Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Operation Celestial Flight: Honoring the 38 WASP

Operation Celestial Flight
38 women died as WASP from 1943 to 1944, serving their country, but there are no military markers on their graves.

Chaplain, Captain J. Clemens, has initiated action to correct this 65-year old oversight. At his own expenses, he is having personalized bronze flag holders cast, family members and local veteran organizations contacted, and memorial services held or scheduled.

The chaplain himself is based in Afghanistan. Five former WASP have stepped forward to help him honor their fallen comrades.

Yuu can help! Check out the link above.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ladies! Want to learn to fly? Don't have the money

Watch this video from Women in Aviation International - they award scholarships for women who want to fly:

What do women love about flying? Interviews.

What do you have to do to become a pilot?

5 things you need to become a pilot

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spitfire Women of WWII, Flying Higher

I bought myself some Christmas presents from - in addition to new books, they also sell used books, and so I just picked up Spitfire Women of World War II, whcih tells the story of the ATS - men and women who ferried all kinds of planes around England in WWII - the equivalent of the WASP although they don't seem to have faced the same kinds of descrimination that the WASP did. (WASP got paid 2/3rds of what male transport pilots got paid, apparently, the women of the ATS were paid the same as the men.)

Anyway, the title of the books says it all - they flew Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters - they flew unarmed, without radios or instruments, at the mercy of the weather and long-range enemy aircraft. Giles Whittell, 2007.

Flying Higher: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II by Wanda Langley, copyright 2002. Sadly, it's a de-accessioned library book, which means that some library in Jacksonville, Florida, decided they wanted to get rid of it...

Oh, well, I'll be sharing info from it at my webzine, Winged Victory, and of course inputting their names into the Women Aviators Wiki - which is now up over 576 entries.

I've been inputting a handful of Powder Puff Derby pilots names every day - I'd be willing to wager that at least half if not more of the women who flew in these Derbies in the 30 years of its existence (1947-1977) were former WASP.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Melancholy discovery

I've been busy inputting the names in The Powder Puff Derby commemorative annual. There's a name label on the inner front page - Betty Wharton.

I thought the name sounded familiar when I first glanced at it...but I didn't think much of it.

Today of course I realize, Betty Wharton participated in the Powder Puff Derby, from 1969 to 1971, and she would have been in the 1977 one, which was postponed.

So I've got a book which actually belonged to an air racer. I am so jazzed!

And sad, of course, because obviously she wouldn't have given this book up. It must have come from her estate.

It's a great book, I'm really enjoying it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Powder Puff Derby, 1947-1977

The first Powder Puff Derby was held in 1929. It did not resume until after World War II, in 1947.

Thanks to Ebay, I've just acquired Powder Puff Derby: The Record (1947-1977). Edited by Kay Brick. AWTAR, Inc. 1985

Tells the story of the Derbies in 80 oversize pages. Lots of photos of the participants, in such dated hairstyles and clothing! Still they look a lot better than the grunge style of today's teens, I gotta tell ya.

Anyway, it's been fun to read through, and interesting. One of the reasons why the Derby stopped was that it was an all-women's race and a couple of guys sued for descrimination, wanting to be allowed to race also. Tit for tat, I suppose - this was when Title IX was trying to get passed. Anyway, defending such a lawsuit cost money, also there were changed in laws limiting locations they could fly over (getting worse and worse every day, by the way.)

I'm inputting the names of all the participants at the Women Aviators Wiki.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Worrals of the WAAF

I listen to BBC Digital Radio 7, which shares radio programs both new and old (but mostly old) over and over again. And although I'm much less of an anglophile than I used to be, I had heard of Biggles before - a fictional British character, a young pilot who goes out and has aventures around the world. (They air a dramatized version of a Biggles story.)

The same author also wrote a series of books featuring a woman pilot, named Worrals. This during World War II, when women pilots were part of the Air Transfer Auxiliary in England, ferrying all sorts of planes around the country - including Spitfires and Hurricanes -- and, unlike their counterparts in the USA, were actually paid the same amount for their services as men were. (In the States, the WASP made 70% of the pay of the men performing similar duties.)

THere were 11 books in the series, five of them appearing after the end of the war. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if any of these books have been released as paperbacks - I'd love to read them but not for $50 per book, which is the best price I could find...

The author, William Earl Johns (5 February 1893 - 21 June 1968) was an English pilot and writer of adventure stories, usually written under the name Captain W. E. Johns. A prolific writer, he wrote 98 Biggles books, 11 Worrals books, and dozens more featuring other characters.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Subliminal messages in dolls?

Was just driving along today and heard a bit of the Tammy Bruce show... (I like her theme music - the Avengers, but don't really care for her delivery, still less her voice!) and heard the controversy about some doll from Mattel/Fisher Price that says "Islam is the light."

It's called the Little Mommy Cuddle & Coo Doll, and I gotta tell you - that alone is what I find offensive. Don't give a 6 year old girl a doll to make her want to have a baby when she's only 6, give her a teddy bear or a lion or a tiger.

Anyway, I listened to the audio on the above website, and it sounds like the baby is just making "cooing" sounds, and not saying, "Islam is the light."

You can also hear it on a newsclip at Youtube, where it is MUCH clearer, which makes me wonder if the sound on the YouTube was altered, because it's not that clear in the audio on the website...

On the other hand, I sure dont' want little girls sublimally indoctrinated into the Muslim religion (or any other one, for that matter). I'm an atheist myself, but I just can't see how any woman could accept a religion where she is thought of as less than dirt. Has to hide her face, cover her *entire* body for "modesty" and has to stay with women at all times, and if there's even the *suspicion* that she has talked to a man who is not a member of her own family, she can be killed and that's perfectly fine, because it's a matter of "family honor."

Christianity much better but still with flaws - fundamentalist Christians don't seem to have that high an opinion of women, either...but they ain't as bad as Muslims. Then of course right here in the US we've got polygamist sects, where women actually accept being one of several wives to the same guy, with each one giving birth to five or six kids because of course that's all she's on earth for.... that's a belief that I just don't understand...and yet there are women who voluntarily subject themselves to that kind of life.

For myself, I grew up indoctrinated on The Avengers - John Steed and Emma Peel, equal partners in business and life - that's the way women and men should treat each other...

New pages added to You Fly, Girl

It's been a while since I've updated my webzine, You Fly Girl (aka Winged Victory: Women in Aviation), but I'll be doing so throughout the month of November and hopefuly along into the new year.

Anyway, two new pages: Just commenting on the Women Aviators Wiki and urging everyone to contribute to it. My list of gifts and equpment - for girls and women.

Friday, December 12, 2008

WASP Betty Jane Williams has made final flight

Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times,0,6691709.story

Betty Jane Williams earned her pilot's license six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In January 1944 she joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots. The women flew 78 types of military aircraft. But they had to wait until 1977 to be eligible for veterans benefits.
By Valerie J. Nelson

10:34 PM PST, December 10, 2008
Betty Jane Williams, who joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots, an elite group that flew noncombat missions during World War II, and served as a test pilot in Texas, has died. She was 89.

Williams, of Woodland Hills, died Monday at Providence Tarzana Medical Center of complications related to a stroke, her family said.

The war effort "needed everybody," Williams, a retired lieutenant colonel, told The Times in 1996. "An airplane doesn't respond to sex. It only responds to skill, and I was bitten by the aviation bug."

Six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Williams earned her pilot's license in a civilian training program. With the advent of the war, the government grounded general aviation flying on both coasts, and she became a flight attendant with a Canadian airline, Williams later recalled.

When the airlines established instrument flight-training schools, Williams got pilot training at the University of Vermont, then taught Navy and civilian pilots instrument flight techniques.

In January 1944, she returned to the cockpit with the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, and flew "wrecked planes that had been repaired to make sure they were airworthy," Williams told The Times in January.

About 25,000 women applied for the program, but only 1,830 were accepted. She was one of 1,074 women who successfully completed the flight training in Sweetwater, Texas, as part of the WASP program, established during the war to cope with the domestic shortage of military pilots.

At first, the women were restricted to flying in daylight in small aircraft but gradually took on more dangerous roles.

"When you're a pioneer," Williams said in 1996 in The Times, "You don't want to be called a sissy."

Born in 1919 in rural Kingston, Penn., Williams was the middle of three children and grew up wanting to fly.

"Girls just didn't do those kinds of things," Williams said in 1997 in the Los Angeles Daily News. "But the 1940s had arrived, and so had war. That changed everything."

As a WASP pilot, she was stationed at what is now Randolph Air Force Base near San Antonio. The women wore uniforms and piloted 78 types of military aircraft -- yet when the program disbanded in December 1944 they were denied military benefits and treated as civilians.

"We just thought we did an extraordinary job," Williams told The Times in 1993. "But to be booted out . . . it was a terrible injustice."

In 1977, the women were recognized for completing military service and allowed to apply for veterans benefits.

After the war, Williams became a commercial pilot, flight instructor and head of instrument ground school for New York airports in the late 1940s.

She also produced and hosted an early TV program in 1946 about aviation that aired on CBS and NBC.

During the Korean War, she served in the Air Force as a writer-producer for a video production squadron.

In California, she worked for North American Aviation and spent 20 years at Lockheed Aircraft as a technical writer and in-house filmmaker.

A founding organizer of the postwar WASP national organization, Williams served in several leadership roles and remained active in the group.

In January, she helped launch a planned aviation and aerospace library at James Monroe High School in North Hills by donating hundreds of her flight-related books, photographs and paintings to the campus.

Services were being planned.

Nelson is a Times staff writer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Re-enact WASP or other women's service organizations

Just found a site called Blitzkrieg Baby, which provides information for women re-enactors interested in World War II.

The service organizations during WWII

WASP - Women Auxiliary Service Pilots
WAFS - Women Auxiliary Ferry Service
WAAC/WAC - Women's Army Auxiliary Corps/ Women's Army Corps
ANC - Army Nurse Corps
NNC - Navy Nurse Corps
WAVES - Women's Reserve of the US Naval Reserve (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)
USMCWR - United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve
SPARS - Women's Reserve of the Coast Guard (Semper Paratus and its English translation Always Ready)
PHS - Public Health Service
ARC - American Red Cross

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The WASP tell their stories

Some more videos shared by Wings Across America at YouTube.

WASP Kaddy Landry Steele and her story about scattering ashes from a Piper Cub.

Speech by Nancy Parrish (daugher of WASP Deanie Parrish) to the Girl Scouts "Women of Distinction" awards luncheon. West Texas Girl Scout Council, 2005

WASP rap song. Written by WASP Deanie Parrish, arranged and performed by Nancy Parrish. The story of the American women pilots of WWII--told in RAP! Copyright Deanie Parrish.

Video of the Opening of the Fly Girls exhibit

provided by Wings Across America at YouTube:

Opening of Fly Girls, WWII at the WIMSA Memorial, 11/14/08

Pentagon channel reports on the exhibit:

WASP Sandy Thompson remembers her first days flying the B-26. Shot in 1996 at Lone Star Flight Museum

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jessica Cox, armless aviator

Just saw the news today about Jessica Cox, a 25-year old woman without arms who just got her pilot's license.

I input her into the Women Aviator wiki toot sweet!

It's kind of sad. I sit here, on a daily basis, working on my computer, with the TV on next to me, on channels like Spike TV, where all these beautiful babes seem to want to do is get drunk, have sex, find a man to take care of them and get them drunk and have sex with them.

And meanwhile there's women like Jessica Cox, who want to do something with their lives, have goals to fly high and be strong, and overcome tremendous odds to do so.

You go, girl!

Wings of their Own review complete

I finished the review of Wings of Their Own, a 2004 documentary which interviewed over 200 women pilots, and you can find it here:

Apart from the lack of captions for each person when they were talking, this is quite an inspiring doc and I encourage everyone to check it out. The producers interviewed a wide cross-section of pilots, from students to pros, talked to a few WASP and Wally Funk of the Mercury 13, and so on.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Time Keeps on Slippin' Into the Future...

I've been having a ton of fun inputting data into the Women Aviators Wiki and a lot of the names have been culled from the Wings of their Own documentary.

I'm about inputted out for a while, though, so now it's time to get back to work on what I should be working on, namely my own stuff for my various webzines, The Thunder Child Science Fiction webzine and Winged Victory: Women in Aviation.

To that end, I'll get started today and writing the formal review of the Wings of their Own doc, which I'll be publishing at Winged Victory. It's actually quite a good doc, and one I recommend to everyone (it'd make a nice Christmas present ; ) ) with that one glaring flaw which is the fact that most of the women aren't identified while they're speaking.

However, if you go to their website, there is a cute picture of a little girl in a monoplane holding a bunch of roses (I'm assuming the image comes from a vintage postcard), and, if you click on that image, you're taken to a list of each woman on the doc, and their photos, in order of their appearance on the doc.

This is an excellent and very much needed resource, and it is HIDDEN. IF you dont' read the text above the image, which says,
To learn more about
the Pilots in this film,
and Women in Aviation,

you'd never know that info was there. And yes, that's four lines of text, but it doesn't stand out in such a way that the casual observer is going to see it!!!!

Just makes me want to spin their propellers! (I'm trying to come up with aviation-centric exclamations.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Vi Cowden

Here's a video of WASP Vi Cowden explaining what it was like to fly during WWII.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nancy Welz Aldrich

Nancy Aldrich was 31 years old, divorced and had 2 children. She started taking flying lessons, and after a couple of years became a pilot for United Airlines.

She's written a book, called Captain Gramma, which you can order at the link above.

See and hear how she did it.

[There's supposed to be a video in the empty space below... for some reason it's not showing up on my computer!]

I've also added her to the Women Aviators Wiki:

If you are a pilot or know a woman pilot, please enter your data at the wiki! If you are hesitant because of a "fear of programming" don't be - it's all English language. Just create a page and type. I (or other contributors knowledgable in wikification) will go in afterwards and format it properly - you don't need to concern yourself with that if you dont' want to.

How Not to Make A Documentary.

Or Arrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhh!

I received a documentary to review, a couple of days ago, Wings of their Own, produced by Mary Scott and Abby Dress.

And they interviewed about 100 women pilots, and each of these women has a few snippets throughout the doc of how they got interested in flying, why they fly, etc. etc. A few WASP were interviewed, etc.

But, guesss what. You don't know who any of these women are!!! Not one woman is identified while she's speaking, as you'd expect.

So, as a "take charge" kind of woman, I just have to throw up my hands at this. Give me the master for this doc and let me fix it up!

Each of these women has something interesting and inspiring to say, and yet we don't know who they are!

When they show photos of old timers - like Louise Thaden, or of race winners, they identify those pilots with captions, so I know they had the ability to put captions on each person, and yet they didn't. SO frustrating.

One of the "extras" on the DVD is a photo gallery of each person who participated, and their name is given there, but I don't have the kind of memory that can look at that gallery and then put names to faces when I watch the doc.

