Vintage Aviation Posters and the Role of Women

Vintage Aviation Posters and the Role of Women

From the dawn of aviation artists have delighted us with incredible works including the niche world of aviation advertising poster art. Looking back, these same posters now give us an interesting perspective on the artist’s perception of the role women played in aviation. These beautiful posters were a popular means of advertising movies, airshows, war efforts, airlines and events across the world. Much of the artwork created was glamorous and alluring and, at a quick glance, instantly conveyed a story. Occasionally the mass produced aviation themed posters showed women in the role of pilot or ground crew. More frequently though women were portrayed as the adoring, awe struck, frightened and always attractive fem fatale imagined by the artist who created it. The evidence begins with pinup girls from WWII and goes back in time from there. Above: Mercier Jacques / 1932. “The Four of the Aviation” by Richard Dix, with Richard Von Strohëim & Mary Astor. Large size French movie poster, printed in stone-lithography. The Grande Semaine d’Aviation de la Champagne was an aviation meet held near Reims in France during August 1909. It was the first international public flying event and was seen as marking the coming of age of heavier-than-air aviation. Unknown. Deutsche Lufthansa Airline Poster Flieger Ball. 1928. Art Deco Aviation Fashion Print Chinese aviatrix TITLE : Meeting d’aviation. ARTIST  Ch.Bsor Droits. Year: 1910 Flieger Zur See by Hans Rudi Erdt. Title: Women Come and Help. Artist: Anonymous. Year of Publication: 1917.  Before American women heard the call to join the war effort, women in the United Kingdom had been serving at home and in Europe. This recruiting poster, commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Director of Training of the Ministry of Munitions, attempted to recruit women for manufacturing jobs in the aviation industry. Whether these posters show women as an active participant in aviation or as the perpetual beauty supporting the aviation cause, they are all part of our women’s aviation history. I enjoy and respect them all albeit, some a little more than others. Times have changed but I hope the romance of aviation never dies....

