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

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

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

Toledo Police Helicopter May Be Grounded

Department Seeks Grants To Help Keep Aircraft Flying The police department in Toledo, OH may be forced to ground its helicopter unless it is able to identify a grant for the $300,0>[...]

Bill Gordon Lost In Hudson River P-47 Ditching

Despite What Appeared To Be A Decent Ditching Effort, An Outstanding Pilot Was Lost The airshow community has suffered its second tragedy in nearly as many weeks as long-time warbi>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (05.29.16)

"Putting the world's largest satellite constellation into orbit is an enormous task and Arianespace is ideally suited to launch the initial constellation, allowing OneWeb to start >[...]

ANN FAQ: How To Get YOUR News Out On Aero-News

Good News, Bad News... It's ALL News As the preeminent online aviation news resource out there, the editorial staff at Aero-News sees a large number of news releases. We look at al>[...]

Dubai-Based Business Jet Operator Enhances In-Flight Wi-Fi Services

Empire Aviation Group Selects Honeywell Technologies For Its Entire Fleet Honeywell has signed an agreement with Empire Aviation Group to provide its full suite of GoDirect connect>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC