Aviation was long seen as a man’s profession. Since the industry’s beginnings, women have been breaking down the glass ceiling, setting records, and proving they have just as much of a right to sit in the pilot’s seat as the men. Here are 6 women who paved the way for women around the world and who have achieved incredible new heights in the field of aviation.
Raymond de Laroche
Raymonde de Laroche was a French baroness who became the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license. She went on to set more records and is famous for setting the record for the highest altitude flown by a woman in 1919.
After writing about a Japanese aeronaut and covering New York’s Belmont Air Meet for her position as a journalist, Harriet Quimby decided to take up aviation. She was the first American woman to earn her pilot’s license and went on to be the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
As the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license, Bessie Coleman broke down barriers and opened so many doors for women and people of color. In 1921, she received her license in France because no American school would accept her. She went on to earn more fame for her infamous stunts such as figure eights and loop-the-loops.
Florence Lowe Barnes
As the granddaughter of someone known as the “grandfather of the US Air Force” for using balloons to spy on Confederate forces in the Civil War, aviation was in Florence Lowe Barnes’s blood. She went on to be the first female stunt pilot for Hollywood for the film “Hell’s Angels”.
No aviation list is complete without Amelia Earhart. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. During her efforts to become the first female pilot to fly around the world, she vanished during the flight in 1937.
This female pilot broke many barriers. Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to compete in the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race in 1935 and came back three years later to win the race. During World War II, Jacqueline became the director of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots and achieved more notoriety by being the first female to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean.