Women’s Aviation Firsts

This is a story of 2 aviation women, one who made aviation history (109 years ago today, 16 April 1912) and the other will be making it in 6 days on April 22, 2021.

Harriet Quimby was born on May 11, 1875. In 1911, at the age of 36, she became the first woman to gain her pilot’s license in The United States.

Harriet also wrote 7 (silent screen) plays and even acted in one of them.

The Armour Meat Packing Plant recruited Quimby as the spokesperson for the new grape soda, Vin Fiz. Her distinctive purple aviator uniform and image graced many of the advertising pieces of the day.

She went on to be in many airshows and races, including one in Mexico City held in the honor of the inauguration of President Francisco Madero.

The very next year, she was the first woman to fly over the English Channel.

Her accomplishment received little media attention, however, as the sinking of the RMS Titanic the day before consumed the interest of the public and filled newspapers.

Just 76 days later, Harriet, just barely 37, was flying to be a part of the 3rd Annual Boston Meet on the 1st day of July 1912, when her aircraft pitched forward and crashed.

A portion of the Quimby fountain’s plaque read:

…She pointed the direction for future women pilots…

Now, let’s fast forward to the current time where we have Megan McArthur to become the first female pilot of SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon which is targeted to launch (in just 6 days) from the Florida Spaceport’s Launch Complex 39A on April 22 at 6:11 a.m. EDT

But this is not Megan’s first space rodeo. She has been up there before and I doubt with her impressive experience that this will be her last space rodeo continuing to inspiring other females to reach for their goals no matter how high they might be.

See video here, hit “Ask Later”.

Women's Aviation Firsts

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