In 1911, Harriet Quimby, an editor for the Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, became the first woman to get her pilot’s license in the US, from the Aero Club of America. Although Quimby only flew for eleven months after receiving her license, she accomplished a lot during her time in the pilot’s seat. In addition to being the first woman to fly a plane at night, she also flew across the English Channel, and at the inauguration festivities for Mexico’s president-elect in 1911. She did it all wearing a custom-made purple satin flight suit—a visible symbol of her femininity in the male-dominated aviation world. Quimby planned to be the first woman to fly mail from Boston to New York, but died in a tragic accident while taking her plane for a test flight in July of 1912.
Harriet Quimby – First U.S. Aviatrix
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