News Releases

Upcoming GE Aviation Lectures Feature Two Female Pilots at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

September 20, 2016

The National Air and Space Museum will present the fall 2016 lectures in the GE Aviation Series with two accomplished and decorated female pilots. Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann will speak on Sept. 22 about her experiences as Boeing’s first female test pilot. The Oct. 6 lecture will feature Lt. Col. Christine Mau, the first and only female pilot of the F-35. Lectures are free to the public, but tickets are required. Both lectures will begin at 8 p.m. and take place at the museum in Washington, D.C., and via webcast.

As the retired Chief Pilot, Flight Services for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Darcy-Hennemann was involved in the 777 program since its inception and contributed to the design, testing and certification of the initial airplane and its derivatives. Darcy-Hennemann is rated as a captain on the 747-400, 737, 757 and 767 and holds several distance and speed records on Boeing aircraft.

In the lecture, “Going the Distance and Breaking Records as a Boeing Test Pilot,” Sept. 22, attendees will learn how airplanes are certified, view flight-test footage and learn why, when flight testing, test pilots should never wear pearls. Darcy-Hennemann, a world-record holder for distance flown by a commercial aircraft, will also tell audience members about her team’s record-breaking, 21,601.33-kilometer (13,422.44 miles), non-stop flight from Hong Kong to London aboard a Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner. For more information and to request free tickets, the public can visit https://airandspace.si.edu/events/going-distance-and-breaking-records-boeing-test-pilot.

Mau is no stranger to making history. She entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1997, just four years after the Combat Exclusion Law was lifted allowing women to fly in combat. She became part of the select community of fighter pilots after pilot training and remains among the small percentage of women who pilot fighter aircraft today. Her combat hours include Operations Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She led the first combat mission planned, briefed, launched and flown entirely by women in 2011 while flying the F-15E. She is also the first and only woman to pilot the Department of Defense’s newest fighter, the F-35. She has achieved numerous successes as an officer and aviator and today serves as the deputy commander of the 33rd Operations Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

In the lecture, “Views from the Cockpit of the F-35,” Mau will discuss her journey accumulating more than 2,300 hours in the F-15E and F-35A. For more information and to request free tickets, the public can visit https://airandspace.si.edu/events/views-cockpit-f-35.

The GE Aviation Lecture Series at the National Air and Space Museum is made possible by GE Aviation.

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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SI-480-2016

Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann / Boeing

Media only 
Alison Mitchell 
(202) 633-2376 
mitchellac@si.edu

Nick Partridge 
(202) 633-2373 
partridgen@si.edu

Female pilot in cockpit


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