For many people, the word “aviatrix” causes them to remember Amelia Earhart, the American flier to whom the most recent temporary exhibit at The Museum of Flight was devoted. But Amelia was not the only woman who took up aviation as a career when most other pilots were men. In fact, women have been flying and participating in most aspects of aviation as long as their men counterparts have, including the “non-traditional” roles of aircraft engineers and test pilots.
On May 16, In Search of Amelia Earhart closed to prepare for Chasing Horizons–an exhibit about the history of women in the aerospace industry–as part of the Museum’s continuing efforts to feature those who have made contributions to the field of aviation. The story begins with the pioneer French aeronaut Élisabeth Thible, who became the first woman to fly in a balloon in 1784, and it continues through aviation’s Golden Age, World War II and other international conflicts, to contemporary female fighter pilots, aerobats, engineers, and astronauts.
Chasing Horizons will feature artifacts, including uniforms, from women in industrial, military, commercial, and sport aviation, as well as images, videos, and interactive activities.