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Author Topic: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)  (Read 4494 times)

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Offline grandarog

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Re: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 20:46:55 »
Heres the story of Harriets Demise......................


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Re: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 22:38:32 »
Harriet Quimby was the first woman to fly the English Channel in an aeroplane.
The first woman to cross the Channel by air was Beatrice Hilda Brewer, nee Swanston, in 1906.
Ref Flight May 15 1931. I am still looking for the exact date.
Beatrice was the wife of Griffith Brewer, the pioneer English balloonist and aviator, and one of the foremost female balloonists of the time. Accompanying her were Percival Spencer and Frank Butler.


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Re: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 20:57:05 »
Here's a news story from the Guardian April 17th 1912, referring to the first channel  flight by the American woman identified by Bob Hollingsbee in his original article. Interesting to note the reasons for the confusion about her name given here, and the details about her flying outfit!

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 22:51:50 »
Harriet Quimby was loaned her Bleriot monoplane from Bleriot himself, one of the few people to know what Harriet was about to attempt, she planned her flight carefully but was worried that word might get out and another woman might try it before her.  
  After waiting a few days for the weather to clear she finaly took off at 05:30 a.m. on Tuesday 16th of April and headed for Calais, flying through cloud most of the way and at a height of 1000 ft. She landed in France 59 minutes later, though not in Calais but Hardelot; she had been blown thirty miles off course!
  Her place in the history books went almost un-noticed: The Titanic had sunk two days before her flight.
She died on July 1st 1912 at an air show in Massachusetts when she and her passenger William Willard, who had won a seat in her plane at the toss of a coin, were thrown from her plane at 1,500 ft in front of 5,000 horrified spectators. She was 37 years old and had only been flying for 11 months.

Harriet at Dover's Whitfield aerodrome, Just before her cross-channel flight. Wearing her trademark bright purple flying suit.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)


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Re: Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 21:59:11 »
For anyone interested in the location of Whitfield airfield it was set out in a triangular shape and sat between Archers court road and Sandwich road(old A256). It ran up Sandwich road until the junction with Napchester lane where its boundery then made a straight line back over to Archers court road to form the triangle.
I beleive the airfield opened in 1910 but i have no idea when it closed but some of the older houses now on the site look 1920s at the earliest.

Offline ellenkate

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Harriet Quimby first woman to fly the Channel (1912)
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 14:26:08 »
Here is a wonderful Pathe compilation of old films, put together
and entitled The Emancipation of Women.
...... in the middle of which is included a brief film of Harriet Quimby the first woman to fly across the Channel in 1912
(then called DOVER AIRFIELD)

this is a fascinating film, transport, costumes, etc.!   Films included here date from 1890 to 1930, mostly between 1900 and the first war,
INCLUDES: London, rise of the suffragette movement, what women had to put up with, coal mine work etc, Buckingham Palace, London, yarmouth, hastings, start of the first war and what women took on as 'men's jobs'. Making ammunition, and labouring jobs. Also 1915 day nurseries for children of munition workers - fascinating. Do have a look if you have time! It makes you think!
Whitfield airfield (which didn't exist for very long) was somewhere vaguely 'behind the Archer pub'.
The centenary of Harriet Quimby's flight WILL be celebrated in the spring of1012!

Giacinta Bradley Koontz of Arizona 86301 USA contacted me after seeing the Bleriot section on the Dover Society website.
She is a researcher of pioneer aviators, and has written books, especially about Harriet Quimby.
Look at Giacinta's website:

Giacinta is hoping to organise some special event in Dover or Whitfield t
o mark the centenary and celebrate pioneering women aviators.
She would like some sort of plaque to be installed perhaps near to the Bleriot memorial, which Harriet visited before her Channel flight.

Harriet, like many of the aviation pioneers, lost her life flying.
quote from Harriet's account of her Channel Flight in 1912: flight (she was a journalist): 'So I arranged to have the Bleriot monoplane shipped across to Dover at once and wired the Mirror to have its photographers and reporters meet me at the Hotel Lord Warden, at Dover. It was vitally important that nothing should be known of my contemplated journey, so the machine was shipped very secretly to the aerodrome on Dover heights, about three miles back from the channel, a fine, smooth ground from which to make a good start.
(The Aerodrome referred to was of course Whitfield airfield)
             Harriet died on 1 July 1912 in a flying accident.

I'm Lincolnshire born and bred


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