Elinor Smith, US aviation pioneer

Elinor Smith, US aviation pioneer

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Credit: HAGLEY MUSEUM AND ARCHIVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Elinor Smith (1911-2010), US aviation pioneer. Smith began learning to fly at the age of ten, flying solo at the age of fifteen. She established several endurance records for women pilots, culminating in a flight of 26.5 hours in a Bellanca CH monoplane in April 1929. She also set speed records, flying a Curtiss military aircraft at over 300 kilometres per hour. She also set mid-air refuelling and altitude records, reaching 8357 metres. After raising her family, she returned to flying from the 1950s. The inscription on this signed photograph (taken on 27 February 1930) reads: 'To Miss Rees with very best wishes. Sincerely, Elinor Smith. 2/27/31.'.

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