"The 100 Greatest Women in Aviation"
by Liz Moscrop and Sanjay Rampal
It may seem strange to think that just 100 years ago the idea of a woman flying a plane was truly shocking, and the fact that we now have successful female pilots the world over is a testament to the courage and determination shown by women the world over, who have fought their way into the cockpit. Released to coincide with the centenary of the first American[CE1] woman to jump in a plane in October 1908, The 100 Greatest Women in Aviation explores some of the fascinating stories, both historical and contemporary of 100 female aviation pioneers from around the world.
The 100 Greatest Women in Aviation begins with the stories of the earliest aviatrixes, such as Raymonde de Laroche, the first woman in the world to gain a pilot’s licence, and Britain’s first qualified female pilot Hilda Hewlett, through to more recent inspiring stories of women aviators. These include Phetogo Molawa, South African’s first black female air force pilot, and Hanadi Zakariya Al-Hindi, who gained her pilot’s licence in 2004, despite the fact that as a woman from Saudi Arabia, she was forbidden from driving a car.
The book also tells the stories of well-known adventurers like Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart, whose mysterious disappearance in 1937 is the stuff of legend, as well as less famous fliers, such as the flamboyant Lady Mary Heath, who made front page news in 1928 when she flew from Cape Town to Cairo. Mary also became the world’s first female commercial airline pilot (unpaid) when she joined Dutch airline KLM. The book also looks at women’s pilot organisations, such as the renowned 99s and the American Air Force’s Chick Fighter Pilot Association (CFPA).