women in aviation and space history

National Air and Space Museum visitors frequently ask, "Where are the women pilots?" The answer is that they are in nearly every gallery of the Museum. This guide will lead you to all the women (who are or have been included by name, artifact, or photograph) in the Museum's exhibits. Women's participation and contributions are noted from our Early Flight gallery (107) to Space Race (114), from the earliest female pioneers to racing pilots to the first female commercial pilots to women in space.

Although women have flown since 1908, nearly all of them were restricted to general aviation, i.e. private planes, or support jobs, (prior to the 1970s) and our exhibits reflect those historical roles. However, women have now gained full access to military and commercial cockpits, as well as the Space Shuttle and aerospace technology, and as we update old and create new exhibits, we will review and include the growing contributions of women throughout the Museum. Enjoy the tour.

Smithsonian Activities & Educator Resources | Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators

Portrait of Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
Suzanne Asbury-Oliver
Portrait of Jean Batten
Jean Batten
Portrait of Mrs. Hart O. Berg
Mrs. Hart O. Berg
Portrait of Janet Bragg
Janet Bragg
Portrait of Willa Brown
Willa Brown
Portrait of Betty Browning
Betty Browning
Portrait of Alys McKey Bryant
Alys McKey Bryant
Portrait of Jacqueline Cochran
Jacqueline Cochran
Portrait of Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman
Portrait of Patricia Cowings
Patricia Cowings
Portrait of Christine Darden
Christine Darden
Portrait of Raymonde de la Roche
Raymonde de la Roche
Portrait of Helene Dutrieu
Helene Dutrieu
Portrait of Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Portrait of Cornelia Fort
Cornelia Fort
Portrait of Mary Haizlip
Mary Haizlip
Placeholder Image
Jean Harman
Portrait of Laura Ingalls
Laura Ingalls
Portrait of Tamara Jernigan
Tamara Jernigan
Portrait of Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
Portrait of Osa Johnson
Osa Johnson
Portrait of Ruth Law
Ruth Law
Portrait of Mary Light
Mary Light
Portrait of Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Portrait of Nancy Love
Nancy Love