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Women

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Sun, July 26 2020

Alverna Babbs: Fighting to Fly – Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Part 1

Thirty years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act came into effect. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Forty-six years earlier, without the protection of law and its accommodations, Alverna Babbs, who had lost both legs as a child, fought to receive a waiver for her student license. When she succeeded, she became the first American pilot with disabilities to earn a pilot’s license.

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Alverna Williams and Her Ercoupe 415CD
Fri, July 17 2020

Remembering Emily Howell Warner

National Air and Space Museum fellow Caroline Johnson remembers the pioneering life of Emily Howell Warner.

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Emily Howell Warner
Wed, May 20 2020

Flying on the Homefront: Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

Aeronautics curator Dorothy Cochrane explores the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and their fight for recognition for their contributions to World War II.

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WASP at Avenger Field
Thu, April 2 2020

Pat the Pilot: American Aviatrix, WAFS Member, and Allied Liaison

Aline “Pat” Rhonie made a perfect three-point landing in her 125 hp Luscombe Phantom when she touched down in Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 6, 1940. Owned by Rhonie, the plane was a Warner-powered, high-wing, two-seat cabin monoplane that she flew as the American Liaison for the French Aero Club. Rhonie piloted civilian and military aircraft throughout the United States as an American aviatrix and eventual member of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, yet her mission traversed international borders to support the Allied cause.  

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Aline Rhonie
Mon, March 30 2020

Before the WASP: American Women Pilot Service Organizations

Women in the United States have long served their country and women aviators have been no exception.  Perhaps the best known efforts are those of the Women Air Service Pilots (WASP), formed in 1943, merging the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Squadron and Women’s Flying Training Detachment.  But before the WASP, women pilots, such as Ruth Law, Opal Kunz, Florence “Pancho” Barnes, and Mary Charles were determined to serve their country in whatever way they could.

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Women's Air Reserve Aerial Ambulance
Thu, September 12 2019

Calculating Trajectories and Breaking Boundaries During Apollo

In the late 1960s, Poppy Northcutt was a return-to-Earth specialist with TRW, working on a contract with NASA on one of the most exciting adventures of the 20th century: humanity’s quest for the Moon. With computer programming skills and a degree in mathematics, she worked with her team at TRW on the development of the return-to-Earth program. And she became the first woman in Mission Control.

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Poppy Northcutt
Thu, July 25 2019

AirSpace Season 2|Ep.10
Night Witches

Today we’re talking about a chilling chapter from flight history— Night Bomber Regiment 588. 

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AirSpace Season 2|Ep.10
Night Witches

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Logo for AirSpace Podcast 2020
Thu, April 18 2019

Remembering Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb, Pioneering Woman Aviator

Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb, who died in March 2019, will likely be remembered for her role campaigning for women to be considered as possible space travelers in the beginning of the space age, but the Museum’s upcoming exhibits will also showcase how important she was as an award-winning pilot who flew for years as a missionary in the Amazon.

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Jerrie Cobb
Wed, March 27 2019

Going Subsonic: Moving the T-38 Talon

Pioneering female pilot Jackie Cochran set eight world speed, altitude, and distance records in our Northrop T-38 Talon. In this blog, we talk to a member of our collections team about the process of moving the aircraft's fuselage from Maryland to Virginia in December 2018.

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Transporting the T-38 Talon
Tue, March 26 2019

Women Who Defy

National Air and Space Museum director reflects on the trailblazing women in aviation and space that inspire her.

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Ellen Stofan's Photo Wall

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