This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page-a-day calendar published by Powder Puff Pilot, marks the accomplishments made by women in the world of aviation. Each page highlights an event, milestone, or triumph in the history of women in aviation.
Entries span three centuries—from balloonists of the early 1800s to the astronauts and military heroines of today. A wide range of aviation endeavors are recognized — glider pilots, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II, airplane designers, flight attendants, parachutists, educators, and the “Mercury 13,” the secret female-astronaut testing program of the 1960s.
The oldest woman referenced is 99-year-old Hildegarde Ferrara, who, in 1996, tandem-jumped with an instructor to become the oldest person to parachute from a plane. The youngest is 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who died in a crash that same year attempting to become the youngest person to fly across the U.S.
The cover of This Day in Women’s Aviation features a photo of Betty Scott, the American adventurer often credited as the first woman in the U.S. to fly solo. Famed airplane designer Glenn Curtiss, founder of the first U.S. airplane manufacturing company in 1907, reluctantly took on Scott as his protégé. As was his usual practice, he inserted a block of wood behind the throttle pedal of his 35-horsepower Curtiss pusher to prevent students from inadvertently taking off while taxiing down the field. By some reports, Scott conspired with a mechanic to remove the throttle block and on Sept. 6, 1910, took flight in Hammondsport, N.Y. Those who insist that Scott’s flight was unintentional instead credit Bessica Raiche as America’s first flyer. She was a dentist who, within weeks of Scott’s flight, flew solo with full intention.
The 2010 calendar, which offers all new entries from the inaugural 2009 version, is available for $14.95 at PowderPuffPilot.com or 888-801-6628.