1784||June - Elisabeth Thible was the first woman to travel aloft - in a
hot air balloon (Lyons, France)|
|1798||Jeanne Labrosse made the first woman's solo balloon flight (France)|
|1805||Madeleine Sophie Blanchard first flew solo and was eventually
appointed official Aeronaut of the Empire by Napoleon.|
|1886||Mary H. Myers set an astonishing world altitude record by soaring
four miles above Franklin, Pennsylvania without oxygen equipment|
|1903||Aida de Acosta made one of the world's first powered flights in a
dirigible over Paris|
E. Lillian Todd, the first woman to design and build an airplane,
unveiled her first aircraft, which, unfortunately, never flew. Todd, an
inventive stenographer, went on to found the Junior Aero Club of America|
|1910||March - The Baronness Raymonde de Laroche of France obtained from
the Aero Club of France the first license issued to a woman anywhere in the
world. Laroche went on to compete in racing and endurance contests and she
won the Coupe Femina in 1913.
April - Belgium's first licensed woman pilot, Helene Dutrieu,
made her first flight, which lasted 20 minutes. She went on to win the
coveted Italian King's Cup in a race at Florence, Italy, as the only woman
against 14 male fliers. The "Girl Hawk" was awardede France's Legion of
Honor in 1913.
Sept - Bessica Medlar Raiche constructed a biplane in er living
room and made her first solo flight. Within the next several weeks, she
received a medal from the Aeronautical Society.
Harriet Quimby became the first licensed woman pilot in the
United States. Quimby's friend, Matilde Moisant, became the second.
|1911||August - Hilde Hewlett was the first Englishwoman to earn her flying
license. "I shan't be happy till I can fly."|
|1912||April - Harriet Quimby successfully crossed the English Channel|
|1913||Katherine Stinson became the first woman to fly the mail|
|1916||Nov The famous Ruth Law of the United States set two new
records - the American nonstop cross-country record for both men and women,
and the world nonstop cross-country record for women - when she flew from
Chicago to New York.|
|1921||April - Frenchwoman Adrienne Bolland successfully completed a
harrowing flight from Argentina to Chile - the first woman to fly over the
Bessie Coleman returned to America after earning her pilot's
license. The first licensed black woman pilot in the world had been
rejected by American flight schools because of her race and Coleman had been
forced to go to France to obtain her license.
|1922||Brazil's first woman pilot, Anesia Pinkeiro Machado, soloed at the
age of 17.
The first woman flier in Japan, Tadashi Hyodo, worked 2 years to
get her license in the male-dominated Japaneses society.|
|1923||The renowned Amelia Earhart earned her pilot's license.|
|1926||Millicent Bryant, Australia's first licensed woman pilot, coped with
extremely rough air on her first flight.|
|1927||Marga von Etzdorf was the first German woman to pass licensing
examinations for commercial, glider, sports and stunt flying. She became a
copilot with Luft Hansa and made several attempts at long-distance
|1928||Lady Mary Bailey of England was the first woman to fly solo from
England to South Africa.
Lady Heath, equipped with a Bible; a shotgun; tennis
rackets; six tea gowns and a fur coat, made the first solo flight from the
Cape of Good Hope to Cairo.
Amelia Earhart beame the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean
by air. Although Earhart had her license, Lou Gordon and Wilmer Stultz were
mostly in charge of the cockpit of the Friendship airplane.|
|1929||August - The grueling Women's Air Derby competition was first held.
And endurance marathon as much as a race, the twenty fliers took off from
Santa Monica, California and fifteen of them landed successfully in
Cleveland a week later. Flying roughly 300 miles a day over deserts,
mountains and plains, the women proved themselves as competent pilots.
Louis Thaden was declared the winner, with Gladys O'Donnell in 2nd place and
Amelia Earhart coming in third.|
|1930||May - Amy Johnson became the first woman to make a solo flight from
England to Australia, leading the way for British women aviators.
Nov - Twenty six women formed an association of female fliers
called the Ninety Nines. Dedicated to the improvement of women's
opportunities in aviation, the name was derived from the number of charter
members who immediately signed up: 99. Amelia Earhart was the first
president of the organization.
