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Women have always been involved in aviation. In 1784, Elizabeth Thible took to the skies in a balloon. She was the first recorded woman ever to go aloft. Seventy years later, long before the Wright brothers' historic flight, Lucretia Bradley also went up in a balloon. Within a decade of the Wrights' short flight, Blanche Scott took to the air.

[woman balloonist]

By 1930, there were 200 licensed women pilots. However, only a few names remain in the public eye. Although Amelia Earheart certainly deserves recognition, for years she was the only woman pilot I had ever heard of. I'm tired of her, I admit, so you won't learn more about her here.

However, there are other well-known early pilots, including Blanche Scott, Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman, and Amy Johnson, who fascinated me once I learned about them. Numerous other women also piloted planes. In some cases, their faces were recorded on postcards. Many, though, will probably remain unknown.

[ Amy Johnson]

Now remember, I love the images more than the history, but those of you who want more factual information should check out three great sites that provide information about women pilots:

  • The Nintety-Nines
  • Women in Aviation Resource Center
  • Aeronautics: Heroes, People and Organizations

  • Click here for some highlights in the lives of a few early women pilots.

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