58 Fly-As-Hell Photos Of Female Pilots

LT. COL. ROBERT COUSE-BAKER/US AIR FORCE

On Feb. 26, two pilots made history when they became the first black female pilots to co-pilot a mainline flight.

Delta pilots Dawn Cook and and Stephanie Johnson (who happens to be Delta’s first black female pilot) led the history-making flight from Detroit to Las Vegas.

“I feel a great sense of responsibility to be a positive role model,” Johnson told Delta in a February interview. “There are so few women in this profession and too many women who still don’t think of it as a career option.”

In honor of their momentous achievement, and the many achievements of groundbreaking female pilots before them, we’ve rounded up 58 powerful photos of women pilots throughout history.

  • 2017
    Courtesy Delta Air Lines
    Dawn Cook and Stephanie Johnson pose for their history-making flight.
  • 2016
    Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden/US Air Force
    First Lt. Kayla Bowers, a 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot, looks out of the cockpit of her aircraft during the squadron’s deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve at Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria, March 18, 2016. Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of the United States’ continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability of Europe.
  • 2014
    Lt. Col. Robert Couse-Baker/US Air Force
    1st Lt. Meaghan Cosand, C-5B Galaxy pilot with the 312th Airlift Squadron, starts engines in preparation for takeoff from Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 15, 2014. She was flying a mobility channel mission, moving high-priority cargo and passengers among air bases in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
  • 2010
    Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski/US Air Force
    Betty Wall Strohfus, right, a former pilot with the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), sings the national anthem during the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 10, 2010. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress. The WASP program, established during World War II, trained women to fly noncombat military missions.
  • 2007
    AFP via Getty Images
    Phetogo Molawa, a 21-year-old air force lieutenant stands next to the big Oryx Air Force transport helicopter at the third Women’s Conference in Defence in Canturion, South Africa. Molawa is South Africa’s first black female pilot August 16, 2007.
  • 2006
    Xavier ROSSI via Getty Images
    Emilie Denis, the first woman fighter pilot of the French Navy in Toulon, France on January 18, 2006 in front of her future Rafale.
  • 2000
    Xavier ROSSI via Getty Images
    Brigitte Joubert, one of the only women qualified to pilot rescue helicopters over land and sea in Biarritz, France in August, 2000.
  • 2000
    Reza via Getty Images
    Aysh Gammo, the first Libyan woman airplane pilot gets ready for a flight in March of 2000 in Tripoli, Libya.
  • 1999
    Getty Images
    Flight Lieutenant Joanne Mein, flanked by colleagues of the Royal Australian Air Force’s elite aerobatics display team, the Roulettes, rolls her plane during a formation flight over Gippsland, Australia on July 27, 1999.
  • 1999
    Daniel SIMON via Getty Images
    Lieutenant Caroline Aigle, 1st Woman Fighter Pilot In Tours, France On May 25, 1999.
  • 1999
    ISSOUF SANOGO via Getty Images
    Adine Ossebi, 30, sits in the cockpit of an Air Afrique plane at the Abidjan airport Feb. 15, 1999.
  • 1995
    GERALD PENNY via Getty Images
    The Royal Air Force’s first woman strike-attack combat pilot Jo Salter waves from the cockpit of a Tornado GR1B after landing at Lossiemouth, Scotland Feb. 1, 1995.
  • 1993
    Patrick Durand via Getty Images
    Barbara Harmer seen through the Concorde window April 16, 1993.
  • 1977
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Lt. (J.G.) Mary Louise Jorgensen was the first woman tactical jet pilot to be assigned to Miramar Naval Air Station at San Diego on Feb. 7, 1977.
  • 1976
    Central Press via Getty Images
    Ann Bostock, 26, the first woman to pilot scheduled services for a British airline, sits in the cockpit of a BAC 111 jet on July 7, 1976.
  • 1974
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Sally D. Murphy, 25, shown here at the controls of the UH-1 ‘huey’ helicopter, is recognized in the U.S. Army as its first woman aviator and also its first military helicopter pilot on August 9, 1974.
