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 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

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

Airborne 03.02.15: HeliExpo, UAL Pilot Warning, WWII Flyover, RAF Aids In WV

Also: Blue Angels, Fuel Taxes, Twirly Birds, Bell 429WG, Delta Selects GoGo It’s common for airlines to issue numerous safety notice to flight crews, but United Airlines issu>[...]

EASA Certifies Continental MotorsÂ’ CD-155 Engine For DA42 TDI

Now Approved For European Installation, FAA Certification Pending EASA has certified Continental Motors Group CD-155 hp Jet-A diesel engine option for installation in the Diamond t>[...]

Counting Down! ANN's Infamous April 1st Edition's Just Around The Corner!

Get Your Wacky Ideas In NOW! ANN E-I-C Note: Folks... we gotta warn you... based on all the nonsense we've had to endure in 2014-2015 (which we are duty-bound to lampoon), this may>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.03.15)

How Planes Work Need a great illustration of an airplane, clearly labeled, so you can explain -- again -- why planes stay up in the air? This is a good illustration; maybe they'll >[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.03.15): Have Numbers

Used by pilots to inform ATC that they have received runway, wind, and altimeter information only.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

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