In 1964, Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock became the first woman to fly solo around the world, achieving Amelia Earhart’s 1937 goal. She flew in a single-engine Cessna named The Spirit of Columbus. Mock completed the arduous flight in an incredible amount of 29 days and 12 hours. She experienced a plethora of problems along the way.
She flew through bad weather, suffered brake failure, and battled radio transmission problems before she made it back to Columbus, Ohio. She said that she undertook the flight “to see the world.”
Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochrane was one of the most important and well-known racing pilots of her generation. She took her first lessons in flying in 1932 and got her pilot’s license three weeks after her first lesson. On 18 May 1953, she piloted an F-86 jet and became the first woman to break the sound barrier.
That same year she set the world record speeds for the 15 km, 100 km, and 500 km courses. She was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame in 1965 and the U.S. Aviation Hall of Fame in 1971.
Harriet Quimby was the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States. She was awarded this honor by the Aerospace Club of America in 1911. Harriet also became the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. She lost her life in 1912, just three months after crossing the English Channel, when she lost control of her aircraft.
Both she and her passenger were thrown out of the aircraft in the Boston Harbor. Though her aviation career only lasted a year, she accomplished what few women of her time could only dream of.
Fight With Flight
Bessie Coleman was an American aviator. Though she was interested in aviation, Bessie was denied entry into American aviation schools. Undaunted, she moved to France to realize her dreams and was quickly accepted at the Caudron Brothers School of Aviation in Le Crotoy, France.
On 15 June 1921, she became the first woman to obtain an international pilot’s license. Coleman was put on the first public flight by an African-American woman in America on Labor Day, 1922. In 1926, during a rehearsal for an aerial show, her plane spun out of control, flinging her 2,000 feet and ending her life instantly.
Queen of the Air
Amy Johnson was born on 1 July 1903 in Yorkshire, England. She achieved fame by becoming the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia in 1930. She flew in a second-hand Gypsy Moth named Jason. Even though she had set this record, she was three days short of breaking Bert Hinkler’s record of the same route.
In 1940, she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, which was an organization that ferried planes around England. On Sunday, 5 January 1941, one of the planes she was ferrying plummeted into the sea. Her body was never recovered.