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Tag: pilots
  • On an April night in 1933, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt slipped away from a formal White House dinner for a spontaneous flight together — all while dressed in evening gowns!

    Eleanor Roosevelt was one of America's most beloved First Ladies; Amelia Earhart was called the "First Lady of the Air." These two groundbreaking and unconventional women met and became close friends in 1932, the same year that Earhart made history with her record-breaking nonstop trans-Atlantic flight. Their individualism and sense of cheeky fun famously culminated in an escapade during a White House dinner on April 20, 1933; the pair led the party, all dressed in formal dinner attire to a nearby airfield, and Earhart and Roosevelt shared the cockpit for a spontaneous flight to Baltimore and back. The story is a testament to their spirit of adventure, and to the bond of friendship between two of the 20th century's most extraordinary women. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Wally Funk made history as the oldest person to ever travel to space!

    In the 1960s, pioneering aviator Wally Funk, who could fly just about anything with wings, was part of the "Mercury 13" program exploring whether women could be astronauts — but despite excelling at all the tests male astronauts took, NASA refused to accept women into the space program. Today, the 82-year-old finally achieved her lifelong dream of traveling to space when she left orbit on commercial space company Blue Origin's inaugural crewed flight! Funk, who became the oldest person ever to leave Earth's atmosphere on today's 10 minute, 19 second journey, joined Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemon, a physics student who became the youngest person ever to go to space on the same trip. "No one has waited longer," Bezos wrote in an Instagram post when he announced he had invited Funk on the flight. "It's time. Welcome to the crew, Wally." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Eight pioneering female pilots who went Higher, Further, Faster!

    Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel was a blockbuster hit after its release in March — becoming the first female-led superhero film to pass $1 billion at the box office and inspiring legions of Mighty Girls with dreams of flight! The film tells the story of Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force test pilot who develops superhero abilities. Like many real-life female pioneers of flight, however, Danvers has to overcome doubt about her capabilities — from within and without — to discover her true strength. Continue reading Continue reading

  • amelia_photo-smallBy Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Amelia Earhart, the aviation pioneer, equal rights activist, and all around courageous heroine for generations of girls and women was born on this day in 1897. An icon of twentieth century bravery — but also that of mystery — Earhart is most well-known as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and to disappear during her attempted flight around the world.

    As a child, Amelia Earhart had little to no interest in airplanes, but filled her days by exploring her neighborhood with her younger sister, reading voraciously, or following and collecting various critters found in her explorations. As a teen, Amelia kept a scrapbook filled with stories of women who were successful in careers dominated by men at the time.

    After working as a nurse’s aide during World War I, Earhart went for her first ride in an airplane in 1920. It was that very flight — only ten minutes long, but that was all it took to change her life — that made Amelia Earhart say: “By the time I got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.”

    On January 3, 1921, Amelia Earhart started flying lessons, and six months later, she owned her very own airplane, nicknamed “The Canary”. It was with that plane that she set a world record for female pilots in 1922, being the first to reach an altitude of 14,000 feet. On May 15, 1923, she became the 16th woman to receive a pilot’s license from the Fédération Aèronatique Internationale.

    In April of 1928, Earhart received a phone call asking her if she’d like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. While she was a passenger and not the the pilot of this June 1928 flight, its news coverage helped to promote her to a level of celebrity, leading to her nicknames of “Lady Lindy” or the “Queen of the Air”. Continue reading Continue reading

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