March brings Women in Aviation Month and today is International Women’s Day, so we’d like to celebrate female aviators and friends that have a connection to the museum.
First is Jackie Cochran who broke records throughout her life as an aviator. One of them occurred in a plane we are happy to have in our collection. The Monocoupe Clipwing 110 Special also called the Spirit of Dynamite that was built in 1937.
It was in this amazing plane, specifically built to race, that Cochran set the women’s speed record. This daring pilot was also best friends with famed aviator, Amelia Earhart. To fund her flying adventures, Cochran owned a multi-million dollar cosmetics company. As if aviator, entrepreneur, and speed record-setter weren’t enough, Jackie Cochran was also the first woman to break the sound barrier in 1953.
Julie Hubner is a great friend to us at the museum and is flight instructor to one of our staffers, Brian White. She lives in Washington State, but she is originally from Great Britain where her father served in the Royal Air Force as an engineer.
Hubner was employed at Rolls Royce working on the Pegasus engine project that powered the Harriet Jump Jet aircraft before she became a full time flight instructor. She advises young women wanting to be pilots to find any way possible to be around aircraft such as joining your local ROTC program or visiting aviation businesses at your local airport. She also recommends visiting museums like ours which is where her student, Brian White, found his love of aviation.
Diane Chapman is not a pilot, but she photographs them with her husband, Chris. Aviation photography is one of their specialties. She and Chris are also good friends and supporters of the museum.
The photo above is a great example of hers and Chris’s work as they captured many aircraft flown in for our 2015 Fly-In. You can see more on their website, Natural Images NW.
Finally, also in attendance at our 2015 Fly-In was a local chapter of the 99’s which is an international organization of women pilots. We met and interviewed some great women while they were here. You can enjoy our chat with them below. First, let us salute all the great female pilots here in Washington and around the world.