Jul 31, 2017
Women have been involved in aviation from the beginnings of both lighter-than air travel and as airplanes, helicopters and space travel were developed. Women pilots were also called "aviatrices" (singular: "aviatrix"). Women have been flying powered aircraft since 1908, however most, prior to 1970, were restricted to working privately or in support roles in the aviation industry. Aviation also allowed women to "travel alone on unprecedented journeys." Women who have been successful in various aviation fields have served as mentors to younger women, helping them along in their careers.
Within the first two decades of powered flight, women on every continent except Antarctica had begun to fly, perform in aerial shows, parachute, and even transport passengers. They were increasingly involved in establishing distance records, aerobatic records and pressing for airplanes to be used for disaster and public health services. During World War II, women from every continent helped with war efforts and though mostly restricted from military flight many of the female pilots flew in auxiliary services. In the 1950s and 1960s, women were primarily restricted to serving in support fields like flight simulation training, air traffic control, and as flight attendants. Since the 1970s, women have been allowed to participate in military service in most countries.