Helene Dutrieu Belgian Aviatrix and Pioneer, 1909

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Helene Dutrieu Belgian Aviatrix and Pioneer, 1909

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Helene Dutrieu Belgian Aviatrix and Pioneer, 1909

Helene Dutrieu in what could be a Vogue Cover Shoot, 1909.  Pictured here with her monoplane, dressed in a couture flying costume with an avant garde flare; this image was taken the year she successfully made her first solo flight.  Helene Dutrieu was an incredible and inspiring woman who broke gender barriers in aviation and MANY other areas. She was a celebrated cycling world champion, stunt cyclist, stunt motorcyclist, automobile racer, stunt driver, pioneer aviator, wartime ambulance driver and director of a military hospital.  The Belgian national may have been the first woman to fly in combat in history - performing the very first bombing mission by a woman in 1915 with an attack on Metz, France near the German border.


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Photograph reprinted by permission from The New York Times®.  Copyright © 2014 The New York Times.  All rights reserved.