Timeline of women in aviation


This is a timeline of women in aviation which describes many of the firsts and achievements of women as pilots and other roles in aviation. Women who are part of this list have piloted vehicles, including hot-air balloons, gliders, airplanes, dirigibles and helicopters. Some women have been instrumental in support roles. Others have made a name for themselves as parachutists and other forms of flight-related activities. This list encompasses women's achievements from around the globe.

These four female pilots leaving their ship at the four-engine school at Lockbourne are members of a group of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) who have been trained to ferry the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Circa 1944.

18th century


1784

1798

  • November 10: Jeanne Labrosse becomes the first woman to pilot an aircraft solo.[2]

1799

  • October 12: Jeanne Labrosse becomes the first woman to parachute jump.[1]

19th century


1810

Sophie Blanchard makes her ascent in Milan on 15 August 1811 to mark the 42nd birthday of Napoleon.

1811

1886

1888

  • Teresa Martinez y Perez is issued a British patent for "navigable balloons".[6]

20th century


1903

1904

1908

  • May–June 1908: Mlle P. Van Pottelsberghe de la Poterie of Belgium flies with Henri Farman on several short flights at an airshow in Ghent, Belgium, becoming the first woman passenger on an airplane.[8]
  • September: Thérèse Peltier, a sculptor, of France makes the first solo flight by a woman in an airplane in Turin, Italy, flying around 200 meters in a straight line about 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) off the ground.[9] She had been taught by her partner Léon Delagrange and gave up aviation after he was killed in a flying accident.
  • October 7: Edith Berg, business manager in Europe for the Wright brothers, becomes the first American woman to fly as a passenger.[10]

1909

  • Marie Marvingt of France is the first woman to fly over the North Sea; piloting a balloon from Europe to England.[1]
  • Raymonde de Laroche of France is the first woman to pilot a solo flight in an airplane.[11]
  • June 16: La Stella, the first aero club for women, opens in Saint-Cloud near Paris.[12][13]
  • Katharine Wright, sister of Wilbur and Orville Wright, is instrumental in advancing her brothers' aviation business. She is the first woman invited to a meeting of the Aero-Club de France and is awarded the Légion d'honneur in recognition for her contributions to early aviation.
Russian, Lydia Zvereva, the 8th woman to earn a pilot's license

1910

1911

1912

1913

German, Käthe Paulus, inventor of the modern parachute

1914

1915

1916

  • Zhang Xiahun (Chinese: 張俠魂) becomes China's first female pilot[21][22]

1921

1922

Bessie Coleman and her plane (1922)

1924

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

Elsie MacGill, the first woman to earn an aeronautical engineering degree

1930

  • Amy Johnson is the first woman pilot to fly from England to Australia.[1]
  • Elinor Smith and Evelyn Trout of the US are the first women to refuel a plane in flight.[1]
  • Mary Riddle becomes the second Native American to earn a pilot's license. She was a member of the Clatsop and Quinault Tribes. The first Native American woman was Bessie Coleman, though her legacy is not as a Native woman.[44]
  • Ellen Church convinced Boeing Air Transport to hire the first flight attendants, herself and seven other women who were required to be nurses, unmarried and weigh under 115 pounds.[45][46]
  • January: Aris Emma Walder becomes Uruguay's first woman pilot when she attained her license in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Morón Aerodrome in a Curtiss JN-4D.[47]
  • March: Berta Moraleda performs in an airshow. In May, having completed her training at the Escuela de Aviación Curtiss, she becomes the first woman pilot in Cuba.[48][49]
  • May: Laura Ingalls, a distance and stunt pilot from New York, set a stunt record of 980 consecutive, continuous loops in a little less than 4 hours at Hatbox Field in Muskogee, Oklahoma.[50]
  • July: Graciela Cooper Godoy obtains the first license for a woman pilot in Chile.[51]
  • September: Maryse Bastié of France breaks the sustained flight endurance record for women, remaining aloft for 38 hours.[52]

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

  • Sarla Thakral becomes the first Indian woman to earn her private pilot's license.[14]
  • Beryl Markham from England is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west.[1]
  • Lee Ya-Ching becomes the first woman to be licensed as a pilot in China.[73]
  • Phyllis Doreen Hooper earns the first women commercial pilot license in South Africa.[74]
  • Mulumebet Emeru is the first woman pilot of Ethiopia. She was a student, but her flight training was interrupted by the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.[78]

1937

Sabiha Gökçen in front of a Breguet 19. circa 1937.

1938

1939

1940

Women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in flying kit at Hatfield, 10 January 1940.
  • Effat Tejaratchi becomes the first Iranian woman to earn her pilot's license.[14]
  • January 1: The first eight women are appointed to the Air Transport Auxiliary.[86]
  • Major Phyllis Dunning (née Phyllis Doreen Hooper) becomes the first South African woman to enter full-time military service as the Commander of the South African Women's Auxiliary Air Force (SAWAAF).[87]
  • Mirta Vanni becomes the first woman commercial pilot in Uruguay.[88]

1941

1942

1943

  • Janet Bragg becomes the first African American woman to earn a commercial pilot's license.[93]
Hazel Ying Lee, one of the first two Chinese Americans in the Women Air Force Service Pilots

1944

1945

1946

  • María Quelquejeu becomes the first woman pilot of Panama.[104]

1947

1948

1949

  • Margaret Clarke becomes Australia's first agricultural pilot.[107]
  • Dorothy Layne McIntyre becomes the first African-American woman licensed as a pilot by the Civil Aeronautics Authority.[108]
  • Josephine Samaan Ibrahim Haddad, became the first Iraqi, Assyrian woman to earn the rank of captain and pilot an aircraft in Baghdad Iraq.

