For the purpose of this website exploring Pioneering Women Aviators it is very easy to fix a beginning to this work as it being a point in time that something commences for the first time, and in the meaning of human accomplishment and endeavour we term it pioneering.
For this particular subject the beginning is defined by the very first ever known flight by a British woman aviator.
We are not including balloonists in the definition of an aviator, although it could be argued that there are known to have been women balloonists soon after Montgolfier first ascended to the heavens in his hot-air balloon in 1783. And it could be argued further that any person departing this Earth, other than by natural causes, becomes an aviator or, perhaps more appropriately, a levitator in the context of balloon flights.
But the real conundrum in our story of ‘Girls Aloft’ is where does it end?
Well it doesn’t. We have women aviators today who are as much pioneers as the very first recorded woman aviator Bessie Raiche (USA). Girls such as Jeanna Yeager, Jessica Cox, Patty Wagstaff, et al; who have significantly contributed to the furtherance of aviation today and, of course, space travel and exploration.
But this is the story of the early women aviators – the true pioneers who risked life and limb ‘to slip the surly bonds of Earth.’ To explore the firmament from a different perspective. To challenge the exclusive world of man and machine …………