Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Ruth Rowland Nichols

  • Became the first licensed woman seaplane pilot in the U.S. in 1924. She eventually flew every type of aircraft developed and was rated in the dirigible, glider, autogyro, landplane, seaplane, amphibian, monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes, twin and four engine transports and supersonic jets.
  • First to fly non-stop from New York to Miami in 1928 along with her flight instructor.
  • Entered the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, from Santa Monica to Cleveland, which was the first time that women competed in a major air race.
  • Became the first women to land in all 48 contiguous states in 1929.
  • Co-founded the women’s flying organization “the Ninety-Nines”.
  • Set a women’s transcontinental record of 16 hours, 59 minutes and 30 seconds, and on her return trip she set a Los Angeles to New York City record of 13 hours, 22 minutes.
  • Became the first woman to hold three international records: altitude, speed and long distance in 1931.
  • Attempted to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, but was beat by Amelia Earhart (enshrined 1968) in 1932.
  • Served as Director of the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation therefore becoming the first female director of a major aviation company.
  • Organized Relief Wings, a flying ambulance for mercy missions.
  • Flew faster than any woman in the world, as co-pilot in an Air Force Supersonic TF-102A Delta Dagger flying over 1,000 mph, in 1958.

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