The names of the pilots who spoke for the doc (alphebetical list below):

Doris Abbate
Gabrielle Adelman
Karen Agee
Meghan Albittain
Nancy Welz Aldrich
Dottie Anderson
Gloria Apple
Sunny Atkins
Suzanne Azar

Cheryl Baker (archival audio)
Elloise Beatty
Capt. Jenny Beatty
Joy Parker Blackwood
Lorrie Blech
Judith Bolkema-Tokar
Janet Harmon Bragg
Caroline Bryan
Chandra Sawant Budhabbhatti (India)
Susan Livingston Barre
Capt. Beverley Bass
Jenny Beatty
Trish Beckman
Linda Berlin
Janet Harmon Bragg
Galina Brok-Beltsova
Jacque Boyd

Carol Cary-Hopson
Ashley Cavert
Julie Clark
Pat Collins
Linda Cain
Marie Carastro
Susan Carastro
Linda Fritsche Castner
Jackie Cochran (archival footage)
Bessie Coleman (archival photos)
Eileen Collins (Colonel, astronaut)
Claudette Colwell
Vi Cowden
Donna Crane-Bailey
Mary Cresson

Katrina Derricote
Bobbi Doorenbos
Billie Downing
Peggy Doyle
Jennifer Drake, Lt, USN Fighter pilot
Linda Mae Draper
Martha Dunbar

Amelia Earhart (archival footage)

Charlene C. Falkenberg
Lois Feigenbaum
Phyllis Felker
Misti Flaspohler
Irene Flewellen (archival footage)
Cornelia Fort[e] (archival photo)
Carol Foy
Allie Franke
Melanie Frey-Eppard
Leah Fritsche
Carol Froehling
Marcia B. Fuller
Wally Funk

Barbara Garwood
Emily Metz Gile
Michelle Glisan
Traude Gomez (German)
Barbara Goodwin
Marjorie Gray
Amanda Gruden
Michelle Gutierrez
Susie Grundler

Jeanette Hackler
Col. Kelly Hamilton, USAF
Korina Harris
Mardell Haskins
Bee Falk Haydu
Tookie Hensley
Col. Allison Hickey, USAF
Joyce Hilchie
Lynn Holland
Anne Honer
Michelle Hovey
Betty Huck
Ernesteen Hunt
Vicky Hunt

Gretchen Jahn
Marion Jayne
Christine A. Jean-Charles
Mary Goodrich Jenson
Gene Nora Jessen (archival footage)
Bonnie Johnson
Pat Johnson
Evelyn Johnson
Jerry Anne Jurenka

Patricia Jayne Keefer
Mary Keller
Janis Keown-Blackburn
Joan Kerwin
Alberta Pashkvan Kinney
Capt Nancy Kovaes
Evelyn Kropp

Katherine Landdeck
Laura Lattanzio
Nelda Lee
Captain Mary Lee
Carol Levine
Lilya Litvyak
Ruth Logan
Judy Logue
Barbara Erickson London
Francesca Los
Nancy Love (archival footage)
Alice Lovejoy (archival photo)
Esther Lowry

Ruth Maestre
Kristen Mansel
Capt Susan Maule
Martha Miller
Nancy A. Miller
Heidi Moore
Nanette Malher
Jody McCarrell
Erin McCoy
Rosemarie McRae
Kathy McDonald
Claudia McKnight, Lt. Commander, USCG
Madeleine Monaco
Linda Meese
Patricia Minard
Donna Moore

Carolyn Van Newkirk
Erin Nolan

Beth Oliver
Candie Oldham
Phoebe Omlie (archival footage)
A. Lee Orr

Agata Pares
Mary Patterson
Barbara Harris Para
Sofia Payton
Carolyn Pilaar
Gaynor Pilkington
Pat Noyes Prentiss
Debra Price

Terry Queijo

Mikaelia Ramanan
Elena Ray
Hilda Ray
Capt Terry London Rinehart
Margaret Ringenberg
Elaine Roehrig
Mabel Rawlinson (archival footage)
Margie Richison
Stephanie Roberts
Elaine Roderic
Holly Lee Roe
Barbara Rohde
Kathleen Roy

Marina Saettone
Pam Saylor (Phillipines)
Linda Scully
Mohini Shroff
Linda Schumm
Merav Schwartz
Tamra Sheffman
Anne Shields
Ruby Wine Sheldon
Vicki Lynn Sherman
Kristin Shoemaker
Dora Davis Skinner (archival footage)
Christine Sleeper
Carolyn Smith
Jill Smith
Coralie Ann Stamp
Katherine Stinson (archival footage)
Elinor Smith (Sullivan)
Linda Soliars
Joan Steinberger
Anne Sultan, Esq.
Deborah Sutor
Nancy Swanner
Helen Swallow
Eryn Swanson

Wei-en Tan
Ashley Tharp
Bea St. Claire Thurston
Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, Captain
Jean K. Tinsley
Gertrude Tompkins-Silver (archive photo)
Bobbi Trout (archival footage)

Polly Vacher
Lt Colonel Terry VandenDolder

Maj April Walker. USAF
Evie Lou Washington
Denise Waters
Keri Wiznerowicz
Emily Howell Warner
Dee Bond Wakelin (New Zealand)
Fay Gillis Wells (archival footage)
Susan Westervelt
Gary Wheeler
Penny White
Lewie Wiese
Cindy Wilson
Marolyn Wilson
Donna Forsyth Wilt
Valdeen Wooton
Katherine Wright (archival photos)
Susan Wright (arhival photo)

Janet Yoder
Capt Lucy B. Young, USNR retired

Roberta Zimmerman

This Day In Women's Aviation

I received my This Day in Women's Aviation desk calender from today.

I'm quite pleased wit the information - one snippet of information per each of the 365 days in the year, as per any other desk calendar, sitting on a sturdy black plastic base.

It's a maiden effort, however, and so instead of individual photographs or illustrations of the pilot concerned for each day, the illustration for each day is only of the Powder Puff Pilot logo.

If this calendar is a success, then I'm sure they'll go for a more "top-of-the-line" version next year.

So, make this calendar a success! Buy it for yourself, for friends and family, for anyone interested in aviation that ya know!

In addition to the date, and the information nugget, there's also four lines for you to write notes. Three different month calendars in the top left hand corner, so you know what came before and what's going to come after day wise, etc.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let's get wikified!

I've spent the day adding entries to the Women Aviators Wiki.

It's now up to 137 entries, and if I continue to work at the rate I'm doing now, should be 200 by next Monday, if not more.

Of course there are thousands of women pilots that need to be added, so if you'd like to take a hand, feel free.

If you're scared because you don't understand how a wiki works, just send me your info, and I'll "wikify" it for you. No problem.

I'm having fun working on it... And I'm a bit obsessive compulsive which is why I'm devoting so much time to it right now despite the fact that I've got my own stuff I should be doing... but that's what makes me me. The more work of my own I've got to do, the more I love to procrastinate by doing other things.

And this certainly is a worthy cause.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pipped at the post again!

I had long intended to start a Women's Aviator Wiki, as an adjunct to my You Fly, Girl webzine, but I see that Women Fly, the company that puts out T-shirts featuring women pilots, has beaten me to it.

Here is the URL for the Wiki:

So far 72 pilots have been added. It needs more contributors, so let's all get together and give it a go!

Willa Brown (Chappell)

Read more about women pilots at Winged Victory: Women in Aviation webzine.

Willa Brown

Willa Brown does not have an entry at Wikipedia.

There is an entry on her at Black Wings:, featuring an excerpt written about her by Enoch Waters, the city editor of the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, in 1936. (The founder and editor of this paper in the early 1900s, Robert S. Abbott, also helped Bessie Coleman get the funds to travel to France to become the first African American woman to get a pilot's license.)

There is an entry for her at Women Aviatiors:
From her page there:
Willa was born on January 22, 1906 in Glasgow, Kentucky. She earned a B.A. from Indiana Teachers College (1927) and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University (1937). She enrolled in the Aeronautical University in Chicago and earned a Master Mechanic Certificate. On June 22, 1938, she earned her private pilot's license with a near perfect test score.

Willa was instrumental in establishing the Coffey School of Aeronautics. (In doing so, she fulfilled Bessie Coleman's ambition of a black owned private flight school.) As the president of the Chicago branch of the National Airmen’s Association of America, she led the successful fight to integrate African Americans into the U.S. Army Corps.

Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Willa became the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. She was a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's Women's Advisory Board and became the first African American woman to earn a commercial pilot's license (i.e., so that she could fly passenger airplanes). In 1946 she became the first African American woman to run for Congress.

Willa Brown died in July of 1992.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Women wing walkers

Golden Age aerialists performing thrills for motion pictures and newsreels. Aviatrix footage of the of Mabel Cody, Lilian Boyer, Pancho Barnes, Bobbi Trout and Ninety-Nines aviatrix. See:

Only 19 seconds worth of footage here, but you get the idea...

Mary Regalbuto Jones

Mary Regalbuto Jones

No entry in Wikipedia

Obituary from the WASP website, Wings Across America
Mary was born on November 16, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, Her parents were Carmela and Philip Regalbuto. She graduated from high school in 1941 and shortly afterwards started studying for her pilot's license.

In 1943, she enlisted in the WASP - the Women Airforce Service Pilots training program. She earned her wings the next year and was sent to the Waco Army Air Field in Waco, Texas, where she was an engineering test pilot.

Mary wed Erwin Jones in 1946 and began working in administrative, personnel and program management positions for the Federal Government.

She was elected in 1974 to serve on the American Airlines Board of Directors, the first woman to do so.

During her 33 years in Federal service, Jones received many awards and honors, including a letter of commendation from President Reagan.

She retired in 1981 and moved to Tulsa to enroll at Spartan School of Aeronautics, where she revalidated her pilot's license and became a sport and antique aviation enthusiast.

She owned and flew a 1941 Navy N3N-3 biplane trainer for 14 years.

Mary founded the First National Biplane Fly-In in Bartlesville in 1987, and she was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Science from Oklahoma State University in 1997, when she was 75. (

Obit at Wee Beastie Biplane works:

Here's a photo of her in her biplane:

Several photos from Wings Across America site, WASP of Oklahoma

Support this site, not to mention literacy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Documentary: Wings of their Own

I recieved a review copy today of Wings of Their Own, a documentary produced in 2006 which interviewed dozens of women pilots and told the story of some of the early pioneers.

Directed by Mary Scott,
Produced by Abby Dress and Mary Scott

Here's some descriptive info from their website:
The production crew has interviewed over 150 women pilots, most of whom are Ninety-Nines, the renowned organization of women pilots founded by Faye Gillis Wells & Amelia Earhart in 1929, at Curtiss Field, Long Island. We have also worked with the Air Race Classic, Women in Aviation International, and Women Military Aviators.

These are women of distinction with fascinating stories to tell. Some are actual pioneers, who pursued aviation firsts, others are record holders, and many do it for fun or a career.

I'll be reviewing this DVD in a couple of days.

And I urge everyone reading this entry to support women in aviation, to encourage their daughters in aviation, and education their sons as to the role of women in aviation! So pick up this documentary - or at least request that your local library do so!

DVD First Screen

Menu Screens

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amy Laboda

(One of the women who's photos appear on the new International Women's Air and Space Museum commemorative deck of playing cards.)

For more info on women in aviation see my website: Winged Victory.

Amy Laboda
1) does not have an entry at Wikipedia.
2. Is profiled at Women in Aviation International:
Amy began pilot lessons at age 15. She soloed at 16 and earned her private pilot certificate two days after her seventeenth birthday. She continued flying while earning a Liberal Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York; by the time she graduated she was an instrument-rated commercial pilot and before the year was out she had earned her instructor's rating.

She's had a variety of careers in the aviation fields, and is currently head of Marketing Arts, and does freelance editing for magazines such as: Flight Training, Dive Training and AOPA Pilot. She is also editor of Aviation For Women magazine.

She's married, has two kids, and along with her hubby is an avid scuba diver.

She wrote a series of articles on her attempt, with her husband, to build a kit plane:
and gave a talk about it at LoPresti (Vero Beach, Florida) on November 1, 2008. (Unfortunately and as usual, looks like all the participants are male. C'mon, girls!)

Check out some articles she's written: The Real Cost of Flying

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas gifts for aviation enthusiasts

I'll be putting together an article for Winged Victory: Women in Aviation on web stores and museums that feature women-centric items for the female aviator - although for many things, such as posters of WASP, guys should be perfectly happy getting those items, too.

But I think it's important to support organizations supporting women in aviation, and encourage the younger generations to get wings themselves.

So, first I'll deal with businesses that cater to women pilots, then I'll list museums and such that do so.

A desk calendar, each day with a note on women's aviation history
A pilot's journal, pink cover with the powder puff logo
Various clothing such as vests and t-shirts. No baseball caps, though
Children's book featuring a female teddy bear illustrating the pilot's alphabet
Scarf with logo
Headsets, white or pink, from Softcom

2. Abingdon watches
They offer two watches, specifically designed for women: the Jackie (for Jackie Cochran) and the Amelia (for Amelia Peabody).

3. Women Fly
They sell ballcaps, with the Women Fly logo, and lots of T-shirts, with photos of famous women pilots on them:
Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Patty Wagstaff, Bessie Coleman, Nancy Harkness Love, Fay Gillis Wells, Harriet Quimby, the WASP, Jerrie Cobb, Beryl Markham, Libby Gardner, Willa Brown Chappell, Gladys Roy and Wally Funk.

4. Flight Training Camp for Girls
Now this is what I'm talking about! Get your girl some flying lessons!

Judith Resnik

This blog sponsored by Winged Victory: Women in Aviation website.

There are several tributes at YouTube to the several heroes who died during the space shuttle tragedies.

Astronaut Judith Resnik (April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American engineer and astronaut who was killed in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger during the launch of mission STS-51-L.

Resnik was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She had one brother, Charles, who was four years younger. Her parents were Marvin, an optometrist, and Sara Resnik.

She attended Fairlawn Elementary School (renamed in her honor after her death), and graduated from Firestone High School, where she excelled in math and played classical piano. She achieved a perfect SAT score and was the lone female to do so that year.

Resnik earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1970. She married fellow student Michael Oldak in that year. They divorced in 1974 because Michael wanted children; Judith wanted to focus on her career.

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, she was employed at RCA as a design engineer, and later worked with various NASA projects contracted to the company.

She earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1977 at the University of Maryland.

While working toward her doctorate, Resnik was affiliated with the National Institutes of Health as a biomedical engineer. Later, she was a systems engineer with Xerox Corporation.

She was selected for the astronaut program in January 1978, serving as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery, from August to September 1984. She was also a mission specialist aboard Challenger for STS-51-L.

Resnik crater, located within the Apollo impact basin on the far side of the Moon, was named in her honor, as is a dormitory at Carnegie Mellon. There is a statue commemorating her on the grounds. The school library at Firestone High School, Resnik's high school alma mater, was also named after her.

Fairlawn Elementary School was renamed Judith A. Resnik Community Learning Center when it reopened in December 2006. There is also an elementary school in Gaithersburg, Maryland named in her honor, which opened in 1992. Judy Resnik Drive, a street in Randolph, NJ was also named after Resnik.

She was portrayed by Julie Fulton in the 1990 TV movie Challenger.

Biographical data from the NASA website: Learning center for students, honoring the fallen heros of the Challenger space shuttle.

In memorium: The Crew of the Challenger during flight STS-51-L:
Gregory Jarvis
Ronald McNair
Christa McAuliffe
Ellison Onizuka
Michael J. Smith
Dick Scobee
Judith Resnik

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mary Rawlinson Creason

Information about her on the web:

Her sister, Mabel Rawlinson, was a WASP.

1) Profile at the MDot Department of Transportation website,1607,7-151-9620_11154_41535-143071--,00.html
Mary Rawlinson Creason joined the Aeronautics Bureau, then part of the Michigan Department of State Highways, in 1977, and became the first woman pilot in state government. She earned her private pilot's license in 1943 while a student at Western Michigan University.

See link for complete article

Profiled at the WMU Alumni Association (Western Michigan University) website:

Michagan 99 Flyers

Make*Believe TV: Wings of their Own Documentary (a 99-minute video. The 99's, get it? ; )

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Commercial websites for women pilots

Came across this website which has a desk calendar featuring dates in women's aviation. That's a calendar I've been searching for for a long time, indeed, if I had had the financial wherewithal myself I would have made one meself and put it on the market.

Anyway, they beat me to it, and I ordered it today. I'll report on it when I get it, but if you know of anyone interested in aviation, (female or otherwise!) send 'em this as a Christmas gift!

They also have clothing - t-shirts, fleecy vests, a logbook (pink, with the powderpuff logo on the front), and Softcomm headsets.

Ruth Alexander

Visit for more info on women pilots.

Ruth Blaney Alexander was born on May 18, 1905 and died on September 18, 1930.

Info about her on the web
She has an entry at Wikipedia.
On September 9, 1929, Ruth had an introductory flight at Ryan Field in San Diego, California.

She became the 65th licensed woman pilot in the U.S.

On November 18, 1929, less than 24 hours after receiving her license, she took off from Lindbergh Field in SAn Diego in a Great Lakes biplane and continued climbing to what she believed was an altitude of better than 18,000 feet. Twas later recognized as a new official altitude record for women in light planes of 15,718 feet.

