Women in Aviation

Women Are Changing Aviation

It is the early 30’s and aviation is zooming thanks to women joining the the ranks of men in the air. Thanks to many articles written in the 30’s I found out that many women were embracing flying with all their energy.

In the 30’s women were thought to be in the kitchen certainly not in the air.

There was a lot of criticism of women pilots. In the first many women race planes were sabotaged. Sand and dirt was put in the engine. Some planes wires were cut and many women were made fun of in every way.

Men said that women were not physically fit to fly. As men saw women brake records they began to see that women were capable of flying.

Women learned to make quick decisions and rely on themselves. They relied on themselves not the dictate of family.

Female pilots found opposition from family and the male aviation community. They decided to pursue their passion and keep flying.

It was always a struggle because of lack of funds in their own name. Women pilots like their male counterparts were filled with enthusiasm for this wonderful world of flight. ( OAH Magazine of History, July 2010.)

(Women Who Fly by Lynn M. Homan and Thomas Reilly) it’s obvious that men didn’t want women to fly in the early part of the 20th century. Then women showed that they did have  the courage and skill to fly.

(Womens Work Dec. 1930) There were several companies that allowed women to build airplanes. Most worked as secretaries . Five plants women were allowed to work in the wing and fuselage department. Men out-numbered women 50 to 1 in making airplanes.

In one of the largest and most famous airplane manufacturing companies women were allowed to sew the fabric over the wings. So you can see that women were still in the domestic arts of sewing.

Wages were lower for men who covered the wings. Men made on an average of 30 cents more than women doing the same work.

The secretarial work in airplane companies was $30 a week, Men always were in the top positions.

Getting back to women changing aviation in the article Flying Is Changing Women by Margery Brown women were getting more skilled. They found such freedom that they didn’t find on the ground.

If a women becomes angry while flying she will soon discover that she needs to calm down. A woman is able to change her moods quicker than a man. She learns that she must have self-control to be a good pilot. They learn to make quick decisions in the air. There is no choice when flying solo. There is no where to turn around and ask someone for help.


3 thoughts on “Women in Aviation

  1. Can you imagine? I look at that picture heading the article, and and just cannot believe that the bueatiful young woman shown had the passion for strapping into a early model airplane and “zooming” off.
    My father was a decorated WWW11 pilot, and was even shot down once, forcing him to crash land on a Phillipine Island. He always joked about that, saying he couldn’t understand being given a medal for crashing. Lol.
    A wonderful story dad would sometimes tell, and one that I know you all will appreciate, took place on a captured Japanese Island at the war’s close. Dad and another officer had been told that there were a few Soviet Pilots on the small base. This was after the German surrender; Stalin had sent troops to ostensibly help with the effort against Japan, while grabbing up some new Soviet territory. When my dad and his buddy located the Russian Pilots, they were surprised to find that three of them were women. They were part of a full squadron, that had fought the Germans, called “The Night Witches”. Can you believe that? My father said that the squadron was extremely deadly and highly decorated.
    I can only imagine that those American ladies, with all their skill, adrenaline, and patriotism, would have relished the opportunity to take on the enemy.

    • They sure would have loved to be in combat but that wasn’t allowed. They ferried different planes to bases but weren’t in combat.
      That story about your dad and his war time experiences is wonderful. Thanks for sharing it. The Greatest Generation we knew.

    • I am so glad you mentioned “The Night Witches”. I have wanted to read about them for a long time. There must be a book about these incredible pilots. I would like to hear more stories about your father.

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