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Harriet Quimby: First Female Pilot

Harriet Quimby was the first woman to earn a pilot's license, in 1911. She began touring with the Moisant International Aviators and performing in air shows. Known for having a flare for drama, she designed her own signature flight suit, made of purple satin with a hood. In Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, Quimby chronicled her flights and the adventures she'd go on. On April 16, 1912, in just 59 minutes, she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

Harriet Quimby in her purple flight suit. Harriet Quimby in her purple flight suit.

During the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet, on July 1st 1912, Harriet Quimby's plane suddenly pitched forward causing her and William Willard to fall to their deaths. Though she was only 37, Ms Quimby paved the way for women in aviation. From her purple flying suit to her dare devil attitude we admire this early aviator for all her hard work.