On February 16, 1930, she qualified for a United States second-class glider license from the slopes of Mount Soledad, near La Jolla, California. In doing so she followed Anne Morrow Lindbergh as the second woman in the United States to achieve this distinction.

Ruth made a perfect flight using a primary glider lasting 2 minutes, 33 and 2/5 seconds.

On July 4, 1930, she flew her Barling NB-3 light aircraft (serial number 52, U.S. Department of Commerce registration number 880M) to 21,000 feet, however this was an unofficial record. In the spring of 1930, she became a glider instructor -- the first woman in the United States to hold this position.

On July 11, 1930, Ruth took off at 1:34 p.m. in the Barling from Lindbergh Field. After briefly losing consciousness at extreme altitudes, she established a new world record in light planes (both men and women) of 26,600 feet at the apex of the flight. The American record held prior to her flight was set by D. S. Zimmerly (male) at an altitude of 24,074 feet over St. Louis, Missouri on February 16, 1930.

Ruth died on September 18, 1930 when her NB-3 Barling struck a hillside shortly after takeoff on from Lindbergh Field, San Diego. She had been on a scheduled cross-country flight to New York City via Wichita, Kansas.

She had been married for just a few months, to Robert A Elliott, a Naval reserve pilot (and apparently had been married twice before).

Times printed a brief obituary:,9171,740428-4,00.html

Media that references Alexander:
Carlson, D (1978) "Women in San Diego...a History in Photographs" The Journal of San Diego History, Vo. XXIV, No. 3.
Fogel, Gary (2001) "Wind and Wings: The History of Soaring in San Diego" RockReef Press, San Diego
Fogel, Gary and Lindemer, Grant (2007) "Ruth Blaney Alexander: A Dream of Wings" Quiet Flyer, Vol. No. 8, pp. 22-27.
"Girl Flies Up 20,000 Feet," The Irving Leader, July 11, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander Will be in Irving Soon," The Irving Leader, September 12, 1930.
"Cracked Up," The Irving Leader, September 19, 1930.
"Ruth Blaney Alexander," Advocate Democrat, September 25, 1930.
"Left Pathos When Crashed to Death," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Hall of Fame Beckoned to Ruth," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.
"Struggles Led the Way to Her Success," Marshall Co. News, September 26, 1930.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sue Parish

Sue Parish is one of the women pilots whose photos appear in the new IWASM Museum playing cards.

According to the ID on the card, she is "one of 1st women warbird pilots on airshow circuit, and co-founder of the Air Zoo."

Read up on her in this article at the Wings Across America website:

Visit this website to see a photo of her today:

N777SU (cn G-18) Sue Parish taking shots of the crowd after her performance at the Kalamazoo Air Show. She's flying a Beech T-34A Mentor (A45)

If you play Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator II, you can put in her Pink P-40 (which is currently on display at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.)

Other info:
(established 1995)
1995: Paul Poberezny, Walt Ohlrich, John Baugh, Bill Harrison, Jerry Walbrun
1996: Dick Dieter, Charlie Nogle
1997: Sue Parish, Rudy Frasca, Jeff Ethell
1998: John Ellis, Randy Sohn
1999: William Dodds, Richard Ervin
2000: Dave Schlingman
2001: Lincoln Dexter, Edward Maloney
2002: Frank C. Sanders
2003: Chuck Doyle, Lloyd Parker Nolen
2004: Howard Pardue

International Women's Air & Space Museum playing Cards

Got my playing cards today, the second edition.

Visit their site at:
Visit their shop at:

This pack includes photos of:

Sue Parish - co-founder, Air Zoo
Ruth Alexander (1905-1930)
Mary R. Creason - Michigan aviator
Judith Resnik (1949-1986) astronaut
Amy Laboda - aviation journalist
Mary Regalbuto Jones (1922-2004)
Willa Brown (1906-1992) 1st black woman licensed in US. (Bessie Coleman was licensed in France)
Blanche Noyes (1900-1981)
Evelyn Bryan Johnson - instructor
Capt Jammie Jamieson - first female F-22 Raptor pilot
Galina Korchuganova (1935-2004) Founder Aviatrissa-Russian women's aviation organization
Valentina Tereshkova - first woman in Space
Wilma Fritschy (no photo)
Doris Scott (1918-1998) IWASM president, 1976-1985
Hanna Reitsch (1912-1979) Glider pilot, Whirly Girl #1
Florence Boswell (1894-1968)- 1st woman flight instructor,Ohio
Fran Bera - 7 time Powder Puff Derby winner
Patricia Hange - co-owner Lenox Flight School
Harriet Hamilton - co-owner, Lenox
Sarah Ratley - one of Mercury 13
WAFS: Evelyn Sharp, Barbara Towne, Nancy Love, B.J. Erickson
Pamela Ann Melroy - 2nd woman commander, space shuttle
125th Guards - Soviet women's WWII Dive Bomber Regiment - flew 1,134 combat missions
Pat Brady - airborne traffic controller.
Zoe Dell Lantis - official hostess, 1939-40 SFO World's fair
Patty Wagstaff - 1st US Nstl Aerobatic champion
Libby Mele (1917-2000) one of the first female air traffic controllers in the US
Louise G. Vamos (1907-2001), Clebelabds first female commercial pilot
Elizabeth Schwenkler - 1st woman US National soaring champion - 2006
Edna Gardner Whyte - champion air racer
Evelyn "Bobbi" Trout (1906-2003) record setter, 1929
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001), 1st US licensed glidr pilot
Mercury 13 (7 standing in a group)
Ruth Shafer Fleischer - WASP
Edith Dizon - first female Filipina pilot
Phoebe Omlie (1902-1975), 1st female transcontinental air racer
Peggy Whitson - 1st female commander of the Space Station
IWASM Founders (5 standing)
Marjorie N. Gorman - commercial and helicopter pilot
Kay Brick (1910-1995) WASP
Helen MacCloskey (1909-1977) World speed record holder 1935
Mary Fecser (1912-1986) - air racer
Sally Ride - 1st American woman in space
Helen Sammon - IWASM trustee
Virginia M. Schweizer - 1947 World Women's Altitude Record - Soaring Hall of Fame
Nicole Malachowski - 1st female US Air Force Thunderbird pilot
Wally Funk - Mercury 13
2 of the Night Witches
Nancy Batson Crews (1920-2001) one of the original WAFS
Jerrie Cobb - one of the Mercury 13
Elizabeth McQueen (1876-1958) - founder of WIAA
Barbara Donahue Ross (b. 1920) WAFS #16
Marion P. Jayne (1926-1996) FAI Gold Medalist WOrld Air Race, First Century of Flight Aviation Hero

Friday, October 24, 2008

Support the International Women's Air and Space Museum

If you're on the internet, I'd say there's a good probability that you use to search for various websites.

Well, from now on, why not bookmark and use instead. It's the Yahoo search engine, but by using it, you can earn money for a charity or cause - depending on which one you put in the appropriate box.

For myself, I put in International Women's Air & Space Museum.

(Despite the instructions on the IWASM website, just inputting "iwasm" didn't work. You need to put in the full name of the Museum.)

After that, just search as you normally do, and a little bit of money will go to the IWASM. (So little, in fact, that it only helps if lots and lots of people use this particular search engine, but hopefully all my readers here will start to do so. ; )) Heck, every little bit helps.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OT: Women's Marathon Winner Loses!

This doesn't make any sense, but this is what happened.

At Women's Marathon, fastest time didn't win
There were over 20,000 competitors in Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. And 24-year-old Arien O'Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women.

But she didn't win.

No one seemed exactly sure what to do. The trophies had already been handed out and the official results announced. Now organizers seem to be hoping it will all go away.

"At this point," Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez said Monday, "we've declared our winner."

O'Connell said some race officials actually implied she'd messed up the seeding by not declaring herself an "elite" runner.

"If you're feeling like you're going to be a leader," race producer Dan Hirsch said Monday, "you should be in the elite pack."

So this is her fault? O'Connell was just being modest.

