines)

1974 Barbara Allen Rainey (USA)
First Woman Pilot in U.S. Military

1980, 1982 Betty Stewart (USA)
First and Only U.S. Woman to Win the World Aerobatic Championships (WAC) and First Person to Win the WAC Two Consecutive Times

1983 Sally Ride, Ph.D. (USA)
First U.S. Woman in Space

1984 Svetlana Savitskaya (U.S.S.R.)
First Woman to Walk in Space

1984 Kathryn Sullivan (USA)
First U.S. Woman to Walk in Space

1986 Jeana Yeager (USA)
Copilot of First Around-the-world, Non-stop, Non-refueled Flight (Voyager)

1991, 1992, 1993 Patty Wagstaff (USA)
First Woman to Win the Title of U.S. National Aerobatic Champion

1992 Mae Jemison, Ph.D. (USA)
First African-American Woman in Space

1992 Kathy Thornton, Ph.D. (USA)
Longest Walk in Space Conducted by a Woman

1995-1997 Sheila Widnall, Ph.D. (USA)
First Woman Secretary of the United States Air Force

1996 Shannon Lucid
American in Space for the Longest Period of Time & American Woman with Most Missions in Space

1999 Lt. Col. Eileen Collins (USAF)
First Woman Space Shuttle Commander

For more information on these and other pioneering women aviators,
visit the National Air and Space Museum's website about women aviators

Women Making Aviation History Today

Marta Bohn-Meyer, First Woman Crewmember to Fly on the SR-71
Eileen Collins, First Woman Space Shuttle Pilot and Commander
Jane F. Garvey, First Woman FAA Administrator
Diane Hakala, 1997 National Aerobatic Champion
Carol Hallett, President and CEO, Air Transport Association
Evelyn Bryan, Johnson Flight Instructing and Serving as FAA Designated Flight Examiner at 90 Years of Age
Martha King, First Woman to Obtain Every Flight and Ground Instructor Rating
Deborah McCoy, First Woman Vice President of Flight Operations for an Airline
Jennifer Murray, First Woman to Fly a Helicopter around the World
Carroll Suggs, President and CEO, Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. (largest corporate/charter helicopter business in U.S.)
Patty Wagstaff, National Aerobatic Champion (three consecutive times)

Time Line

1903 The Wright Brothers' powered flight
1910 First woman to receive pilot license
1911 First U.S. woman to receive pilot license
1927 First woman to obtain aircraft mechanics license
1932 First woman to cross Atlantic Ocean solo
1934 First woman pilot hired for U.S. commercial airline
1942 First women hired as air traffic control specialists
1942 First U.S. women pilots to fly military aircraft
1943 First U.S. women navigators for the military
1953 First woman to break sound barrier
1963 First woman in space
1964 First woman to successfully fly around the world
1973 First woman hired as ATP for modern, jet-equipped scheduled airline
1980 First woman to win the World Aerobatics Championship
1984 First woman walks in space
1993 U.S. Department of Defense opens combat aviation to women
1999 First woman space shuttle commander

Online Resources

Online Resources

Resources Index
Women in Aviation History
Women in Aviation's 100 Women
Pioneer Hall of Fame
The Facts 2013
Women in Aviation Bibliography
Women Aviators on the Web
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