Caro Bayley Bosco… A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub

Caro Bayley Bosco… A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub

Sometimes really interesting stories come in the oddest ways. This one is from our LadiesLoveTaildraggers Facebook Group via John Graham, who saw it posted by Randy Corfman on www.supercub.org. It’s about “woman aviator” (sorry Randy, I’m going with) “Ohio aviatrix”, Caro Bayley Bosco. I was shocked I had never heard of Caro and am happy these two taildragger pilots are spreading the word! Please read Randy’s beautiful story about how he met this amazing woman in the latter years of her life. He ends reminding everyone to “Take an older person out for lunch and sit back and learn!” And in your case Randy, “sit back and be amazed”.Thanks Randy for a beautiful post! 30,203 Feet High…A Woman Getting High in A Super Cub In reading the responses to another thread I began on sc.org I must say that I have been struck by the responses and the wonderful experiences that many of you have posted.  I would encourage you to go to that thread (http://www.supercub.org/forum/showth…an-EAA-Meeting) and take a look.   After reading some of the responses today I got up from my desk, walked around it and right at my eye level is a framed photograph of Caro Bayley, a woman I met many years ago, and it occurred to me that she carries quite an important significance for those of us who fly and appreciate super cubs. Caro Bayley Bosco is a person I met many years ago. She and I crossed paths when she was elderly, at a meeting unrelated to aviation. When happened upon her she struck up a conversation with me, when she discovered I was a pilot and during the conversation she told me that when she was younger she had set an altitude record in a super cub. This was years before I became enamored with the super cub, but it was remarkable that she described the event in such great detail. She also told me that she had been an aerobatic champion. She was about 80 years of age when I met her, and I wasn’t sure how much to believe. One could tell, though, that she had her wits about her, she was an ass-kicker, and I filed this away.   A week or so later I received a package in the mail from Ms. Bayley, and it was a framed photograph of her standing beside her Pitts Special, N8M , and she wrote “and it flew as good as it looks”, signed Caro Bayley. I couldn’t help but notice the lettering on her Pitts “International Women’s Aerobatic Champion 1951” and I have hung this on the wall of my office ever since. My meeting with Caro was years before internet, but a few years ago I did a google search for her and found the following articles. Please take a moment to read this, but in summary she did, in fact, ask Curtis Pitts to build her a Pitts Special. On the morning of January 4, 1951, she won the title in N8M. On that same day she flew a 1951 standard 125 hp super cub, taking off from a blimp base on the causeway near Miami and here is what she said:   “…I took off, had oxygen and a barograph, was up for about four hours, came down, then did my aerobatic act. The temperature was ninety on the ground and was thirty-four degrees below zero at altitude. The Cub went up to fifteen [thousand feet] nicely, but up to twenty it was a bit draggy. By the time I hit thiry I stayed at one altitude for a long time.” The Miami paper reported “BLONDE SETS NEW ALTITUDE MARK”, at an actual altitude of 30,203 feet. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale recognized her achievement as a world record for Class 11 aircraft (gross weight between 1102 and 2204 lbs). Her record held until 1984 when it was broken by a 210 hp Mooney.   She was a WASP pilot, a mechanic and she when I met her in her later years her charm and smile were infectious. I had no idea who I had had the good fortune of meeting, and even now I am finding out things about this woman that are intriguing. I came across the envelope in which she had sent the photograph and I tried to trace her several years ago, learning that she lived in Springfield, Ohio, where she had married and raised four children. She passed away September 13, 2007. Here are some links to more about Caro Bayley:   http://womenaviators.org/Caro.html http://www.wingsacrossamerica.us/web/bosca_caro.html http://wwii-women-pilots.org/classli…sca%20dies.pdf   I have shared the story of meeting Caro Bayley with my daughter and son, encouraging them to consider that women have played a very important role in aviation, and to encourage women to follow their dreams! Caro’s story is such an inspiration! I am so sorry it has taken me this long to relate it to you. I was walking on the Airventure grounds at Oshkosh a few years ago and right smack in front of the EAA Aerobatic building sat N8M! I took a few photos of it and shared the experience with my kids. While Caro was not a war hero, she is an inspiration to all of us, women and men alike. She, like the people described in the thread I mentioned previously, are out there just begging for someone to ask about them. We have so much to learn. Take an older person out for lunch and sit back and learn! 30,000 feet in a super cub! Wowser. Randy...

