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Lilian Bland airplane designer, builder, and pilot

New Irish exhibition celebrates Lillian Bland, first woman to design, build, and pilot a plane

Lilian Bland is taking her rightful place among Irish innovators who had a global impact in a new National Museums NI exhibition at the Ulster Transport Museum in Cultra, Belfast. At 4:41 AM on July 25, 1909, Louis Blériot took off from a farm between Calais and Sangatte, France, and soared northbound above the English Channel. 36 minutes and 30 seconds later, Blériot landed in England and became the first pilot to fly an airplane …

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First flight across the Andes

100 years ago, this female pilot flew where no men had flown before

On April 1, 1921, Adrienne Bolland became the first woman to successfully fly across the highest section of the Andes mountain range – a section that killed five pilots who tried before her. Her trailblazing path through the peaks, the shortest, became the route that famous Aéropostale pilots like Jean Mermoz and Henri Guillaumet would follow. The turbulent last born of seven children, Bolland was known in the family as the “little terror”. “No one …

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Why Bessie Coleman learn to fly in France

This is why Bessie Coleman went to France to learn to fly

IWOAW is celebrating 100 Years of Female Pilots of all Races as part of Women Of Aviation Week 2021. Headlines and photos of WWI pilots and planes captivated the attention of Bessie Coleman but a dare by one of her brothers set her pilot career aspirations in motion. “You nigger women ain’t never goin’ to fly, not like those women I saw in France,” her brother John told her in front of her clientele at …

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iWOAW celebrates 100 years of female pilots of all races

By 1920, women had piloted all kinds of aircraft, crossed large bodies of water, flown in combat, and obtained patents for aircraft design. These women had a lot in common. They were daring, determined, resourceful and, Caucasians.  That would not last. In 1918, Tadashi Hyodo became the world’s first Asian woman to take flight training at the Tsudanuma aviation school in Japan. At the time, one minute of flight cost 2 yens or 1/20 of a …

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Supersonic women 1953-1963

Going supersonic in 2018 – The women who ushered in supersonic flight

“After six or so flights in the Sabre, I figured she knew it well enough, so I took her up to 45,000 feet and told her to push her nose straight down. We dove together, wing to wing, kept it wide open and made a tremendous couple of sonic booms over Edwards. She became the first woman to fly faster than sound and forever after, she loved to brag that she and I were the …

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