Tuesday, 17 August 2021

1417) Betty Skelton

Betty Skelton Frankman Erde (1926 – 2011). American land speed record holder and aerobatics pilot who set 17 aviation and automobile records. She was known as "The First Lady of Firsts".

In 1949, she set the world light-plane altitude record of 25,763 feet (7,853 m) in a Piper Cub. Two years later, she broke her own altitude record with a flight of 29,050 feet (8,850 m), also in a Piper Cub. She held the world speed record for piston-engined aircraft: 421.6 mph (678.5 km/h) over a 3-km course in a P-51 Mustang racing plane.
She was granted an Automobile Association of America auto race driver's license, as the first woman with that distinction. She became the first female test driver in the auto industry in 1954 with Chrysler's Dodge division.
In 1956, she became an advertising executive with Campbell-Ewald and worked with General Motors on and in their TV and print ads. She was GM's first woman technical narrator at major auto shows, where she would talk about and demonstrate automobile features, later becoming official spokeswoman for Chevrolet. While Skelton was working with Chevrolet, she set numerous records with Corvettes, and owned a total of 10 models.
In 1959, Skelton was the first woman to undergo NASA's physical and psychological tests, identical to those given to the Mercury Seven astronauts. 
- "Skelton drove a Corvette convertible with a color that nearly matched her red hair.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Skelton
- "Ms. Skelton, who never grew beyond 5-foot-3 and about 100 pounds, acquired her passion for speed as an 8-year-old redhead perched on her porch in Pensacola..."  https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=it&sl=en&tl=it...
- "With red hair and brown eyes, she stood only five feet, three inches tall..."  https://books.google.it/books?id=im7nEnnJGz0C&pg=PA75...
- "Crowds adored the red-haired beauty [...] the better to see her curly red hair and flawless makeup."  https://books.google.it/books?id=uDmODwAAQBAJ&pg=PT94...


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