South Australian
Aviation Museum
Preserving South Australian Aviation History
Australian Women Pilots Page

SAAM has recently taken delivery of McDonnell-Douglas FA-18 Hornet (RAAF A21-32). Keen observers will notice that the name of the pilot on the LHS of the aircraft is FLTLT E. Willis "SWAT". Em Willis, is one of a select number of female fighter pilots in the RAAF. The RAAF also sponsors female pilots to be members of the Australian Women Pilots' Association. See Em on Youtube at


By 1930, there were 28 Australian Women with Class'A' Licences. The first Commercial 'B' Licence for a woman was issued in 1931 to Phyllis Arnott, who never used it for commercial aviation purposes. She later became an opera singer. In 1950, a group of women pilots met at the invitation of the founding President Nancy-Bird Walton to form a group of women with similar interests in flying, and so The Australian Women Pilots Association was born. For more information visit the Australian Women Pilots Association Website.

SAAM's AWPA Display

The display features stories and historical artifacts of known and (relatively) unknown women pilots. Some are mentioned below.

Amy Johnson- First woman to fly solo UK to Australia (1930)
Florence Taylor & Emma Scultz - First Australian women to fly (1909)
Millicent Maude Bryant - First woman to be licensed to fly in Australia (1926)
Lores Bonney -First woman to circumnavigate Australia (1932)
Freda Thompson - First Australian woman to fly solo from UK to Australia (1934)