SLI:Women in Aviation
This title explores the scope of women’s activities in aviation, from the time of the Wright Brothers to the present day. After highlighting the earliest female aviators, as well as the trailblazers of the inter-war period such as Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart, the book goes on to examine the experience of women in aviation during the Second World War, including those flying with the Air Transport Auxiliary and the American Women Airforce Service Pilots. The post-war years are also covered and the title emphasises the growth in women’s participation in civil and military spheres of aviation – by the last decades of the 20th century, women had progressed even further, undertaking many of the jobs previously reserved for men, including space flight and combat flying.
Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart may be the most famous trailblazing women within the world of early aviation, but there were many others. From the Wright brothers’ sister Katherine, who was awarded the LÃ©gion d’honneur, to Mary, Lady Heath, the first woman to pilot a light aircraft from South Africa to England, the history of aviation is peppered with pioneering women who broke down the barriers of this male-dominated field. This is the story of those female aviators: not only the widely celebrated records of Johnson and Earhart, but also the now lesser-known exploits of those such as Mary, Lady Bailey, who was awarded an OBE in 1930. This essential guide also covers the new opportunities carved out for women during the Second World War, the age of space flight and women’s ongoing work in aviation in the modern age of equality.