Gone West: Betty Skelton Erde | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Most Recent Daily Airborne

Airborne On ANN

Airborne On YouTube/Hi-Def/Mac Friendly

Monday

Airborne 01.26.15

Airborne 01.26.15

Tuesday

Airborne 01.27.15

Airborne 01.27.15

Wednesday

Airborne 01.28.15

Airborne 01.28.15

Thursday

Airborne 01.29.15

Airborne 01.29.15

Friday

Airborne 01.30.15

Airborne 01.30.15

Sat, Sep 03, 2011

Gone West: Betty Skelton Erde

One Of The Pioneer Women In Aviation

News has come in to ANN that Betty Skelton Erde, known as one of the pioneer women in aviation, passed away in Florida Wednesday. She was 86 years old.

Betty Skelton Erde's Pitts Special Courtesy Wikipedia, Credit User FlugKerl2

Erde, a resident of Winter Park, Florida, was born in Pensacola, FL in 1926. According to Wikipedia, she set 17 aviation and automobile records and was credited with opening doors for women in aviation and the automotive world, as well as astronautics and advertising.

She became interested in flying in part because of the proximity of her childhood home to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. She soloed a Taylorcraft which belonged to Naval Ensign Kenneth Wright at the age of 12, and earned her pilot's licence at the age of 16. She worked as a night clerk for Eastern Airlines just out of high school, which allowed her to rent and fly airplanes during the day. She went on to earn single and multi-engine land and sea plane ratings, as well as commercial and CFI tickets. She joined the CAP shortly after its formation.

She learned basic aerobatics from Clem Whittenneck in a borrowed Fairchild PT-19, and became well known on the aerobatic circuit. She became the first U.S. Female Aerobatic Champion in 1948, often flying with her pet Chihuahua Little Tinker sitting in her lap. Her Pitts Special 'Lil Stinker is on display at the Smithsonian's Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport near Washington, DC.

Erde set the world light plane altitude record of 25,763 feet in a Piper Cub in 1949, and broke that record two years later, flying to 29,050 feet ... also in a Cub. She set a world speed record for piston engine aircraft, flying a P-51 Mustang over a 3 kilometer course at an average speed of 421.6 mph. The National Aviation Hall of Fame reports that "Betty earned a total of four Feminine World Land Speed Records and set a transcontinental speed record. She competed in races across the Andes mountains in South America."

She had been married to Hollywood director and Navy veteran Donald Frankman in 1965. After his death in 2001, she re-married Dr. Allen Erde in 2005.

FMI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Skelton_Erde

Advertisement

More News

Citizen Scientists Lead Astronomers To Mystery Objects In Space

'Yellow Balls' Discovered By Volunteers Studying Spitzer Images Sometimes it takes a village to find new and unusual objects in space. Volunteers scanning tens of thousands of star>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (02.01.15)

"While this star formed a long time ago, in fact before most of the stars in the Milky Way, we have no indication that any of these planets have now or ever had life on them. At th>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.01.15): Final Approach Fix

Final Approach Fix The fix from which the final approach (IFR) to an airport is executed and which identifies the beginning of the final approach segment. It is designated on Gover>[...]

Air Ambulance Market Size, Vendor Landscape Analyzed In New Report

New Global Air Ambulance Research Report Shows Projected Growth Of Nearly Ten Percent The Global Air Ambulance market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of>[...]

US Navy Approves F/A-18 IRST System For Production

Long-Range Sensor System Demonstrated Production Readiness On Super Hornet The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track (IRST) system, developed and integrated by Boeing and L>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC