Petticoat Pilots: Biographies and Achievements of Irish Female Aviators 1909-1939 Volume One


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Author Michael Traynor

This is the first of two volumes contains biographies of five Irish women who were at the cutting edge of the aeronautical revolution that swept these islands in the early twentieth century. Their stories are told against the backdrop of Irish economic, social and political life. Some enjoyed a lavish and aristocratic lifestyle, while for others it was a struggle.

Violet Lambart married into the wealthy Belfast Dunville whisky family and took an interest in the Edwardian sport of balloon racing throughout Europe in the early years of the twentieth century.

Lilian Bland witnessed the achievements of some early aviators with their flimsy machines in England in 1909. She returned to County Antrim and became the first woman in the world to design, construct and fly her own aeroplane.

Limerick native Sophie Peirce travelled to London to earn her Aviator’s Certificate and attracted worldwide acclaim when she became the first woman to fly solo from Cape Town to London. She went to America and embarked on a successful aeronautical tour.

County Cork woman Sicele O’Brien learned to fly in London in 1926. She promoted aviation throughout England and Ireland by organising aeronautical events. She took part in several races but tragically became the first Irishwoman to be killed in a flying accident.

Mary Westenra from Monaghan married a wealthy gold-mine owner. When her five children were at boarding school she began to take flying lessons. She became the first woman to fly from London down the east side of the African continent and return by a western route. She earned a royal title for her contribution to aviation and became Champion Airwoman of the World.

The stunning images in this volume give an insight into the lives of these women.

Volume Two (9780954919429) covers a further seven Irish female aviators.

  • Format: Hardback
  • Published On: 29 October 2019
  • Publisher: Michael Traynor
  • ISBN / EAN: 9780954919412
  • Page Count: 295


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