Elinor Smith Soars In A Waco

April 5, 2008 The Waco Air Museum in Dayton, Ohio opened a "Women of Waco" exhibit, honoring women who flew Waco airplanes. Among those saluted was Elinor Smith who flew her father's Waco 10 under New York's four East River bridges. Smith set a number of altitude records in the plane while she was a teenager and went on to become a test pilot and celebrated aviation spokesperson.

Ruth Law Delivers The Goods

April 4, 1919 Ruth Law flew the first airmail to the Philippines. Law had purchased her first plane from Orville Wright in 1912 and operated the Ruth Law Air Show. When WWI broke out she was the first woman authorized to wear an American military uniform. Law made a personal appeal to President Woodrow Wilson asking him to allow women to fly in the Signal Corps but she was refused. She said "Women have qualities which make them good aviators, too. They are courageous, self-possessed, clear-visioned, quick to decide in an emergency, and usually they make wise decisions."

Lillian Boyer Swings On A Wing

April 3, 1921 Waitress Lillian Boyer took her first flight in an airplane and fell in love. The next week she climbed from the cockpit out to the wing and became one of the world's most famous aerialists. By the time she retired in 1929 she had performed at 352 airshows and earned the nickname "The Girl Of Nerve."

Eleanor Trehawke Davies Crosses The Pond

April 2, 1912 Eleanor Trehawke Davies became the first women to cross the English Channel in an airplane, as Gustav Hamel's passenger. The next year she climbed from her sick bed to fly with Hamel again, becoming the first woman to loop the loop.

Adrienne Bollard Was No April Fool!

April 1, 1921 Adrienne Bollard, test pilot for the French airplane manufacturer Caudron, flew over the Andes Mountains in an open cockpit biplane. She skimmed the tops of mountains in bitter cold, thin air at an altitude of 14,750 feet, the top of her plane's range. The French Consul refused to attend her landing celebration because he thought the flight was an April Fool's joke.

Wendy Lawrence Swings On A Star

March 31, 1992 NASA selected Wendy Lawrence as an astronaut. Like her father and grandfather, Lawrence served as a naval aviator. After becoming an astronaut she was appointed NASA's director of operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia and flew four Space Shuttle missions, with a total of 1225 hours in space. On board the Endeavor she studied ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies.

Bonnie Tiburzi In The Cockpit

March 30, 1973 Bonnie Tiburzi became the first female pilot for a major U.S. airline when she was hired by American Airlines. Some reacted with hostility. After her first flight a sign that read MALE CREW MEMBERS ONLY was posted on the crew lounge door. But underneath a supporter had penciled “And Bonnie, too!” Tiburzi said “I always wanted to be an airline pilot, and my parents never told me I couldn’t.”

Patty Wagstaff Flies Upside Down

March 29, 1994 Patty Wagstaff's death defying aerobatics plane the Goodrich Extra 260 went on permanent display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Wagstaff's father was a pilot for Japan Airlines but she didn't learn to fly until she was an adult living in a remote part of Canada accessible only by air. In 1985 Wagstaff qualified for the US Aerobatic Team and in 1991 won the first of many national championships. She continues to fly as a stunt and airshow pilot.

Happy Birthday Marina Mikhailovna Raskova

March 28, 1912 Marina Mikhailovna Raskova, the "Russian Amelia Earhart" was born.She joined one of the all female Soviet air regiments during WWII and became the first woman navigator in the Soviet Air Force. She taught flying at Zhukovskii Air Academy and set many speed and endurance records. Her goal had been to become an opera singer, but when she was seven years old her father was killed in a motorcycle accident and she devoted herself to science.

Elsie MacGill Stirs Up A Hurricane

March 27, 1905 Elsie MacGill was born. Known as the "Queen of the Hurricanes" MacGill was the first female aircraft designer. Her mother had been the first woman judge in Canada and a strong advocate of women's right to vote. She said "I have received many engineering awards, but I hope I will also be remembered as an advocate for the rights of women and children."