In 1929 the first all-female air race to place from August 18 – August 26. It was a transcontinental course, which started in Santa Monica, CA and ended at the Nation Air Races in Cleveland, OH. Most people refer to the race as the Powder Puff Derby. The name was coined by Will Rogers as he covered the race. The exhibit features photographs and biographical information on each woman that participated in the race, a race route map, and a panel that reveals the winners: Louise Thaden and Phoebe Omlie.
A Timeline of Historic Flights By Amelia Earhart – Explores Earhart’s record setting flights including her 1928 flight as a passenger across the Atlantic, her 1932 crossing of the Atlantic, her 1935 crossing of the Pacific, and the 1937 attempt to circumnavigate the globe, which ended in the disappearance of Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan.
This exhibit features an in depth look at the British ATA, the American WASP, and their roles in WW II aviation.
The WASP was founded by Jackie Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love. Love first made the Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS) in 1942 and Cochran made the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD). In July 1943, the two were joined to make the Women Air Force Service Pilots under the leadership of Jackie Cochran. The women who applied and were accepted to the WASP program trained for four months. There were 1,078 WASPs.
The WASP was not officially part of the United States military. All WASP recorders were classified until 1977. At this time, President Carter gave the WASP full military status for their service. In 1984, all WASP members were awarded the World War II Victory Medal. On July 1, 2009, President Obama and the U.S. Congress awarded the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal.
The Air Transport Auxiliary was a British World War II organization established to transfer new repaired and damaged warplanes between factories, from the US, to maintenance depots, and active airfields. During the war, the service delivered over 3,000 aircraft. Besides women, the ATA also included pilots who were of unsuitable age or fitness to be in the RAF. Fifteen ATA pilots lost their life during the war.
She is best known for racing her airplane twice around the world in 1992 and 1994. She also flew across the Atlantic Ocean twice and soloed in single engine planes. In the 1980s she ferried a Mooney and in 1990 she ferried a 41 year-old vintage Bonanza across the Atlantic.
Marion began flying at age thirty-nine. In five years, she got her private, instrument, commercial, instructor, and ATP rating. In her lifetime, she founded three cross country speed air races open to all pilots and she co-founded the Air Race Classic. She passed away in 1996.
The Mercury 13 was thirteen American women who, as part of a privately funded program, underwent some of the same physiological screening tests as the astronauts who were tested on April 9, 1959 for Project Mercury. The name Mercury 13 was made in 1995 by producer James Cross as a comparison to the Mercury Seven name given to the selected male astronauts. The Mercury 13 was not part of NASA’s astronaut program and was never allowed to fly. The women fought to be trained alongside the men, but were stopped for good by then Vice President Lyndon Johnson.
Jerrie Cobb: An Oklahoma native born in 1931 in Norman. At 17 she earned her private pilot’s license and received a commercial license when she was 18. Cobb was a Mercury 13 member. She had already flown 64 different aircraft and broken speed, distance, and altitude records at the time of the Mercury 13 training. In 1981 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.