|SPACE: Meet Captain Kathryn Hire.
What is a WASP? She was a pioneer - the first female pilot allowed to fly for our military when many
women were not expected to work outside of the home at all, much less at anything besides a
secretary or nurse. When the US government decided they needed their male pilots all overseas,
there was still a lot of flying to be done at home to support the war effort: flights for pilot training,
ferrying aircraft to other locations, maintenance test flights and more. Jackie Cochran's call to women
pilots to come fly for their country in 1942 received 25,000 applicants. Not all were accepted but
1,074 received their wings. They came from many different backgrounds and greatly helped our
country's war effort during a time in history when women and airplanes were a rare pair!
We are happy to report that these women are finally getting their due. President Obama has awarded
them the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony on March 10th. A Congressional Gold Medal is the
highest civilian award in our nation and is awarded to an individual who performs an outstanding deed or
act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the US.
Our aircraft of the
month: The low wing,
"Cornell," one of the
first planes WASP
learned to fly for the
military. They had to
log 70 hours in the
Cornell; that's a lot of
wind in your hair!
Learn the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Aviators use this to clearly understand
each other. For example, saying the
letters "B" and "D" over busy radios can
be very confusing-words are easier to
understand. Aviators have been using
the phonetic alphabet since 1927. As
you learn it you can speak code with
your friends! So, lets get started! "B
=Bravo" Memorize Bravo for this
month-more to come!
Avenger Field in
training base for
the WASP and
still an active
airport. Home of
|created the organization which is our main topic for this edition,
the WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots). Jackie and these
World War II aviatrices blazed the trail for women pilots in the military (a battle for equal rights
which was not soon won), which in turn opened the door to the many jobs represented here at the
conference. I hope you will enjoy learning more about these ladies, along with the other great
information we have for you this month. Can you find out what Walt Disney created just for the WASP?
|Flying is a lot of work. There are a million little things you have to do and think about. How do you
remember everything? We can’t remember all those little things and we don’t! Pilots and crew use
checklists. Nobody gets extra points for trying to remember everything. In fact, you’re not supposed to
even try doing it all from memory. It’s easy to forget one little thing, especially when there’s a lot going
on in the cockpit. A responsible crew always uses checklists to make sure nothing is forgotten, that’s the
There’s nothing magical about checklists. They are just lists of items you need to do. Think of it as a
grocery shopping list. Instead of “milk, granola, tomatoes, and apples” an airplane checklist will have
items like “flaps, throttle, and avionics power.” Don’t be afraid to use every tool you have in hand to
become a safer pilot.
|March's Aviatrix: Jackie Cochran
"I might have been born in a hovel, but I determined to
travel with the wind and stars."
|Can you believe a little girl who did not own her first pair of shoes until she was 9 years old went on to
become the first woman to break the sound barrier?? Jackie Cochran, the creator of the WASP has an
amazing story that will inspire you to reach the heights you were born for!
In 1942 our country was busy fighting a two front war-one in the Pacific and the other in Europe. The
Army Air Force was facing a pilot shortage. Jackie Cochran saw early on the ways in which women
aviators could help their country and even sent her proposal to Eleanor Roosevelt as early as 1939!
However, it would take a couple more years for officials in the Army Air Force to see that women could
indeed be of service to their country and help free up the men here to fight on the front line. The call
was put out and women who met the criteria of age, height, and flying experience could apply. Initially, in
September 1942, they were formed into two groups. The first was known as WAFS-Women's Auxiliary
Ferrying Squadron and the second WFTD -Women’s Flying Training Detachment. The WAF’s were
already exceptionally qualified (they averaged 1,100 flying hours coming into the program!) and thus
needed only to be checked out in the particular aircraft they would ferry. The WFTD group, as more
women joined, had less flight time and headed to Texas for further flight training. It was intended that
this school would eventually become a military program. In August, 1943 the two groups merged under
one organization, WASP-Women Air Force Service Pilots with Jackie Cochran as their director. Avenger
Field, in Sweetwater, Texas became the only school ever in America devoted to teaching women cadets.
These women lived in barracks and, in addition to their flight training, had to learn to march, pass
inspections, and physical training. These women went on to fly numerous aircrafts and missions for the
Army Air Force. They were even asked to fly a plane men complained about (and some afraid to fly)-the
B-26! If women could fly it, the rationale from the top was, then certainly the men would see they
| A plane going 760 mph is moving so fast the air pushes together until it can move out of the
way. This makes pressure waves in the air like the wake of a boat on water. If the shockwave reaches
your ear it makes a loud noise or boom. We have compiled a whole page on this website to talk more
about Supersonic Stuff.
|Project of the
This cute little
Walt Disney as
the symbol of the
WASP to wear on
poster of her!!
|We use checklists so often that
they get pretty dirty and wrinkly.
By Kam Yee
|Astronaut Kathryn Hire launched into space with her crew of STS-130 aboard
Space Shuttle Endeavour on February 8, 2010. Kay is a mission specialist and will
use the shuttle’s robotic arm to help install a new “room” called Tranquility on the
International Space Station. STS-130 is her second space mission and will last 13
days. She spent 15 days in space with STS-90 in 1998. That totals up to a whole
month of space time! Wow. Good job, Kay!
Extra fun spacelinks: Hey, girls, Build Your Own Space Mission! and even more
games at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Kids Page.