There’s a new book about women in aviation in this country and it comes to you from Elizabeth (Liz) Muir. I was happy to write the foreword to Canadian Women in the Sky: 100 Years of Flight, her exploration and celebration of some of the fantastic women involved in flight in Canada. It is an enjoyable read with lots of great photos. Anything we can do to increase knowledge about these feisty pioneers and inspire the next generation of fly-girls is fine by me!
Here’s a taste from my foreword:
I remember reading once that a plane cannot tell if its pilot is a man or a woman. I was profoundly struck by it. Of course, I thought to myself, it’s so obvious. But for most of our history with aviation, women were told their place was not in the cockpit or the flight deck, or anywhere near an airplane – except, perhaps, as a “stewardess”, as flight attendants were called back then.
Elizabeth Muir shows through the stories in this book that though they were discouraged from it, women wanted desperately to work in aviation from its earliest days. Through determination, pluck, and training, women like Katherine Stinson, Elsie MacGill, Vi Milstead Warren, Felicity McKendry, Roberta Bondar, Maryse Carmichael and others that you will meet in the pages of this book, accomplished amazing things and reached their dreams. They flew the first flying contraptions that were just a collection of struts and wires all the way through to bush planes, four-engine military bombers, waterbombers, and helicopters. They designed and built warplanes and trainers. They went into the skies and into space.
And here’s a link to the Q&A I just did with Liz for the Dundurn site. It was great to learn more about what brought Liz to the project, what surprised her the most about women in aviation, and the one myth she keeps hearing from audiences!