Friday, July 9, 2010

First female aviatrix

Blanche Scott was the first American, female aviator. She was born in 1885 in Rochester, New York and early became an enthusiast of the automobile. In 1910, she became the second woman, after Alice Huyler Ramsey, to drive an automobile across the United States and the first driving westwards from New York City to San Francisco.

The publicity surrounding automobile journey brought her to the attention of Jerome Fanciulli and Glenn Curtiss who agreed to provide her with flying lessons. She was the only woman to receive lessons from Curtiss. On September 6, 1910 she flew, for the first time, to an altitude of forty feet before making a gentle landing.

Scott became a professional aviator and she was the first woman to  fly at a public event in the US. She became an accomplished stunt pilot known for flying upside down and performing "death dives".

In 1911 she became the first woman in America to fly long distance when she flew 60 miles non-stop. In 1912 Scott began to fly for Glenn Martin and became the first female test pilot when she flew Martin prototypes before the final blueprints for the aircraft had been made.

In 1913 she joined the Ward exhibition team where she flew a Baldwin Red Devil airplane.

She retired from flying in 1916 because she was bothered by the public's interest in air crashes and an aviation industry which allowed no opportunity for women to become mechanics or engineers.

Scott died in 1970.

BlancheScott1 blanche_scott_first_female_aviatrix

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