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April 20 2014 Latest news:

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One hundred years ago, a determined 47-year-old trainee at the Brooklands Flying School, Hilda Hewlett, became an emblem for emancipation by becoming the first British woman to gain her Pilot's Licence.

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One hundred years ago, a determined 47-year-old trainee at the Brooklands Flying School, Hilda Hewlett, became an emblem for emancipation by becoming the first British woman to gain her Pilots Licence.


The impact that Hilda, and the many thousands of women who followed her, have had on aviation will be celebrated at Brooklands Museum with a special weekend of activities over the weekend of Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, to be opened by museum patron Penelope Keith.


Politically, the granting of a Royal Aero Club Aviators Certificate (as pilots licences were then known) had tremendous significance at a time when England was seeing the Suffragette Movement at its most militant.


It paved the way for countless other women, such as Amy Johnson 17 years later, to pick up the gauntlet, right through to today with women flying airliners and working as front-line pilots for the RAF and even flying for the Red Arrows aerobatic team.


From those pioneering days of flight to the Air Transport Auxiliary and Womens Auxiliary Air Force girls of World War II and the pilots, navigators, engineers and ground crew at modern air bases and in airlines all over the world, women have played their part in on the ground and in the air.


A new major exhibition using original material from the museum archive will be opened on the Saturday, tracing some of the history surrounding those early days of flying at Brooklands, where many flying schools were based.


And, in stark contrast to those early days, the Air Cadets and Astro-Sim, a company specialising in flight simulation, will be offering experience in state-of-the-art Flight Simulators for anyone brave enough to try.


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