Hélène Dutrieu  

 

Helene Dutrieu

Helene Dutrieu seen in her Gnome powered Farman biplane.

Daniel Brackx Collection

Hélène Dutrieu was born at Tournai, Belgium on 10 July 1877 as daughter of a Belgian Army officer. Being a very libertine lady (not an easy attitude at the end of the 19th century) Hélène was a sportswoman (bicycle & motorcycle champion) who took up flying as a new sport.
    Having received an introduction to flying on a Santos-Dumont "Demoiselle"  in December 1908, she went on to learn to fly at the Farman School.
      She was the first female pilot to carry a passenger in flight (19 April 1910) and as marked on our table of the first 100 Belgian pilots, she received licence n°27 on 25 November 1910 as the first Belgian, female pilot. She was the first holder of the Coupe Femina, which she won by setting women's duration and altitude records and later on she participated in many exhibitions and meetings throughout Europe and North America.
      In 1913 she won the French Legion of Honneur, the first female pilot thus decorated. In 1922 she married Pierre Mortier and took on the French nationality. In later years, she became the Vice-President of the women’s section of the Aero-club of France.  Hélène Dutrieu died in Paris on 26 June 1961 at the age of 84  after having enjoyed a fascinating life
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Last updated 12/08/10 10:06   Daniel Brackx

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