August 1, 1911: Harriet Quimby Gets Her License

1911_harriet-quimby

 

The officials of the Aero Club of America, the licensing agency for American pilots, were reluctant, but there was no gainsaying that she had passed the test with some fine flying.  So Harriet Quimby became the 37th licensed pilot in the United States, the first female licensed pilot in the United States, and the second female licensed pilot in the world, on August 1, 1911.

Born in 1875, Quimby had made a name for herself as a journalist and a theater critic.  In 1911 she wrote seven silent film screenplays that were made into movies by up and coming director DW Griffith.

Not adverse to publicity, she wore a striking purple pilot’s uniform and was the spokeswoman for Vin Fiz grape soda.  She became something of a media sensation, being called the Queen of the Air in the newspapers on occasion.

However, she also had solid ability as a pilot in the infant world of aeronautics.  On April 16, 1912 she became the first female to fly across the English Channel.  Several male pilots had already lost their lives while attempting the same feat. (more…)

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Published in: on August 1, 2016 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on August 1, 1911: Harriet Quimby Gets Her License  
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