"I'm a good, solid runner," she said. "I never considered myself elite."

Jim Estes, associate director of the long-distance running program for USA Track and Field, did his best to explain the ruling. He's had some practice with the issue. The Sunday before last, at the Chicago Marathon, a Kenyan named Wesley Korir pulled off a similar surprise, finishing fourth even though he wasn't in the elite group and started five minutes after the top runners.

Read the whole article to see exactly what happpened.

Comments are allowed on this article, and many people are saying that Arien O'Connell should sign with some shoe company other than Nike and make a bundle.

I don't know that I'd buy a shoe with her name on it just because of this...but I have to say I'm not too impressed with the people Nike hires to run their marathons...

And one wouldn've thought the three women who were called the winners would have handed back their prize money, regardless...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

OT: Popular Mechanics magazine, October 2008

My dad gets this magazine, and when he's done with it, he gives it to me.

I haven't got a mechanical bent, but I enjoy reading about all the types of stuff they cover (and for that matter, my sister does have a mechanical bent.)

Anyway, so on the cover of this particular issue, the "Special DIY Mega Issue" the blurb is of course:

100 Skills Every Man Should Know

and the list they have on the cover:

Fix a leak
Pilot a boat
Weld steel
Fell a tree
Shoot straight
Mix concrete
Drive off-road
Work with wood
Escape a sinking car

And I'm thinking... is there a reason why women shouldn't know these things?

I mean, women are supposed to be such bad drivers compared to men, shouldn't they know how to get out of a sinking car should they be silly enough to drive into a lake or something? Or do the editors of Popular Mechanics think only men are stupid enough to do that?

Well, at least among the 100 things they include inside the issue are How to iron a shirt, How to change a diaper, Teaching your Kids to Ride a Bike and Fish, Sew a button, and use a sewing machine ("on camping gear, light tarps, kites and myriad other manly stuff.")

Saturday, October 18, 2008

OT: The Curious Boy's Book of Adventure

OT: The Curious Boy's Book of Adventure: 100 Hi-jinks and Escapades

I was browsing through my local library's book shelves a few days ago when I came across this little gem.

It was published in 2007.

And yet the author, Sam Martin, blithely targets this book of "Hi-jinks and Escapades," of "Adventure" for boys only, as if we still live in a time when boys got to have all the fun and girls sat at home with their knitting, waiting for a boy to call.

Well... we *do* live in that age still, unfortunately, for many girls who are brought up to believe the media hype that that is all they exist for, and so a book like this is needed much more for girls than for boys. But, of course, it's got the word "Boy's" in the title, so god forbid any girl should look at it and think, "Hey, why can't I do this stuff?"

But of course, there's the same old "stigma." She'd never be greeted by, "Oh, you want to be an adventurous girl?" No, it'd be, "Oh, you want to be a boy!"

Anyway, the book contains such things as:

Exploring - making a tent, rowing a boat, finding north without a compass

Hunting - making a bow and arro, fishing, bug hunting

Experiemting - cooking up slime, sending a secret message, making a telephome

Building - paper airplanes, model boats, a kite

Playing - spinning tops, playing marbles, climbing, training your dog

And you, Mr. Sam Martin, are telling me that curious girls can't enjoy this stuff just as well?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

OT: Women as second class citizens

I came across an interesting news article today.

Magazine Featuring Female Pastors Pulled From Shelves, 'Treated Like Pornography'
The five women on the cover are dressed in black and smiling — not an uncommon strategy for selling magazines.

But these cover girls are women of the cloth, featured in Gospel Today magazine's latest issue, which the Southern Baptist Convention has pulled from the shelves at its bookstores, though the magazine is available for sale upon request.

The group says women pastors go against its beliefs, according to its interpretation of the New Testament. The magazine was taken off stands in more than 100 Lifeway Christian Bookstores across the country, including six in metro Atlanta.

One wonders if these religious fundamentalists are the same ones who will vote for Sarah Palin for Vice President?

For myself, I am not religious at all, and don't understand how anybody with common sense can be...but that's a bagatelle. The point is that for the Southern Baptists to demand that this magazine be hidden, and the fact that bookstores frightening.

I'd say the same even if the women on the cover were Muslims wearing Burkhas, and were even misguided enough to talk about their faith and its horrific restrictions against women as if it were a good thing. Let people read and decide for themselves...

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Eagle and the Hawk

One of my favorite songs, by John Denver.

and here's a song called Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel, which I really, really like. Uhfortunately embeddng has been disabled, but check out the link,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OT: Politics: The Hypocrisy is Monumental

John Edwards' wife, who is cancer-stricken, is being blasted by members of the Democrat party because she didn't expose her husband as an adulterer - ie. someone having an affair, even though he was asked about it several times and denied it several times.

The hypocrisy is of course the fact that Hilary Clinton's entire political career is based on being the wife of Bill Clinton, the ladies' man's ladies' man. And yet she has received nothing but praise for standing by her man.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mark this date on your calendar: NOVEMBER 14, 2008


The FLYGIRLS of WWII Exhibit will be on display for the next year at WIMSA. (Women in Military Service Memorial)

November 14, 1942. The first class of WASP arrived in Houston and gathered together at a hotel downtown. The next day, they 'reported in' at the Houston Municipal Airport, raised their right hands, took the 'Oath', and officially became WFTD trainees.

Below I share the complete upcoming events from WIMSA:

Upcoming Events

2008 Freedom Walk Begins at Women's Memorial Sept. 7
The Women's Memorial is proud to be the official starting point for the
Washington, DC-based 4th Annual National Freedom Walk to honor
servicemembers and veterans and to commemorate victims of the September 11th
attacks. To learn how to participate in the Sept. 7 National Freedom Walk or a Freedom Walk in your area that week, read this Women's Memorial online feature or visit the Freedom Walk Web site.

WAC Veterans to Hold Annual Convention Aug. 20-24 in Detroit
The Women's Army Corps Veterans Association (WACVA) will host is 62nd National Convention Aug. 20-24 in Detroit, MI. For more information about this year's event, visit the WAC Veterans' Web site.

VA Hosts 22nd Golden Age Games in Indianapolis
Veterans from across the country will compete in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) 22nd annual Golden Age Games Aug. 20-24 in Indianapolis. Competition is open to all U.S. military veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a VA medical facility. Events include swimming, bicycling, bowling, croquet, air rifle, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, discus and shot put. For more information, visit the Golden Age Games Web site.

Women Marines to Hold Biennial Convention
Women who have or who are currently serving in the Marine Corps are invited to attend the Women Marines Association's 25th Biennial Convention and Professional Development Conference Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2008, at the Westin Galleria, Houston, TX. For more information, visit the convention Web site.

WAVES National Convention Scheduled for Sept. 8-13
WAVES National will hold its 2008 Convention Sept. 8-13 in San Diego, CA, at the Holiday Inn on the Bay. For more information about WAVES National and the convention, visit the WAVES National Convention Web site.

Women Veterans of America Sets National Convention for Sept. 12-14
All women veterans are invited to attend the National Convention of Women Veterans of America, Sept. 12-14, 2008, in Nashville, TN. For more information, visit the WVA’s convention Web site.

Vietnam Women's Memorial 15th Anniversary Planned Nov. 8-11
The 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Vietnam Women's Memorial dedication is planned for Nov 8-11 in Washington, DC. Events include a Candlelighting Ceremony, Storytelling at the Memorial, the Ceremony at The Wall, reunions and more. For more information, celebration updates and hotel registration, visit the Vietnam Women's Memorial Web site.

Save the date–"Flygirls of World War II" Exhibt Opens at Memorial Nov. 14
Mark your calendars for Nov. 14, 2008, the opening of Flygirls of World War II. This traveling exhibit showcases the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The Women's Memorial is the first stop on a nationwide tour of the exhibit, which is curated by Baylor University's Wings Across America Project. For more information about the exhibit, visit the Wings Across America Web site.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kaoru Takashima - ANA's first woman pilot

Part 1

Part 2

She became the first commercial pilot in 2002 or 2003, I've been unable to find out if she still flies for ANA. Still, interesting to watch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Airlines Livery/ Logos

It's been a while since I've made a post here. I've got lots of info, but I've been busy, sick, etc. etc.

So, here's a new site.

Airline logos, otherwise called livery, is fun to look at. This website collects a great many. It will be added to continually.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tricia Walsh-Smith Needs to Get a Grip

According to a yahoo news report, Philip Smith, the husband of Tricia Walsh-Smith, was granted his divorce today, with conditions that had been agreed upon in a 1999 prenuptial agreement.

This despite -- or one hopes, because of -- the fact, that this woman recorded herself on a video, which she then posted to YouTube, trashing her husband in public, then calling his secretary to trash him again, revealing intimate details, etc. etc.

And her lawyers (whom I hope are costing her a bundle) had the gall to say, "This is a victim who is holding her head up," he said. "I think she comes off well."

On the contrary, she comes across as a complete and total idiot, and I hope her ex-husband sues her for defamation of character, and for sheer stupidity.

By the way, she got a $750,000 settlement, and claims that he has basically "thrown her out on the street."

Frankly, considering that YouTube video (Jesus, it's immature highschool children who pull that kind of crap, not grown women), I wouldn't halved her settlement and told her to get a job flogging videos to Youtube.
Man wins divorce from angry wife in YouTube video

-----------Having said all the above, I did a search on Tricia Walsh-Smith and found out she had a website, with a guestbook. And there were hundreds of entries there praising her for being a "groundbreaker."

Isaac Asimov put it best, a few decades ago. I paraphrase, "One half of the world will soon be responsible for entertaining the other half." With the proliferation of "reality shows" that's exactly what's happening. People are trying to make money off of their sad little lives...and the tragedy is that there are actually people willing to tune into this "entertainment."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Virginia Festival Of Flight program

I attended the Virginia Festival of Flight at Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ), on the final day, Sunday. (It was held June 14 and 15).

This was the first time it was held at Suffolk Executive Airport.

Check out: Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society.

Workshop Schedule both Sat and Sunday:
Tent 4:
Shet Metal Riveting Tips, Techniques and pracctices

Tent 5
Engine Overhaul: Hans-on Disassembly and reassembly of an O-200 Continental Aircraft Engine


Girls With Wings

I believe I've mentioned this website before... a site designed to encourage girls to become pilots.

Their July ezine is out. It's only one page, but give it a look, and then go visit their website..

I like their motto, "Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales."

Friday, July 4, 2008

From Research to Relevance

Sample page

From Research to Relevance: Significant Achievements in Aeronautical Research at Langley Research Center (1917-2002).

Each subject has from a page to a page and a half of information.

NACA Cowling - 1928
Drag Cleanup - 1939
Airfoil Technology - 1942
Slotted Throat Transonic Tunnel - 1946
Area Rule - 1953
Externally Blown Flap - 1955
Variable Sweep-Wing Concept - 1959
Vertical andshort take off and landing - 1960
Flutter clearance - 1960
Vortex lift - 1964
Supercritical Wing - 1964
Runway grooving - 1965
Composites - 1970
Cryogenic Wind Tunnel Technology - 1073
Glass Cockpits - 1973
Crashworthiness - 1975
Computational Fluid Dynamics - 1975
Thrust Vectoring - 1975
Noise REduction - 1978
Lightning Characterization - 1978
Wake Vortex Technology - 1980
Airborne Windshear Detection - 1983
High-Angle-of-Atteack Technology - 1988
Synthetic Vision TEchnology - 1993
Advanced General Aviation Technologies - 1994
Hypersonic Airbreathiung Technology - 1996
Advanced Vehicle Concepts - 2000
Advanced Morphing materials - 2001

Adventures in Aeronautics Coloring Book

Okay...I'm 45, and perhaps the modern day animation "flavor of the month" has passed me by. I can't stand the animation in the current cartoons, for example - starting from Beavis and Butthead (ick ick on so many levels) and going on from there.

This coloring book has such stylized drawings that I really dislike, and I'm not sure what age level it's designed for. Presumably the parents will read it to the kids, while they color in it... It tells the history of the development of aircraft, in brief snapshots...

Sample page:

Ares I-X Test Flight

Just a one page sheet, nothing on the back... doesn't say what this is or what its to be used for.

Constellation Ares I-X Test Flight
Significant Milestorne for Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle

According to Wikipedia:
Ares I is the crew launch vehicle being developed by NASA as a component of Project Constellation. NASA will use Ares I to launch Orion, the spacecraft being designed for NASA human spaceflight missions after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010. Ares I was previously known as the Crew Launch Vehicle or CLV. The larger, unmanned Ares V is being designed as a complement to the Ares I; it will be the cargo launch vehicle for Project Constellation. Ares I and V are named after the Greek deity Ares, who is identified with the Roman god Mars.

(Interesting that it's called Ares/Mars, as Mars is generally considered the god of War. You'd've thought a more uplifting name could've been found....

NASA Material 2

Another sheet demonstrating how NASA experimentation throughout the decades has led to materials and knowledge that have benefitted the entire aviation industry.

1. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
2. Glass Cockpit
3. Digital Fly-By-Wire
4. Intelligent Flight Control Systems (IFCS)
5. Area Rule
6. Lightning Protection Standards
7. NASA Structural Anaylsis (NASTRAN)
8. Composite Structures)
9. Thrust Vectoring
10. TURBO-AE Code
11. Supercritical Airfoil
12. Short Take-Off and Landing (VTOL)
13. Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL)
14. Variable-Sweep Wing
15. Winglet
16. Wind Tunnels

NASA material from Langley Air Show, 2008

I attended the Langley Air Show for a few hours, a couple of weeks ago, and picked up lots of "paper."

NASA was out in full force, with a couple of experimental planes (I'll post pics later on), and lots of paper to take away.

As a niggle...their "paper" was of heavy, glossy paper stock. Looks very nice, hard wearing, but is it necessary to use such high quality for publications for an air show, the audience of which is mostly kids? Wouldn't cheaper paper have sufficed? (I say this only because I think that NASA needs to spend more on exploration and experimentation, and less on PR material.) Of course this material will be on display probably at every air show in the US, and maybe even at airshows in other countries, but still...

Anyway, in this entry is one of two photos entitled:

NASA AERONATICS RESEARCH ONBOARD: Decades of contributions to general aviation

Click on photos for larger size.

This one covered:

1. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
2. Composite Structures
3. Winglet
4. Quiet Jets
5. Lightning Protection Standards
6. TURBO-AE Code
7. Real-Time Graphical Weather
8. NASA Structural Analysis (NASTRAN)
9. Digital Fly-By-Wire
10. Highway-in-the-Sky (HITS)
11. Glass Cockpit
12. De-icing Systems
13. Natural Laminar Flow (NFL Airfoil)
14. Supercritical Airfoil
15. Area Rule
16. Synthetic Vision System (SVS)
17. Airbag Systems
18. Airborne Wind Shear Detectin
19. Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS)
20. Stall/Spin Research

Jay the Jet Plane

Ill-health continues to dog me, so I haven't been able to post here as often or as comprehensively as I'd like...

Will try to do better.

Today, I'm just going to share a flyer I picked up ...somewhere...a few months ago... I missed the actual event it advertises...

(The photo is sized for this on it and it will be bigger and more legible!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Remembering Harriet Quimby

From the wikipedia:

Harriet Quimby (May 11, 1875 – July 1, 1912) was the first female to gain a pilot license in the United States. In 1911 she earned the first U.S. pilot's certificate issued to a woman by the Aero Club of America, and less than a year later became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Although Quimby lived only to age 37, she had a major impact on women's roles in aviation.

Early career
A historical marker has been erected near the remains of the farmhouse in Arcadia, Michigan where Quimby was born. After her family moved to San Francisco, California in the early 1900s, she became a journalist. She moved to New York City in 1903 to work as a theatre critic for Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, which published over 250 of her articles over a nine-year period. She became interested in aviation in 1910, when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, New York and met Matilde Moisant and her brother John, a well-known American aviator and operator of a flight school. On August 1, 1911, Quimby took her pilot's test and became the first U.S. woman to earn a pilot's certificate. Matilde Moisant soon followed and became the nation's second certified female pilot.