Nov - Bobbi Trout and Elinor Smith worked together as a team to
become the first women aviators ever to refuel a plane in mid-air as they
set a new women's endurance record of 42 hours.
Marie-Louise Hilsz, a Frenchwoman, was the first woman ever to
make a round trip flight from Paris to Saigon and back.|
|1931||Famous aviator Ruth Nichols' attempt to cross the Atlantic on a solo
flight was unsuccessful. She did, however, break the world distance record
by flying 1,977 miles from California to Kentucky.
Marie-Louise Bastie, known as Maryse, became famous when she
flew from France to Gorki, Russia. She flew 1,849 miles - farther in a
nonstop straight run than any other woman, and farther nonstop in a light
plane than anyone else in the world.|
|1932||Ruthy Tu became the first woman pilot in China's Army.
Amelia Earhart made her famous solo flight across the Atlantic
Ocean in 15 hours 18 minutes - the fastest crossing on record.|
|1934||May - British aviator Jean Batten beat Amy Johnson's time by more
than 4 days on her solo flight from England to Australia. Batten went on to
complete the first England-Australia round trip by a woman.
Hanna Reitsch, the only woman on a German research expedition to
study thermal conditions in South America, was the first female to be
awarded the Silver Soaring Medal when she made a long distance flight over
Argentina. Reitsch was often the only woman in her male classed at an
aviation institute, where she developed and tested various aviation devices.
Reitsch's expertise earned her the honorary title of Flugkapitaen (flight
captain) from Hitler in 1937.|
|1935||At Eleanor Roosevelt's suggestion, the United States Bureau of Air
Commerce hired women fliers to scout sites to paint air markers -
directional indicators on the roof of buildings throughout the country. The
answer to the lost pilot's prayer, 16 000 markers were painted with
navigational directions to the nearest airfield.
Amelia Earhart made the first solo flight ever from Hawaii to
the continental United States, despite hazardous weather conditions.|
|1936||Beryl Markham became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic
Ocean in an east to west direction - a difficult feat against prevailing
|1937||Amelia Earhart disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in the
last leg o fher journey to circumnavigate the globe at the Equator.
A petite Turkish orphan named Sabiha Goekcen became known as the
"Amazon of the Air" when she became her nation's first woman flier, its
first female Army pilot and the first woman anywhere to fly combat missions.|
|1938||Hanna Reitsch flew the first vertical machine - a Focke-Achgelis
|1939||Outstanding woman flier of the world, Jackie Cochran, set a new
women's altitude record, became the first woman to make a blind landing and
set a new international women's speed record all in the same year.|
|1940||Pauline Gower was authorized by the Air Ministry of Great Britain to
form a women's section of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) to ferry planes
to the battlelines.|
|1941||June - Jackie Cochran was the first woman to fly a warplane across
the Atlantic Ocean.
The Soviet high command appointed experienced female aviator
Marina Raskova to organize three regiments of women fliers for the USSR.
|1942||The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), the
aircraft-ferrying unit of the United States Army Air Forces, was organized
under the direction of Nancy Harkness Love.
Jackie Cochran organized a Women's Flying Training Detachment to
train women pilots for eventual service in the WAFS. Cochran and the women
of WAFS soon moved to an Army base for the discipline of military training.
|1943||August - Cochran's trainees and Love's WAFS pilots were merged into
one organization known as the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), with
Jackie Cochran as the Director of Women Pilots. Although still volunteers,
not official members of the military, the women took on more assignments
than just ferrying aircraft. The WASPs delivered 12650 planes of 77
different types. They flew a total of 60 million miles. Of the 1830 women
admitted to the volunteer WASP program, 1074 graduated and only 38 lost
their lives. The WASP program ended in December 1944 as male Army Air Force
pilots returned from overseas.
|1944||WASPs officially disband as the men return from war.
|1945||Melitta Schiller of Germany received the Iron Cross and the
diamond-studded Military Flight Badge for conducting an unprecedented 1500
test dives of German dive bombers.
|1947||Ann Shaw Carter, former WASP, became the first woman in the United
States to earn a helicopter rating|