  • 1973
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    In a Pentagon ceremony, Lieutenant Judith Ann Neuffer of Wooster, Ohio was presented with flight training orders by Navy Secretary John Warner, making her the first military aviatrix in American history on Jan. 10, 1973.
  • 1963
    Keystone-France via Getty Images
    Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown in space on June 1, 1963.
  • 1962
    Getty Images
    Undated picture taken in the 60′ s of American female aviator Jacqueline Cochran. Jacqueline Cochran learned to fly at age 22, and it became a lifetime passion circa 1962.
  • 1944
    Leonard McCombe via Getty Images
    First Officer Maureen Dunlop  of the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary), in the cockpit of a Fairey Barracuda torpedo bomber, September 1944.
  • 1942
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Alice Rhonie, one of the first WAFs to arrive at their East Coast Air Base on Sep. 23, 1942.
  • 1942
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    The new WAFS, dressed in flying suits and helmets, line up in front of the their flight training on Sep. 23, 1942.
  • 1941
    Planet News Archive via Getty Images
    Valentina Grizodubova was among the first of thousands of Moscow women who volunteered as soon as Moscow was threatened on Oct. 26, 1941.
  • 1940
    Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
    Pauline Gower, one of the pool of women pilots who ferrried new aircraft from the factory to the aerodrome on Jan. 10, 1940.
  • 1939
    Roger Viollet via Getty Images
    World War II, Russian front, airwomen circa 1939.
  • 1938
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Elisabeth Lion, French aviator, in May 1938.
  • 1936
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Pilot Beryl Markham, posing for photographer at Abingdon Aerodrome, Berkshire, prior to take off for her solo flight across the Atlantic on Sep. 11, 1936.
  • 1935
    George Rinhart via Getty Images
    Miss Helen Rickey, first woman to be employed as pilot of an airline on Nov. 7, 1935.
  • Circa 1935
    FPG via Getty Images
    American actress and amateur pilot Madge Evans with an aircraft, circa 1935.
  • Circa 1935
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Maryse Hilsz, French aviator circa 1935.
  • 1934
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Jean Gardner Batten, New Zealand aviator in Kolkata, India In 1934.
  • 1933
    Lipnitzki via Getty Images
    Miss Le Manoir, french aviator in France, 1933.
  • 1932
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Senora Hermelinda Urvina Briones, 26, of Ambato Ecuador, who claimed to be the first woman of South America to become a pilot, as she appeared at Curtis Airport, Long Island, ready for a practice flight on Dec. 3, 1932.
  • 1930
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Florence Lowe ‘Pancho’ Barnes is tests a new monoplane in which she hopes to establish a new speed record for women on July 2, 1930.
  • 1930
    Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
    Romanian aviatrix Irina Burnaia, onboard of an airplane, is caressing her little good luck dog before starting her flight circa 1930.
  • 1930
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Helene Boucher, French aviator, circa 1930.
  • Circa 1930
    Science & Society Picture Library via Getty Images
    Photograph showing Amy Johnson, with an aeroplane engine. In 1930, Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, winning £10,000 from the ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper circa 1930.
  • 1929
    Planet News Archive via Getty Images
    Miss Beatrix Thomson, the actress who scored a great success in The Matriarch in London, is the first actress to be granted a pilot’s certificate on Dec. 29, 1929.
  • 1929
    Central Press via Getty Images
    Irish aviatrix Lady Mary Bailey at Heston before the 540-mile King’s Cup Air Race, July 6, 1929. Bailey was the first ever woman to compete in the race.
  • 1929
    Planet News Archive via Getty Images
    The French aviatrix Vicomtesse Jacques de Sibour on March 1, 1929.
  • Circa 1929
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Marjorie Crawford with her monoplane circa 1929.
  • 1928
    Keystone-France via Getty Images