Eileen Vollick, Canada’s first licensed woman pilot

Eileen Vollick, Canada’s first licensed woman pilot

Many thanks to Natalie McHaffie from Ontario, Canada for sending this gem of aviatrix history. “Flight training could only be had in Canada through the military until 1927. Eileen was a member of the first class in the first civilian flight school. The text is from a display that opened last week during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week at the Canadian Warplanes Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The rest of the display is about women pilots who have flown with the armed forces in Canada including the women pilots in combat in Afghanistan. The photo is of Eileen in her fur-lined flying suit. She learned through the winter flying from the ice on Hamilton Bay – pretty cold and windy.” Canada’s first licensed woman pilot Eileen Vollick “Can a girl learn to fly?” With these words Eileen Vollick joined the first class in Canada’s first civilian flying school, J.V. Elliott’s Flying service in Hamilton. She was taught piloting, navigation and aircraft mechanics. Since Eileen was only 5 feet 1 inch tall, she used pillows to prop herself up to see out of the cockpit of the ski-equipped Curtiss JN-4 or “Jenny” biplane. Eileen was born in Wiarton in 1908 and moved with her family to Hamilton in 1911. By the age of 19, she was a textile analyst at the Hamilton Cotton Company and had also won a local beauty contest. She was a spirited girl who had parachuted into Burlington Bay before she started flying in late 1927. On 13 March 1928, after sixteen hours of flight instruction, Eileen took a day off from her job in order to take her federal aviation test. She demonstrated take-offs and landings on frozen Burlington Bay, performed five figure-eights and flew 175 miles cross-country. She successfully passed the test and was issued Canadian private pilot’s licence #77 on March 13, 1928, the first woman in Canada to qualify as a pilot and the first woman in the world to be trained on a ski-plane. Eileen soon became a celebrity. As well as many speaking engagements, she flew in the U.S. and Canada, often demonstrating aerobatic flying, which she enjoyed immensely. With the attention given to Eileen Vollick’s accomplishment and the introduction of more flight schools, there were soon a number of women pilots in Canada. These included Eileen Magill in Manitoba and Gertrude Laverne in Alberta in 1928 and a further 19 women across Canada by 1930.  Until 1927 there were no civilian flying schools in Canada: only the self-taught and the military, men only, learned to fly. Because Eileen Vollick was the first woman in Canada to make an application for flight training, Jack Elliot wouldn’t take her as student until after the Department of National Defense gave its approval. Officials at DND took three months to endorse her application and stipulated that she had to be 19 years of age although the age requirement for men was 17. Eileen’s first instructor didn’t want a female student so “Although it was against the rules, on my first lesson he did spins, loops and zooms thinking he could frighten me.” By contrast her next two instructors, Dick Turner and Len Tripp welcomed her as did her classmates, thirty-five men. For the most part women were accepted in the new flying club movement. However, some were not even allowed to sign up for lessons while others found that the men applied a more rigorous set of rules or tried to scare them off. For many student pilots, men and women, getting to lessons took determination. In Hamilton Eileen Vollick took 6 a.m. lessons through the winter before getting to work at 8:30. In Edmonton, Gladys Walker would take the streetcar at 4:am as far as it went, walk the rest of the way to the airfield, have her flying lessons and then walk and streetcar back in time to get to work....

