Harriet Quimby Quotes

(1875 - 1912)

Pilot Harriet Quimby with Airplane
Pilot Harriet Quimby with Airplane. Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Harriet Quimby was one of the first female pilots. She was the first American woman to earn a pilot's license, and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. See: Harriet Quimby Biography

Selected Harriet Quimby Quotations

• There is no reason why the aeroplane should not open up a fruitful occupation for women. I see no reason they cannot realize handsome incomes by carrying passengers between adjacent towns, from parcel delivery, taking photographs or conducting schools of flying.

Any of these things it is now possible to do.

• Everyone asks me 'how it feels to fly.' It feels like riding in a high powered automobile, minus bumping over the rough roads, continually signaling to clear the way and keeping a watchful on the speedometer to see that you do not exceed the speed limit and provoke the wrath of the bicycle policeman or the covetous constable.

• I do feel well qualified to tell a beginner how she must dress and what she must do if she expects to be a flyer. If a woman wants to fly, first of all, she must, of course, abandon skirts and don a knickerbocker uniform.

• The speed with which an aviator flies and the strong currents created by the rapidly revolving propeller directly in front of the diver compel the latter to be warmly clad. There must be no flapping ends to catch in the multitudinous wires surrounding the driver's seat. The feet and legs must be free, so that one can readily manipulate the steering apparatus...

• Before the student climbs into her seat, she will discover why it is well to cover her natty costume with washable jumpers or overalls. Not only the chassis of the machine, but all the fixtures are slippery with lubricating oil, and when the engine is speeded a shower of this oil is also thrown back directly into the driver's face.

• The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work, something that an ordinary mortal should not dream of attempting. But when I saw how easily the man flyers manipulated their machines I said I could fly.

• I was annoyed from the start by the attitude of doubt on the part of the spectators that I would never really make the flight. They knew I had never used the machine before, and probably thought I would find some excuse at the last moment to back out of the flight. This attitude made me more determined than ever to succeed. [About her English Channel flight]

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.