    Aviators Baroness Von Schoenberg Kranefeldt and Christel Schultes before the aerial raid between Europe and New York in 1928 in Bavaria, Germany.
  • Circa 1928
    George Rinhart via Getty Images
    Miss Elinor Smith, 17 years old, waving to the crowd of thousands, just after she landed here after establishing a new women’s flight endurance record, 26 hours, 21 minutes, 32 seconds, over four hours better than that of Mrs. McPhetridge of Los Angeles circa 1928.
  • Circa 1928
    Planet News Archive via Getty Images
    Fraulein Marga von Etzdorf, had been awarded the title of Germany’s Premier Airwoman circa 1928.
  • 1928
    Getty Images via Getty Images
    Amelia Earhart stands June 14, 1928 in front of her bi-plane called ‘Friendship’ in Newfoundland. Carlene Mendieta, who is trying to recreate Earhart’s 1928 record as the first woman to fly across the US and back again, left Rye, NY on September 5, 2001. Earhart (1898 – 1937) disappeared without trace over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly around the world in 1937. (Photo by Getty Images)
  • 1928
    Keystone-France via Getty Images
    Irish aviator Lady Heath holding a flask of whisky before her attempt to fly at the altitude of 20,000 feet to break a new record in 1928, in Croydon, United Kingdom.
  • 1927
    E. Bacon via Getty Images
    Australian aviator Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller, sorting out her kit at Croydon Aerodrome, London, before attempting an England-Australia long distance flying record with pilot Bill Lancaster, October 14, 1927.
  • 1922
    George Rinhart via Getty Images
    Pilot Bessie Coleman, 24, of Chicago, the first female African American aviator in the world, receiving a bouquet from Captain Edison C. McVey in his uniform as Aeronautical Instructor of the U.A.L. at Curtiss Field, Garden City, Long Island on Sep. 4, 1922.
  • 1922
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Miss Laura Bromwell waves from her cockpit after breaking an air record by looping the loop 77 times at Curtis Field on Long Island on Aug. 4, 1922.
  • Circa 1915
    PhotoQuest via Getty Images
    Portrait of Ruth Law Oliver, standing next to an airplane while dressed in the government aviation uniform, early twentieth century. She flew over the Western Front during World War I and was the only woman permitted to wear the uniform for non-military purposes in France circa 1915.
  • 1912
    Library of Congress via Getty Images
    Blanche S. Scott standing beside an airplane on Sep. 1, 1912.
  • 1919
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Portrait of famous French aviatrix Baroness de la Roche, who was killed when the plane she was flying at Crotoy, France collapsed. This photo of the Baroness was made two weeks ago after she broke the world’s record for altitude reached by a woman, formerly held by Ruth Law on July 22, 1919.
  • 1916
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Photo shows Miss Ruth Law as she returned to earth after a spectacular flight at Sheepshead Bay. Back in the years 1914-1916 she was ‘tops’ in the world of aviation, making notable flights in the United States and Japan on May 21, 1916. She used a Curtiss Bi-Plane equipped with a Wright control system. Ruth was one of the handful of women who helped to write aviation history.
  • Circa 1914-1918
    Historical via Getty Images
    Marjorie Stinson, the only woman to whom a pilot’s license had been granted by Army and Navy Committee of Aeronautics circa 1914-1918. |
  • 1912
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    Harriet Quimby sits in the Bleriot XI that she flew across the English Channel on April 16, 1912. Not only was she the first woman to accomplish this task, but in 1911 she had also become the first woman to receive a pilot’s licence.
  • 1910
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Elise Deroche, French aviator in 1910.
  • Circa 1905
    adoc-photos via Getty Images
    Helene Dutrieu, Belgian aviator, circa 1905.
  • Circa 1920s
    Bettmann via Getty Images
    A woman flier of the barnstorm era. Miss Todd in a double decker crate ready to take off.

This Women’s History Month, remember that we have the power to make history every day. Follow along with HuffPost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in March using #WeMakeHerstory.

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