We need to brace ourselves for the fact that not all pioneers of female aviation have happy stories. No surprise really because these amazing women were doing amazing things at a time when aviation was still a fledgling science. People were still afraid of motor cars let alone airplanes yet these women climbed fearlessly into planes to bring us incredible stories. And then as time moved on, women flew planes during wartime (in the Air Transport Auxiliary) and then went into space and now they fly jumbo jets around the world. I think pioneers of female aviation are to be admired – let’s pay homage to them.
1. Valentina Tereshkova
One of my favorite trivia questions used to be “Who was the first woman in space”. Valentina Tereshkova is such a romantic sounding name, and to have the honor of being exactly that, the first woman in space, is such an accolade. Valentina worked in a Soviet textile factory when she was chosen from 400 applicants to be the first woman in space. I find it really interesting that, unlike in so many spheres of life, pioneers of female aviation didn’t have to wait decades or even centuries to follow men. Valentina Tereshkova went into space aboard the Vostock 6 on June 16, 1963 just 2 years after Yuri Gagarin made his historical inaugural manned space flight, on April 12, 1961.