Saturday, March 21, 2009

No cockpit, no seatbelt...

Just found a website that has a very brief clip, circa 1913, of a woman pilot and her plane. She's not flying it, but rather sitting on the bottom wing, showing how the steering wheel works. Only 10 seconds long, if that, but it's worth a look actually, if you want to see what those pioneer pilots flew!

The woman in question is Alys McKey Bryant (1880 - 1950). Her claim to fame is that she was the first woman to fly in Canada. (She was American, but no Canadian women had flown that early.) The man in the clip is her brother in law, Frank Bryant.

Sadly, her husband of ten weeks, Johnny Bryant, also contributed a first to Canada's aviation history...he was the first person to die, during an airshow on August 6, 1913.

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As an aside, the website I'm sending you to is http://www.lincolnbeachey.com/. It has quite a few Quicktime clips of pioneer aviators.

"Welcome to the Lincoln Beachey web site. Between 1905 and 1915, the Pioneer Era of Aviation in the United States, hundreds of women and men learned to fly, in airships, gliders and aeroplanes. One of the very best aviators among these pioneers of the air was Lincoln Beachey, who flew balloons, one-person dirigible airships, biplanes and monoplanes during his ten-year aerial career. This site will chronicle his life and career, as well as offer thoughts on his place in aviation history, the myths and legends which have surrounded his life and career, and his significant accomplishments."

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