Vintage: Harriet Quimby, the First Licensed U.S. Woman Pilot (1910s)

Vintage: Harriet Quimby, the First Licensed U.S. Woman Pilot (1910s)


Harriet Quimby became interested in aviation in 1910, when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament in Elmont, New York. There she met John Moisant, a well-known aviator and operator of a flight school, and his sister Matilde.

On August 1, 1911, she took her pilot’s test and became the first U.S. woman to earn an Aero Club of America aviator’s certificate. Matilde Moisant soon followed and became the nation’s second certified female pilot.

Harriet in the cockpit of her plane in the USA, 1911.

Harriet in the cockpit of her plane in the USA, 1911.

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI.

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI.

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI. (Library of Congress)

Harriet Quimby and her Blériot XI. (Library of Congress)

Harriet Quimby in her purple flight suit.

Harriet Quimby in her purple flight suit.

Harriet Quimby in front of the Bleriot when she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel

Harriet Quimby in front of the Bleriot when she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel

Miss Harriet Quimby, 1911, (Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library)

Miss Harriet Quimby, 1911, (Leslie Jones Collection, Boston Public Library)


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