Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Women in Aviation Is Theme of Presentation at Maplewood, MO Library

By Carmelo Turdo
Libby Yunger, Chairman of the Greater St. Louis Ninety-Nines, recently gave her presentation, "A Century of Women in Aviation," at the Maplewood Public Library in celebration of National Aviation Month. The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, was founded in 1929 by the first ninety-nine licensed women pilots including Amelia Earhart.  Yunger discussed the contributions of women in aviation from Katharine Wright to the present, focusing on those women who broke barriers by being the "first" in various areas of aviation.  Here are some examples:

Katharine Wright: Influenced the development of the Wright Flyer, 1903+

E. Lillian Todd: First women aircraft designer, 1910        
Therese Peltier: First women to solo in a heavier than air powered aircraft, 1908 
Elise Deroche: First women to earn international pilot's license, 1910
Blanche Scott and Bessica Raiche: First American women to solo, 1910
Harriette Quimby: First licensed American woman pilot, 1911; first woman to cross the English Channel, 1912
Ruth Law: First woman to fly non-stop from Chicago to New York, 1916
Bessie Coleman: First black woman to earn international pilot's license, 1921
Women's Air Derby was started in 1929, leading to women's involvement in air racing

Amelia Earhart, undoubtedly the best marketed woman pilot of all time, was the first woman to: fly the Atlantic Ocean non-stop as a passenger in 1928, fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, fly a solo transcontinental round-trip flight also in 1932, fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland in 1935 and was lost attempting a round-the-world flight in 1937.  Yunger commented,"If I ask a group of non-pilots to name a woman pilot - it's Amelia Earhart.  I never hear any other name but Amelia Earhart...And I think that's because there's just this mystique: 'What happened to Amelia?'"  75 years later, that question remains unanswered.
Other topics covered included air races with male competitors to the present day; women's service in World War II and subsequent armed conflicts, including combat roles in current conflicts; aerobatic champions including Betty Skelton and Patty Wagstaff, and women astronauts.  
This presentation is highly recommend for adult and youth groups of all types.  If you would like to arrange for Libby to speak to your organization, contact The Aero Experience at for more information.

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