Previously, the aeronautical career path of five exceptional women was briefly presented to you. The second issue of this series, on the role played by certain women in the history of aviation, highlights four new portraits.
Raymonde de Laroche
On March 8, 1910, she was the first woman in the world to obtain the Aéro-Club de France pilot’s license. From then on, she took part in many international air rallies. Three years later, she won the Coupe Fémina de l’Aéro-Club de France for an over four hour long flight. In June 1919, she broke altitude and distance records several times, flying at 3,900 then 4,800 meters and over 323 kilometers.
Demonstration pilot for Potez aircraft, she held numerous distance records, including the 2,976 km record, earning her the American Harmon Trophy which was the first time it being awarded to a French woman. In 1930, she also broke the flight time record , 37h55, beating the women’s world record. She then created a flying school in Orly. As former Resistance fighter during war, she became a military pilot in 1944.
After self-financing her pilot’s license, she quickly became an outstanding aviator. Holder of numerous speed and distance records, she snatched the world altitude record for women at 10,200 m in 1932. At the top of the list of women pilots admitted to the Air Force, Maryse Hilsz was appointed second lieutenant and assigned to the Ministerial Air Liaison Group in 1945.
Nicknamed “La Grande Mademoiselle de l’air” (in English “the Almighty Miss of the Air”), she became a virtuoso in aerial acrobatics within a few months. She represented the Caudron-Renault company and its competition planes. A fan of speed races, in 1934 she won the title of world speed champion in all categories over 100 km at 412 km/h, as well as the record for 1000 km at an average of 409 km/h. She also set the women’s world record at 445 km/hr.
Find the comic book “Hélène Boucher: l’étoile filante” which looks back on the epic of this extraordinary woman and the key moments of her life.