In Memoriam: Evelyn "Bobbi" Trout, January 7, 1906 - January 24, 2003
Bobbi Trout was the last surviving participant in the 1929 Women's Air Derby.

Louise M. Thaden and Herbert V. Thaden
Aviation Pioneers

Louise M. Thaden with the 1936 Bendix Air Race trophy, and Herbert V. Thaden portrait.

This is the official site for information about Aviation Pioneers Louise M. Thaden and Herbert V. Thaden.

Louise Thaden

Louise Thaden won the First Transcontinental Women's Air Derby in 1929. Louise flew the Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH race in a J-5 Travel Air biplane, traveling at an average speed of 135.97 mph in 20 hours and 2 minutes of flying time over 8 days. (This race series later became known as the "PowderPuff Derby.") Here you can find photos of Louse Thaden taken during the Derby in 1929, with other women aviation pioneers.

Louise also won the 1936 Bendix cross-country race. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on Louise Thaden [accessed 2011]:

In 1936 she won the Bendix Trophy Race in the first year women were allowed to compete against men. She set a new world record of 14 hours, 55 minutes from New York City to Los Angeles, California. In her astonishing victory she flew a Beech C17R Staggerwing biplane and defeated twin-engine planes specifically designed for racing. Laura Ingalls, another aviatrix, came in second by 45 minutes flying a Lockheed Orion. First prize was $4,500 and she also won the $2,500 prize for a woman finishing. Time magazine wrote on September 14, 1936:

"To Pilots Thaden & Noyes the $7,000 prize money was far less gratifying than the pleasure of beating the men. Among the first ten U.S. women to earn transport licenses, they have for years been front-line fighters in aviation's 'battle of the sexes.' A fuzzy-haired blonde of 30, Mrs. Thaden has been flying since 1927, has held the women's speed, altitude and endurance records, is the mother of a 6-year-old son. She and Flyer Noyes both work regularly as air-marking pilots for the Department of Commerce. Short, brunette Mrs. Noyes is better known as the only pilot ever to fly John D. Rockefeller Sr. In the National Air Races, men contestants have always patronized women, in 1934 ousted them altogether. Smilingly observed Pilots Thaden and Noyes last week when they found they had won one of the two most important events of the Races: 'Well, that's a surprise! We expected to be the cow's tail.'

For her achievements Thaden won aviation's highest honor given to women, the Harmon Trophy.

Here are other links to biographical information on Louise M. Thaden, found at:

More will appear here shortly---in the meantime, you can:

Herbert V. Thaden

Herbert V. Thaden was a designer of aircraft and of furniture. The Hiller Museum now owns one of Herb Thaden's original airplanes, the T-1 Argonaut. This plane crashed in Chitna, Alaska in 1933, was recovered by Bill Thaden and friends in 1988, and was donated to the Hiller Museum for restoration. (See below for some info on this model.) See also the Hiller Museum's "A Love Story: Herb and Louise Thaden and the T-1 Argonaut and Travel Air." (.pdf)

Below is data on several all-metal aircraft designed by Herbert V. Thaden, from, and corrected:


1928: (Herbert von) Thaden Metal Aircraft Co, Oakland Airport and San Francisco CA;
1928: 1625 Island Ave, Pittsburgh PA.
1929: Pittsburgh All-Metal Aircraft Co.
1930: Metalair Corp, div of Consolidated Corp (General Aviation Mfg Co).

T-1 (aka Argonaut) 1928 (2-29) = 6-8pClwM; 400-420hp P&W Wasp A; span: 53'0" (>53'8") length: 35'3" load: 2200# v: 135/105/52. Herbert von Thaden. POP: 1 [X3902] c/n 1; ff: Jan 15, 1928 (p: George R Pond). Crash-landed on Mar 30, 1933, in Chitna AK (p: Nat Browne); recovered from Chitna, AK in 1986 by William V. Thaden, and donated to the Hiller Museum in San Carlos, CA.

Photos of the Thaden T-1:


Now, in the Hiller Museum.

Now, in the Hiller Museum.

T-2 1928 = 4pChwM; 150hp Comet; span: 39'0" length: 25'1" (>26'0") load: 1180# v: 121/90/46 (>56). Similar to the T-1 Argonaut, but with full-cantilever wing and flaps. POP: 1 [7074] c/n 2.

T-3 The T-3 was apparently unbuilt, or was modified as the T-4.

T-4 [898M] 1930 (2-247) = 4pCmwM; 300hp Wright J-6; span: 45'0" length: 32'10" load: 1435# v: 135/110/59. POP: 2; [898M] c/n 3, and [C502V] c/n 4.

Photo of the Thaden T-4:

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