Aviatrix Bettie Lund

Aviatrix Bettie Lund

Bettie Lund Aviatrix Bettie Lund grew up in the very early days of aviation. While flying was romantic and daring in 1929, pilots frequently lost their lives. 1929 was the year Bettie met her soon to be husband, stunt pilot Freddie Lund. After graduating high school, she followed him around the country as he barnstormed and did aerial stunts from 1929 to 1931. Along the way Freddie taught her to fly. In the publication “Science and Invention”, Bettie tells how she did 67 barrel rolls in 28 minutes, setting a woman’s world record. Bettie says, “Prior to this record-breaking flight in Miami (my fourth solo), I had only 20 minutes to my credit in the air, alone, and I had never performed any stunts. But my husband, Freddie Lund, was the first pilot to perform an outside loop in a commercial airplane, and he had taught me to fly, and taken me around. So, I felt quite confident.” Freddie Lund was killed while flying a Waco Taperwing during an air race in 1931. Andy Heins says of Lund’s demise in this airplane, “He died on October 3, 1931 in Lexington, KY at Halley Field. He was participating in a pylon race when C. B. “Scotty” Burmood [not a Register pilot], flying a Monocoupe, pulled up into Freddie while rounding a pylon. The tailskid of the Waco went through the top of the fuselage, damaging the main spar. The prop of the Monocoupe completely cut off the tail of the Waco just forward of the horizontal stabilizer. The Waco pitched up and then rolled and Freddie bailed out but was too low for the chute to open properly. The Waco hit the ground and burst into flames immediately and Freddie landed about 200 yards from the crash. Burmood was able to make it back to the airport and land safely.” October 24, 1931, three weeks after her husband’s death, and still wearing mourning attire, Bettie performed for a crowd at Droyer’s Point Field, carrying on the tradition. Soon after, Bettie went out and bought herself a Waco Taperwing, painted it red, white and blue like Freddie’s, and began her own solo career. By the late 1930’s she was one of the country’s top stunt pilots. Bettie served as a WAF during World War II and transported airplanes from the manufacturing plants on the west coast to the east coast where they were  transported to Europe. Resources: http://jondolar.hubpages.com/hub/My-Barnstorming-Aunt# http://www.dmairfield.com/people/lund_fr/index.html...

Aviatrix from the past: Matilde E. Moisant

Aviatrix from the past: Matilde E. Moisant

We all know by now that Harriet Quimbly is credited with being the first woman to receive her pilot’s certificate in 1911 but does anyone ever remember #2 of anything? Mike Williams sent me the link to the 2nd woman to receive her pilots certificate, Matilde E. Moisant, because he knew I’d be interested in her Indiana connection. Born in 1878 in Indiana (let that soak in —- 1878) Moisant learned to fly at Alfred’s Moisant Aviation School on Long Island, New York. In 1911, a few weeks after her friend Harriet Quimby received her pilot’s certificate, Matilde Moisant became the second woman pilot certified by the Aero Club of America. She pursued a career in exhibition flying. In September 1911, she flew in the air show at Nassau Boulevard airfield in Garden City, New York and, while competing against Hélène Dutrieu, Moisant broke the women’s altitude world record and won the Rodman-Wanamaker trophy by flying to 1,200′. (100 Years later I can hit that in my S7 by the end of the runway on a cold day!) Moisant stopped flying on April 14, 1912 in Wichita Falls, Texas when her plane crashed (the same day that the Titanic sank). Less than two months later, her friend Harriet Quimby was killed when she fell from her plane. Although Moisant recovered from her injuries, she gave up flying and moved to the family plantation in San Salvador.  ...

Blanche Stuart Scott

Blanche Stuart Scott

Was Blanche Stuart Scott America’s first aviatrix or should that honor go to Bessica Faith Raiche, the woman “officially” credited with achieving the first flight by a woman in America? You decide. Blanche Stuart Scott was born in 1885 and became an early enthusiast of the automobile. As a youngster her father bought a car and she drove it around New York in a time before there were minimum age restrictions on driving. In 1910 she became the first woman to drive a car westbound from New York to San Francisco. Incredibly it took Scott and her passenger, a woman reporter named Gertrude Buffington Phillips, 67 days to reach San Francisco on July 23, 1910. The day after they departed the New York Times wrote on May 17, 1910: Miss Scott, with Miss Phillips as only companion, starts on long trip with the object of demonstrating the possibility of a woman driving a motor car across the country and making all the necessary repairs en route. Miss Blanche Stuart Scott yesterday started in an Overland automobile on a transcontinental journey which will end in San Francisco. As the ladies drove through Dayton, Ohio, Scott was fascinated by the activities of two brothers who had made the first heavier-than-air flight only seven years earlier – Orville and Wilbur Wright. Arriving in California, she arranged her first airplane ride. Luckily, her cross-country drive gained her national attention and she was approached by the head of the Curtiss Exhibition Co., who persuaded her to join the Curtiss team for air shows and exhibitions. Glenn Curtiss wasn’t happy about women learning to fly but agreed to give Scott lessons. She was the first and only woman ever taught by Curtiss personally, according to Claudia Oakes, author of “United States Women in Aviation through World War I.” On Sept. 2, 1910, Scott became the first American woman to make a solo flight. Whether this flight was intentional or not is open to debate. What is known is that Curtiss had fitted a limiter on the throttle of Scott’s 35-horsepower airplane to prevent it from gaining enough speed to become airborne while she practiced taxiing. But on that day “something happened” to the throttle block and Scott rose about 40 feet in the air before making a gentle landing. She became the first woman to fly at a public event in America and her exhibition flying earned her the nickname “Tomboy of the Air”. She became an accomplished stunt pilot known for flying upside down and performing “death dives”, diving from an altitude of 4000 feet and suddenly pulling up only 200 feet from the ground. In 1911 she became the first woman in America to fly long distance when she flew 60 miles non-stop. In 1912 Scott contracted to fly for Glen Martin and became the first female test pilot when she flew Martin prototypes before the final blueprints for the aircraft had been made. She retired from flying in 1916 because she was bothered by the public’s interest in air crashes and an aviation industry which allowed no opportunity for women to become mechanics or engineers. Blanche lived a long life and died at the age of 84 in 1970. Should Blanche have gotten credit for the first flight by a woman in America? Probably. But all these years later, how can you read about Blanche and Bessica, see the pictures, and not be awestruck by how far WOMEN and AVIATION have come in one short century?! We owe a lot to those that blazed the trail before us....

High Society

High Society

High Society really did exist in the golden age of aviation. Here are a few photos and tidbits from that bygone era. JAYNE SHATTUCK TOPPING. From The Evening News, Sault St, Marie, MI, Dec. 15, 1937,  “A Top Flight was made by Jayne Shattuck Topping, 32, society aviatrix, who flew from Detroit to New York in 2 hours, 20 minutes.” ———— Here’s an absolutely gorgeous photograph of Carol Lombard prettily posed on a wheel pant of a 1935 Waco CJC. Andy Heins reports Carol was a pilot so this picture fits perfectly in our group of “High Society” flying photos. Sadly it was a plane crash that took the life of Carol Lombard in 1942. She boarded a DC3 in Indianapolis for a 17 hour flight to Burbank, California. It made a scheduled stop at Albuquerque where there were nine officers waiting with military orders enabling them to bump any civilian off the plane. Lombard argued that having just sold two million dollars’ worth of war bonds, she must have some “rank.” The Army officers gave in and Carol Lombard stayed on the flight. From Time Magazine, “The pilot, Wayne Williams, seemed unconcerned when he reported at 7:07 P.M. that he was slightly off course, about thirty-five miles west of Las Vegas. Eyewitnesses later reported that it was just about that time that the plane burst into flames. Some thought it happened just before the plane hit Olcott Mountain, also called Table Rock.” ———————– A 1933 RKO musical film staring Delores del Rio, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Billed as a “Musical extravaganza staged in the clouds!” And “Romance that soars to the skies on the wings of song!” * ————————- Lady Grace Drummand-Hay was the widow of a British diplomat. “As a journalist for the Hearst press organization, Drummond-Hay made her first zeppelin flight in October, 1928, when she was chosen to accompany five other reporters — including her companion and Hearst colleague Karl von Wiegand — on the first transatlantic flight of the Graf Zeppelin from Germany to America.  As the only woman on the flight, Drummond-Hay received a great deal of attention in the world’s press.” (From Airships.net) ———————— From the Palm Beach Daily News, March 2, 1935; “Among prominent members of the international colony at the (Breakers) Hotel are Miss Ninette Heaton and her mother, Mrs. J. E. Heaton of New York and London. Although very young, Miss Heaton is an accomplished aviatrice and can be seen daily flying her red and silver plane in the sunny Florida skies.”...

Pilots from the Past: Eleanor Dorman & Marvel Crosson

Pilots from the Past: Eleanor Dorman & Marvel Crosson

Vintage aviatrix photo collector Andy Heins forwarded some more great photos of women aviatrix from the past (thank you Andy!) and I picked these to post first. It’s an interesting adventure searching the net trying to find out who all these women pilots from the past were. They all had a story that should be told.  Some names are well known, others not so much and some unnamed. If you have any information about these women, please feel free to add your comments. I would be interested to know more and I’ll bet everyone else would too. The first photo is of Eleanor Dorman flying an Aeronca C-3, one of my bucket list “MUST fly someday” taildraggers. Check out the recent post of Lorraine Morris flying a friend’s C-3? What a dream come true! Link to Dec 23, 1936 newspaper article; The Evening Independent: Girl Pilot Makes Her First Flight The article says “Miss Dorman piloted a little Aeronca plane” but that’s all I could find. I’m guessing this picture is from her first solo in the very Aeronca C-3 described. ————————– Marvel Crossen was born in 1904 in Warsaw, Indiana and died at age 28 competing in the 1929 Women’s Air Race in this Travel Air. Marvel was the first women to receive her pilot’s license in Alaska. As you may know, there were many reports of “tampering” with the ladies’ aircrafts during the first Air Race and the reports show that Marvel’s aircraft was included in that number. Warsaw Daily Times Tuesday August 20, 1929 front page:  Shortly before the 14 contestants remaining in the race began leaving the airport here for today’s jaunt to Douglas, Ariz., reports of finding the body of Miss Marvel Crosson, in a clump of bushes were received from Welton. She had been killed on yesterday’s stage of the race when her plane went into a tail spin. Reports from Welton indicated that she had attempted to jump to safety as her body, the parachute unopened, lay 200 feet from the wreckage of her plane. In addition to the gloom caused by the death of one of America’s best known feminine pilots the women were disturbed by Thea Rusche and Claire Fahy claiming that someone had tampered with their planes. Although these reports were not proved they were enough to send tremors of uneasiness and dissent through the highly strung group. Miss Crosson’s accident merely added weight to suspicion that some of the planes had been weakened in an attempt to force them out of the race. Bobbi Trout, former holder of the women’s endurance flight record, and Opal Kunz, New York, also said they believed their instruments had been misadjusted while still in California. Investigation of the death of Marvel Crosson and of charges of sabotage made by participants in the air derby for women was launched today by Floyd J. Logan, chairman of the national air meet here.” ———————...