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

Australian Women Pilots' Association member Meg Cornwell in the cockpit of Auster J-5G Cirrus Autocar monoplane VH-ADY at an airfield, 1954.
  • Kim Kyung-Oh [ko] of Korea is promoted as a captain in the ROK Air Force, becoming the sole woman pilot involved in the Korean War for the South Koreans.[113]

1955

1956

  • Ada Rogato is the first pilot to cross the Amazon rainforest solo using a single engine aircraft.[1]
  • Betty Greene is the first woman to fly in Sudan, having had to obtain a special dispensation from the Sudanese Parliament before a woman was allowed to fly.[117][118][119]

1958

1959

  • Molly Reilly is the first Canadian woman to become a civilian pilot.[122]
  • Based on the success of the Australian Women's Pilots' Association, Rhona Fraser and Ena Monk create the New Zealand Association of Women in Aviation (NZAWA).[123]

1960

1961

  • Lucille Golas attains the first pilot license for a woman in Guyana to assist her husband in his mining business.[126]

1962

  • Jacqueline Cochran is the first woman to fly a jet across the Atlantic Ocean.[1]
  • Asegedech Assefa becomes the first Ethiopian woman to earn a pilot's license.[127]

1963

1964

1965

1967

  • The India's Women Pilot Association (IWPA) is formed with charter members, Chanda Sawant Budhabhatti, Mohini Shroff, Rabia Fatehally, Sunila Bhajekar and Durba Banerjee.[130]

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

  • Kucki Low, Namibian pilot, is hired as the first woman commercial airline pilot in South Africa, flying for Namaqualand Airways.[140]
  • Bonnie Tiburzi is the first female pilot for American Airlines and the first female pilot for a major American commercial airline,[141] as well as the first woman in the world to earn a Flight Engineer rating on a turbo-jet aircraft.[142]
  • The United States Navy allows women to train as pilots.[143]

1974

1975

  • Yola Cain becomes the first Jamaican-born commercial pilot and flight instructor.[112]

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

Beverly Burns and Lynne Rippelmeyer on the flight deck of a Boeing 737, September 1, 1982

1981

1982

1983

*March 21, 1983.  The first all-female Aircraft Carrier Landing.  US Navy aircrew conducts C. O. D. operation mission! Lt Elizabeth Toedt, Aircraft Commander, Ltjg Cheryl A Martin, SIC, and Flight Crew AD3 Gina Greterman, and ADAN Robin Banks. 

1984

1986

1987

  • British Airways hires its first woman pilot, Lynne Barton.[86]
  • Erma Johnson becomes the first black and first woman chair of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Board of Directors.[165]
  • Continental Airlines - "The first all-women crew to command a wide-bodied commercial aircraft touched down in Sydney yesterday - and they were on time. Captain Lennie Borenson, 39, first officer Dorothy Clegg, 26, and second officer Karlene Ciprtano, 25, taxied their Continental DC-10 to the terminal at 6am after leaving Hawaii about 8pm on Thursday (Sydney Time). The high flying trio were backed by 12 female cabin crew for the trip across the pacific into aviation history."[176]

1988

1989

The first female Air Force helicopter pilot in Afghanistan's history, Col. Latifa Nabizada, exits the stage after speaking at an Afghan Air Force International Women's Day celebration at Kabul International Airport, March 7, 2013.

1990

1991

1992

A close up of 1st Lt. Jeannie Flynn, the first F-15E female pilot, sits in the cockpit as she performs engine star.
  • Veronica Foy becomes the first woman pilot of Malawi.[187]

1993

1994

1995

  • First batch of women helicopter pilots commission into Indian Air Force in December 1995.[197]
  • Felistas Matengo-Mkandawire becomes the first black woman pilot in Malawi, flying as first officer for Air Malawi.[198]
  • The Federation of European Women Pilots (FEWP) is founded in Rome.[199]
  • Eileen Collins became the first female pilot of the Space Shuttle in 1995 aboard STS-63, which involved a rendezvous between Discovery and the Russian space station Mir. In recognition of her achievement as the first female Shuttle Pilot, she received the Harmon Trophy. She was also the pilot for STS-84 in 1997.[200][circular reference]
  • Sarah Deal becomes the United States Marine Corps' first female aviator.[201]

1996

  • Maria Ziadie-Haddad becomes the first female airline captain in Jamaica.[202]
  • Chipo Matimba becomes the first woman to complete the Air Force of Zimbabwe's pilot training course.[203]
  • Hildegarde Ferrea, at age 99, becomes the oldest person to perform a skydive jump.[204]

1997

1998

1999

2000

21st century


2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Nancy Lee Baker, longtime Fairbanks resident, receives a special honor from Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz. Baker, a Women Airforce Service Pilot flew various military aircraft during World War II, her contributions help pave the way for the integration of female pilots into the military.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2018

2019

See also


References


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