Septuagenarian Aviator Awaits Her Trip Into Space | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.31.14/Oshkosh Day 4! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.31.14/Oshkosh Day 4 **
** Airborne 07.30.14/Oshkosh Day 3! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.30.14/Oshkosh Day 3 **
** Airborne 07.29.14/Oshkosh Day 2! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.29.14/Oshkosh Day 2 **
** Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1 **

Sun, Apr 29, 2012

Septuagenarian Aviator Awaits Her Trip Into Space

Original 'Mercury 13' Member Ready To Go

For the 500 or so well-heeled individuals who've signed up with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic to make the brief trip into space, there is probably no more qualified person on the list than Wally Funk of Roanoke, Texas. At 73, she has been flying since the age of 16 and has amassed 18,600 flight hours and has trained 2,000 pilots. She was a champion air racer and has made three historic firsts; she was the first civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, OK; the first FAA inspector; and the first NTSB air crash investigator.

Time Magazine reports that she almost got to add astronaut to the list in the 1960's as she trained in a private program for women with NASA's support similar to the physical and mental tests the male Mercury astronauts endured. Of the 25 women invited, 19 enrolled and 13 graduated. Then at 21, Funk was the youngest of the group. The women called themselves the Mercury 13. Even with NASA's support the country wasn't quite ready for women in space. Funk says "It was the era when women were in the kitchen. Space travel was the old-boy network."

Now through the courtesy of Virgin Galactic, she will have the opportunity to do something that eluded her 40 years ago. The space flight will take passengers to a point 60 miles above the earth where they will experience five minutes of weightlessness with amazing views of the planet, and then return for landing in New Mexico. The first flights are expected to begin in 2013. Until then Ms. Funk is staying busy training pilots, advising aerospace companies, and working the lecture circuit.

FMI: www.virgingalactic.com

Advertisement

More News

Innovative OSH14 Sponsor, iFlightPlanner, Provides Expert Guidance

What is iFlightPlanner? iFlightPlanner is general aviation’s most comprehensive suite of easy-to-use flight planning tools for private and corporate pilots. Featuring iFlight>[...]

Futuristic OSH2014 Sponsor: 'Beyond The Blue' - The Inside Story Of The XPRIZE

Meet Jim Campbell--Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, At Sportys Pilot Shop--Display Area #260A, At 1300 Each Day And Get Your Signed Copy of Beyond The Blue!!! To Aviation Journalist and >[...]

Airborne 07.29.14, OSH14 Day 2: Mooney Delivers, AEA ADS-B Bucks, Perlan Project

Also: Hartzell Accessorizes, Lycoming's 85th, New Continental Diesel, Pelton Intvw-Part 2, DeltaHawk Diesel Update Mooney CEO Dr. Jerry Chen handed the keys for the first new Accla>[...]

IMC CLubs Leads The Way To OSH14 Special Event Coverage

IMC Clubs: Building Instrument Proficiency Through Community When it comes to flying, there is no substitute for proficiency and training. And maybe nowhere is that more important >[...]

Electrifying OSH2014 Sponsor: Concorde Batteries

Concorde Charges Up Our Oshkosh 2014 Coverage! Concorde Battery Corporation has been in the battery manufacturing business for over 30 years and is the world leader in Valve Regula>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC