Ruth Nichols

Ruth Nichols:

1st. airplane radio broadcast

Ruth Nichols was a pilot during the Golden Age of Aviation. She was named the”Flying Debutante” because of her wealthy upbringing. Her family disapproved of her interest in flying but she went ahead to earn a name for herself in aviation.                                                      Accomplishments:

  • Her first flight was in 1919 and through her career she flew more than 140 different planes. Ruth flew gliders, auto-gyros, transports, seaplanes and even biplanes. 
  • She was the first women to earn three simultaneous international records for distance, speed and altitude. 
  •  Flew in the First All Women Air Derby.
  • One of the first women to compete in the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race in 1931. 
  • Helped form the 99’s to support women in the field of Aviation
  • Co-founded the Aviation Country Club. She flew all over the country to publicize this unique place. The clubs were supposed to be in many different states but The Depression caused the demise of these clubs.
  • Developed Relief Wings… a humanitarian organization that used private planes to help with disaster and emergency work
  • Became a Lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol
  • Founded Sportsman Pilot magazine 
  • Round the world plane tour for UNICEF
  • First woman to land in all 48 contiguous states  

Ruth deserves to be more well known and that is my intention for all the women pilots that I profile. She never received the success of Amelia due to many crashes. She wanted to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic but she never fulfilled that wish. She believed that her failures were due to mechanical problems not her ability to control the plane. I hope that after you read this story you will be able to say There’s More Than Amelia. 

 Read more about Ruth Nichols unique life in her autobiography, Wings for Life: The Story of the First Lady of the Air.” The forward was written by Richard E. Byrd the American aviator and polar explorer. The book was published in in 1957 by J.B. Lippincott and is available on Amazon.


Vicky and Air Races

wpid-air-race-ribbon.jpg.jpegVicky and Air Races

In Vickys paraphernalia I found a small ribbon that stated MIAMI ALL AMERICAN AIR RACES. I researched it and found that the date was January 8-10, 1931. I never found any other information. I don’t know if her standing. Obviously, she didn’t win or it would have been documented.

I don’t know if she was in any other races.

The 20’s were a time of air circuses and barnstorming, the 30’s began a time of air races. Before….women weren’t allowed to race with men. I told you about the first all women air race..the PowderPuff Derby. After that women in races were very common.

I have already told you the story of The Powderpuff Derby. I researched women’s air races in the 30’s but found no mention of Vicky. The only thing I found was the ribbon for the Miami air race. I assume that Vicky didn’t enter any races. If yu have any information about Vicky being an air race participant please let me know. Her full name is Victorine Florsheim Lederer.