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New Temporary Exhibition, Half the Sky: Stories About Women in Aviation, OPENING THE END OF JUNE 2019

May 31, 2019


Delta employees at 2018's WING (Women Inspiring our Next Generation) flight.

Did you know that the Wright Brothers had a sister? While the brothers were tinkering in their workshop, Katharine Wright managed their home and business. Outgoing Katharine also made sure the shy brothers secured capital to keep their flying dreams alive by promoting their new invention, especially during an important European tour where she acted as their publicist and spokesperson.

This historical footnote highlights that from the very beginning of human flight, women have played an important role in aviation history. In the early days of flight, pilots like Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman challenged both gender and racial stereotypes of who could fly. Countless other women flew and took care of early aircraft in a burgeoning field that promised freedom as wide as the sky.


Patricia "Mother" Malone trained pilots starting in World War II and retired from Delta Air Lines in the 1990s.

That promise faded quickly as the aviation industry conformed to the gender roles of other transportation industries and the military began to dominate training for pilots and aviation mechanics. This exhibition explores through stories, artifacts and images, how women of courage stood up against an industry that thought they could only serve in certain roles. Half the Sky will be on view through December 2019 at the Delta Flight Museum


Captain Wendy Rexon (left) with her daughter First Officer Kelly Jacobsen on the flight deck of a B757 as they prepare for a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta, 2019. Captain Rexon’s daughter Kate Rexon is also a pilot for Delta.

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