In 1911 Quimby authored five screenplays that were made into silent film shorts by Biograph Studios. All five of the romance films were directed by director D.W. Griffith with stars such as Florence La Badie, Wilfred Lucas, and Blanche Sweet.

Vin Fiz
The Vin Fiz Company, a division of Armour Meat Packing Plant of Chicago, recruited Harriet as the spokesperson for the new grape soda, Vin Fiz, after Calbraith Perry Rodgers' death in April 1912. Her distinctive purple aviatrix uniform and image graced many of the advertising pieces of the day.

English Channel
On April 16, 1912, Quimby took off from Dover, England, en route to Calais, France and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles (40 km) from Calais on a beach in Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais. She had become the first woman to fly the English Channel. Her accomplishment received little media attention, due to the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15.

Quimby's career ended on July 1, 1912. She was flying in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, Massachusetts. William Willard, the event's organizer, was a passenger in her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. The plane unexpectedly pitched forward for reasons that are still unknown. Both Willard and Quimby were ejected and fell to their deaths [as they did not wear seatbels], while the plane "glided down and lodged itself in the mud." Harriet Quimby was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York. The following year her remains were moved to the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's restored and flyable Anzani-powered Blériot XI, which bears the Blériot factory's serial number 56, and the still-current N-number N60094, could possibly be the aircraft that Quimby was flying in 1912 during the Boston Aviation Meet.[citation needed] The previously wrecked aircraft that is now flying at Old Rhinebeck was found stored in a barn in Laconia, New Hampshire in the 1960s and fully restored to flying condition, most likely by Cole Palen, ORA's founder.

A 1991 postage stamp featured Quimby. She is memorialized in two official Michigan historical markers, one in Coldwater, and one at her birthplace in Manistee County, Michigan.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What is the media doing to young girls???

Yes, this is a blog about aviation...but it's meant to inspire young girls, and women, to achieve the heights... and sometimes when I come across some news article that seems to plumb the dephths of disgustitude (to coin a new word) I just have to speak up.

Women --- in the Western world --- have more opportunities now than ever before. They can do anything they want. Wear slacks instead of dresses, not get married if they dont' want to, not have kids if they don't want to (although 99% of all family members probably invariably ask "When are you going to have kids?" as soon as a marriage takes place, and "If you don't have kids you're just being selfish.")

Women can get jobs as police officers, explorers, athletes, military officers, and so on. They can be a success in all of these fields... etc. etc. etc.

And yet most young girls have no ambitions to be anything more than what they could have been 40 years ago - school teacer or nurse. And if they don't have a boyfriend by the time they're 13, and have a baby daddy by the time they're 15, they feel like they're failures.

Why is this?

Well.. it's the media. Advertising that bombards girls all day long with what they should look like and how they should act. Advertising that bombards young boys with what girls were placed on this earth for - to serve their needs, to provide them with the eye candy of bared midriffs and shorts cut up to the buttocks... etc. etc.

And its' the movies.

As reference this gem:

"Amanda" a muddled comedy about teen prostitution
Not a movie that you could pay me any amount of money to see, but her's a part of the review:

Matthew Broderick plays a TV writer with a gambling addiction who goes to Vegas to save his teenage niece (Brittany Snow) from prostitution. When he gets there, he finds that she enjoys prostituting herself and taking drugs so much that she doesn't want to change. Instead, she thinks he should go into rehab for his gambling addiction.

And then there's the movies and tv shows that glamorize the pregnancy of young girls, and single motherhood -- Juno, Knocked Up, etc.

All these movies which show these young girls having absolutely no problem raising these babies, no money problems, no problems finding boyfriends and getting married...

No...I don't want to see girls wearing burkhas, or ashamed of their bodies and getting anorexic... but they need to be inundated by a media that teaches them to respect themselves first, last and always.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Air Power over Hampton Roads 6/21-22.08

Last week I attended the Festival of Flight which took place at the Suffolk Executive Airport, inSuffolk VA. It was quite enjoyable, and I still have to write up my article and post photos, which I hope to do in another couple of days.

Today, Saturday, I attended the Air Power over Hampton Roads show at Langley Airforce Base.

There's no comparing the two shows, the one at Suffolk was a civilian thing, and had several hundred attendees over the weekend, the Air Power show of course had plenty of Military planes, as well as civilians, and dozens of shops, and tens of thousands of visitors. But I enjoyed them both and to the aircraft enthusiast they were both worth going to.

Nancy Lynn
A bittersweet return to Langley AFB for me... as the last time I'd gone, a couple of years ago, I had seen Nancy Lynn, the aerobatic pilot, who died in a crash just a couple of months later.

Anyway, I took lots of photos, but I'm not in the mood to do anything with them today as I've had too much sun and have developed a headache in consequence... I thought I'd been well prepared with a hat, sunglasses, and a water-sprayer, but as I've gotten older my susceptibility to bright sunshine and high heat has gotten worse...

Long line
I must say I entered the air show in a rather bemused fashion...I had to wait in my car in line 45 minutes before getting from the West Gate of Langley Airfield to the place where they were having us park... there were shuttle buses from there, but I'm willing to bet 99% of the people there didn't realize that til they were walking back on sore feet towards their cars...

Security Gate
So after we parked our cars and headed toward the plane area, there was the security gate to be got through. I was a bit nervous - I'd purchased a mini-backpack the day before, in which to keep my water sprayer and a bottle of water, and the signs leading up to the security checkpoint said "No backpacks". But purses were allowed, so I was hoping I could pass that thing off as purse - it was about that size. Not to mention the fact that the only things in it were the two water bottles.

So we as a crowd are walking through roped off lanes toward the security checkpoint - which broadened out into five lines with tables and metal detectors to step through, and as we walked through, I, at least, passed by two soldiers stationed at various points, chanting, "No pocket knives, no pocket knives."

So, I get up to the checkpoint, and I have to take off my ballcap, and my camera, as well as my minibackpack, and put them in a basket. I also have to put my keys in the basket.

And on my keys was a fingernail clipper.

Which was confiscated.

I just laughed. I'm a 5f ft 4 middle-aged woman, swallowed up amongst a crowd of ten thousand or more...not one of whom would be at all intimidated by a woman waving a 1-inch nail file around, screaming to be allowed to be the first in line to pay $7 for a hamburger.

So the soldier took the deadly weapon off my keyring and threw it into a bag underneath the table. And I glanced into that bag and lo and behold there were a couple of fancy pocket knives in there... and I'm thinking to myself... I am not the most noticing person in the world... but I saw several signs that said "No pocket knives" as we were headed up here, and I heard at least two soldiers chanting non-stop, "No pocket knives," and yet at least two people had ignored this and tried to bring pocket knives onto the field.

And, I dunno... a guy waving a three-inch, sharp blade around, trying to be the first in line to buy a $7 hamburger, would seem to me to be much more intimidating than some poor schmuck with a fingernail clipper.

On my out, I thought vaguely about asking for my fingernail clipper back, but there was still a line of people coming in (I left about 1 pm...) and I decided there was no point... after all they only cost a dollar or so...but it was just the inanity of it that annoyed me...

Stereotypical Girl's Store
Another thing that got my knickers in a twist was one of the commercial booths - I took photos of it and will post them tomorrow... in addition to aircraft-related stores (or rather tables or tents with merchandise spread out) there were also other things - one of which was a table selling things for little girls -- hair ribbons, feather boas, etc. (and not a thing related to aviation on it.) And you could get your photo taken, sticking your head into one of two wooden placards - one with a Cinderella torso, the other some fancily dressed woman getting out of a limo at the Emmy awards or something...

And I've got to admit this torqued me. Give little girls something a bit more substantial and high flying to aim for!!! One of those torsos should have been an aviator dressed like Bessie Coleman, for example, and the other should have been dressed like Amelia Earheart, Jacqueline Cochran...or even a Thunderbird pilot! But nope. It was the same stereotypical, fairy-tale crap that it always is....underlining to girls that obsession with appearance, and seeking boyfriends...or at least a baby daddy... is everything...

Well, that's a long rant for someone with a headache.... I'll stop now.

I'll be posting photos tomorrow...