Females flying into history

Laura Ingalls was one of the pioneers of flight, breaking all kinds of records. Her crowning achievement came on 9 October 1930 when she completed her transcontinental flight. Ingalls set off in New York and ended in Glendale, California, having made nine stops in her Moth biplane. This made her the first woman ever to cross the USA in an aeroplane.

Her other notable achievements included becoming the first pilot to circle South America and setting the stomach-churning record of performing 980 loop-the-loops in a row.


Dr Kathryn Sullivan made history on 9 October 1984 when she became the first woman to walk in space. She had joined NASA six years previous and became an astronaut in 1979. Sullivan made three space flights, the first of which was STS-41G where she made that historic walk.

After leaving NASA, Sullivan earned the position of chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is now the undersecretary of commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.