This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:20 AM

1937 - Briton Jean Batten established a new solo record in a Percival Gull Six when she flew from Darwin, Australia to Lympne in Kent in 5 days, 18 hours, and 15 minutes.

1989 - Space shuttle Atlantis launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with novice astronaut Ellen Baker onboard as a mission specialist. By the time she would land at Edwards Air Force Base, California 5 days later, all mission objectives were accomplished in 79 orbits of the Earth, traveling 1.8 million miles in 119 hours, 41 minutes.

1997 - Sixteen months after its groundbreaking, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, located at the Ceremonial Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, was dedicated. It honors all women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces with a museum that features exhibits on women in military history, an education center, and a small theater.

2008 - The Women's Memorial Foundation President Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught USAF (Ret.) announced the opening of the Wings Across America's Flygirls of World War II traveling WASP exhibit. The opening celebrated the 11th anniversary of the dedication of the WIMSA Memorial.

2009 - Two stars of the upcoming movie “Amelia”--Academy Award winner Hilary Swank and NC2072, a Lockheed 12 Electra used in the film--arrived at Essex County Airport (KCDW) in Caldwell, New Jersey. Hilary donated memorabilia from the production to The Ninety-Nines, the organization that Amelia and 98 other female pilots founded 80 years earlier. Hilary took 19 hours of flying lessons to prepare for her role.

2009 - Royal Jordanian Flight 132 landed safely at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan with an all-female cockpit and cabin crew--a first in Jordanian history. The six-woman crew on the flight from Athens was led by Captain Carol Rabadi and copilot Hadeel Khamash. Two other women pilots have flown for the airline, but with male pilots.