Aviatrix History 4

Aviatrix History 4

The following are a few more photos and bits of information about women aviatrixes from history. Andy Heins continues to send me background information and I am finding the pictures and whatever historical documentation is available fascinating.  The pictures are wonderful but it’s truly the information about each woman that brings them to life. Annette Gipson was born in 1912 in Commerce, Georgia.  At 19 she moved to New York City to seek her fame and fortune. She was taught to fly in 1931 and soon became involved in all things aviation related. -In 1932 she entered the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. -In 1933, Annette created the Annette Gipson All Women Air Race at Floyd Bennett Field with help from I. J. Fox. Many famous women fliers participated in these races from 1933-36, with her friend Amelia Earhart acting as the official race starter. -In 1934, Annette married prominent New York attorney Edward T. Magoffin, 40 years her senior, honeymooning on the luxurious liner Queen Mary. She joined the 99’s as well as the Women’s Aeronautical Association. Soon she established residences in New York and Miami, Florida, building a gorgeous home on 10 acres complete with a special clubhouse for her friends in aviation. -In 1931 she purchased a Waco QCF-2 NC11465 and began touring the southern states giving flying exhibitions, racing and giving rides. In 1934 she was one of 19 women participating in the Women’s National Air Meet in Dayton, Ohio, where she placed second in the 20 mile Free-For-All Handicap Race and forth in the Precision Landing Contest. She passed away in the late 1980s. ————– Florence Klingensmith 1904 – 1333. Florence Gunderson Klingensmith was born on a small farm in Oakport Township near Fargo, North Dakota. Somewhat of a “tomboy”,  she was an active participant in all sorts of sports and was fond of riding her motorcycle at great speeds. She left high school during her junior year and went to work as a motorcycle mechanic and truck delivery person in Fargo, ND. Florence became interested in aviation during 1927 when Charles Lindbergh visited Hector Field in Fargo after his trans-Atlantic flight. -Florence was the first licensed pilot in North Dakota -June 22, 1931, before 50,000 spectator sat Wold-Chamberland Field in Minneapolis, she set the official inside loop record for women at 1,078 loops, taking  four & half hours – She taught a women’s aviation classes, gave radio addresses on flying and on weekends gave five-minute plane rides for a dollar -1933 brought a new year of racing for Florence and a faster airplane. At the Chicago Air Races held in September, she flew a highly modified Gee Bee Sportster. She placed second in the women’s race at an average speed of 189.04 mph The following day, September 4, one day after her 29th birthday, she entered the $10,000 Frank Phillips Trophy Race and was the only woman participating against a field of experienced male fliers. On the 8th lap of the race, after averaging over 200mph per lap and in 4th place, bits of fabric could be seen ripping away from the wing of the airplane. Florence flew off the course towards a field to the south of the airport when the airplane was seen to nosedive into the ground. Apparently, she had attempted to bail out but had become entangled in the airplane and was killed instantly. This ended the brilliant career of Florence Klingensmith and the officials barred women from participating in any closed-course racing from then on. ———— Gladys received her license at age 25 in 1929, becoming the only licensed woman pilot in Long Beach. With only 40 total hours of flying, she entered the 1929 Women’s Transcontinental Air Derby, flying a Waco CTO Taperwing.  The race was from Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, Ohio. Being the lowest time pilot in the event, she did exceptionally well, placing second behind Louise Thaden flying a Travel Air. In 1931 the Transcontinental Air Derby race was changed and now women could compete with men. Gladys flew hard and fast against overwhelming competition and placed 6th flying her Waco Taperwing. Gladys was becoming very well known amongst pilots. She flew in the 1932 Cord Cup Pacific Wing Race and placed forth. She then won the 1932 Aerol Trophy Race. In 1933, Gladys again flew in the Aerol Trophy Race, placing third. In 1934, she was invited to participate in the first Women’s National Air Race in Dayton, Ohio. She was active in the Republican Party until her death from cancer in1973. ———— Edna Gardner Whyte 1902 – 1992. Edna soloed on December 8, 1930 flying an OX-5-powered Swallow TP biplane and in early 931, she received her Private Pilot’s License. – She continued to fly and soon bought an OXX-6-powered Travelair. Figuring that she could serve a purpose with her airplane, she joined the Betsy Ross Corps, an organization using airplanes to help deliver aid to people for humanitarian reasons. In 1931 she attended the National Air Races hauling parachute jumpers. – She received her Transport Pilot License and entered the1933 Annette Gipson All Women’s Air Race and placed 5th. In 1934 she again entered and this time she placed first among some of the best women flyers in the country, flying a Waco 10. – In 1934, Edna participated in the first Women’s National Air Meet. In the featured event, the 50-mile Free-For-All Handicap Race, Edna was leading the pack flying a Wright-powered Waco Taperwing. Rounding the pylon on the last lap, she dove to the inside to avoid a collision. The wake of her airplane caused Frances Marsalis, also flying a Waco, to lose control and crash, killing her instantly. Even though Edna finished first, she was disqualified after protests from the other competitors. – In 1935 she applies to Central Airlines but is rejected because she is a woman. – In 1938 Edna is featured by “LOOK” magazine as the highest time woman pilot with 2,888 hours. -In 1940 Edna applies to yet another airline, this time Braniff. During the interview she is told that “passengers would not be comfortable with a woman pilot” and therefore they could not hire her. -In 1969 Edna purchases a tract of land in Roanoke, Texas and builds an airfield called Aero Valley. She continues to instruct students and race up into her late 80’s. In February 1992, Edna passed away at age 89, having won over 130 air races and with over 30,000 flight hours to her credit. ———— Katherine Cheung 1904 – 2003. Born in Canton, China, her family immigrated to the United States in 1921 and took up residence in California. -The first Chinese-American woman to receive a pilot’s license. She accomplished most of her training in a Waco INF. -Katherine soon joined the Women’s International Association of Aeronautics and began flying in Air Shows and exhibitions up and down the California coast. -Although Katherine did not attempt any records for women, she did participate in a number of smaller air races. Her main interest was flying to cities with large Chinese populations to encourage flying, especially among women. The Chinese community was so enthralled by Katherine that they pooled their money together and purchased a Fleet Model II powered by a 125 hp Kinner engine so that she could represent them in the Ruth Chatterton Air Sportsman Pilot Trophy Race from Los Angeles to Cleveland, Ohio, where the National Air Races were taking place. -In 1937, Katherine had a vision to return to China and establish a flying school.  Once again, the Chinese community in California backed her and purchased a Ryan STA for $7000 so she could train future pilots in China. However, fate stepped in and changed everything. Shortly after receiving the brand new Ryan, her cousin, the one who introduced her to flying, took the aircraft for a joy ride and crashed, destroying the aircraft and killing himself. During this same time, her father, in ill health and dying, asked her to give up flying. Out of respect for her father, she gave up flying making her last flight in 1942 at the age of 38. Although she remained interested in aviation, she never again flew and passed away on September 2, 2003, at the age of 98....

Aviation Graphics & Advertising From The Past

Aviation Graphics & Advertising From The Past

This is an amazing assortment of images that include advertisements, drawings and even a 1931 magazine cover, all featuring women aviatrix. Please double click to get a close up view. * * * * * * * * Anyone that knows the history behind any of these images is welcome to leave a comment. All images provided by Andy Heins....

Page 1 of 212