Friday, January 2, 2009

Bobbie Trout set woman's solo endurance record on this day

January 2, 1929. Bobbi Trout took off from Van Nuys Airport at 6:25 a.m., and set out on an endurance flight that lasted 12 hours and 11 minutes. Viola Gentry had previously set the record at 8-hours. However, the record would last for only a month -- in February Elinor Smith set the bar at over 13 hours.

Of course, in the early days of aviation, records were being set and broken on a regular basis, as planes became more sophisticated and pilots more skilled. Lots of women pilots - 6% then, as now (which is an interesting statistic) were involved in aviation at this time, withstanding the prejudice from both the male pilots and conservative society alike.

Male pilots didn't like women because of the general perception of women as the "weaker vessel." If women could fly aerobatics and air races, then obviously it was no big deal!

And the conservative public thought that women should stay at home and take care of husband, child and church, and not go out and about and be independent, or worse, show an ankle!

There's a very nice website for Evelyn "Bobbi" Trout at:

And at

Bobbi lived to be 95, passing away on January 24, 2003. Her legacy continues to live on.

: (A commercial site, which sells women in aviation desk calendars, among other items aimed a the woman pilot.)

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