Flying With America's Most Famous Female Aviators
Dozens of talented women preceded Amelia Earhart, and thousands have followed, and each has her own groundbreaking story to tell
- By Patricia Trenner
- Smithsonian.com, October 22, 2009
(National Air and Space Museum)
Skelton took her first solo flight at age 12, began her professional career as an aerobatic pilot in 1946 and two years later won her first International Aerobatic Champion for Women trophy with her Pitts Special S-1C biplane, “Little Stinker.” In 1951, she took up a second career as a test- and race-car driver, and in 1959 trained with NASA’s Mercury 7 astronauts. Skelton set numerous aviation and automotive records.