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Earhart Crosses the Atlantic
Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

Eighty years ago this week on June 18, 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger aboard a Fokker tri-motor aircraft that was piloted by Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon.

This image shows Earhart standing in front of the Lockheed Electra in which she disappeared in July 1937. Born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897, Earhart did not begin flying until after her move to California in 1920. After taking lessons from aviation pioneer Neta Snook in a Curtiss Jenny, Earhart set out to break flying records, breaking the women altitude records in 1922.

Earhart continually promoted women in aviation and in 1928 was invited to be the first women to fly across the Atlantic. Accompanying pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon as a passenger on the Fokker Friendship, Earhart became an international celebrity after the completion of the flight. In May 1932 Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across in the Atlantic. In 1935 she completed the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. In the meantime Earhart continued to promote aviation and helped found the group, the Ninety-Nines, an organization dedicated to female aviators. On June 1, 1937, Earhart and navigator, Fred Noonan, left Miami, Florida on an around the world flight. Earhart, Noonan and their Lockheed Electra disappeared after a stop in Lae, New Guinea on June 29, 1937. Earhart had only 7,000 miles of her trip remaining when she disappeared. While a great deal of mystery surrounds the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, her contributions to aviation and womens issues have inspired people over 80 years.

Forty five years later on June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly to space.

Image Credit: Smithsonian Institution
 

Page Last Updated: January 15th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator