Saint-Exupéry, Roland Garros, Jean Mermoz and Raymond Nogués are well known names in the aeronautical world… But some women have never ceased to demonstrate that aviation is not an epic “reserved for men”. Discover, through these introductory portraits, the imprint left by five of them.
When she boarded the hot-air balloon “La Gustave” on June 8th 1784, she became one of the first women aeronauts in history and the first to fly in a gas balloon. Thus, she demonstrated at the time that the female physical constitution resisted altitude as well as men’s.
She is the first woman to fly alone. After a few training sessions under the guidance of Léon Delagrange, she was released solo in September 1908, becoming the first woman pilot.
Patented as a pilot in 1920, she was hired to try out planes and as a demonstration pilot. On April 1st 1921, she became the first woman to cross part of the Andes, ten years before Mermoz and Guillaumet. She also won several records, asserting her skills against her male colleagues.
She is the first female fighter pilot in the French Air Force. Holder of eight licenses and eight world records, she is one of the best pilots. Her participation in the transport of the wounded in Algeria demonstrates that women’s skills are equal to men’s in the field of piloting.
On August 15th 1953, Jacqueline Auriol was the first European woman to break the sound barrier, aboard a Mystère II. She receives four times the Harmon Trophy, one of the most prestigious aeronautical awards. In 1951, she was awarded the Henri-Deutsch de la Meurthe prize, rewarding a sporting achievement that could lead to “material, scientific or moral progress for humanity. »
Watch the animated film “L’aviatrice” (The Aviator), a brilliant tribute to Jacqueline Auriol and her exceptional career!