Monday, May 20, 2013

May 18: Jackie Cochran

On this date in History .... May 18, 1953:  

Jackie Cochran, who holds more distance & speed records than any pilot ,living or dead, male or female, becomes the 1st woman to break the sound barrier.  Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier in ’47, was “flying chase” w/ her that day (shown together in this photo).  

She was also the 1st woman to:
·         land & take off from an aircraft carrier,
·         reach Mach 2,
·         pilot a bomber across the No. Atlantic (1941)
·         fly a fixed wing jet aircraft across the Atlantic
·         enter the Bendix Transcontinental Race
·         the only woman to be President of the Federation Aeronautique International (1958–1961)
·         be inducted into the California Aerospace Walk of Fame (2006)

She was the first pilot, man or woman to:
·         make a blind (instrument) landing,
·         fly above 20,000 ft w/ an oxygen mask

(So let me ask the question: “Who’s the greatest pilot you ever saw?” And bonus points if you know what movie that line is from!)  

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