by Connie Cherba
The history of machine-powered flight often focuses on men and their accomplishments, but women have made contributions to aviation since the Wright Brothers flew in 1903. In fact, their sister Katharine Wright was right there with her brothers offering financial and moral support and later flying demonstration flights right alongside them. Wilbur Wright said, “If ever the world thinks of us in connection with aviation, it must remember our sister.”
In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African American of either gender to earn a pilot’s license, but she had to do it in France since American schools wouldn’t train Blacks. In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Although she disappeared during her later attempt to fly around the world, we remember her quote, “Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
Accepting the challenge, women have flown combat missions during wars, commercial airliners during peace, and into space as astronauts.
Closer to home, let’s take a look at the success stories of some local women in aviation.
To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the March 2022 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.