women in aviation

E. Lillian Todd standing with her airplane

1900 – 1920
Lillian Todd (video 13:01) – In 1910, Didier Masson successfully flew a biplane designed and built by self-taught engineer Lilian Todd. In the short film Miss Todd, Todd’s life — with the challenges the came with being a woman in early aviation — is turned into an animated musical, although her life takes a slightly different turn.

  • photos – Miss E. L. Todd, Corona del Mar, Orange County—the first woman in the world, so far as is known, to build a heavier-than-air machine, (1906),the first woman to apply for a license to fly and the organizer of America’s first Junior Aero Club, 1908.
  • airplane designThe outline of the machine […] is based on a minute study of the wings of the albatross in the Museum of Natural History. The wings or planes of my machine are curved both lengthwise and crosswise, in order to deflect the air when it strikes the planes.
Harriet Quimby turning over plane propeller

Harriett Quimby

Rosie the Riveter

Major commercial airlines

  • first women – First Officerm Captain
  • all women crew

Magnificent Women and Their Flying Machines
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