LADIES OF THE SOUND BARRIER
By Doris Rich and Ann Wood Kelly

The year was 1963 and the Two Jackies had been hot competitors for years. One was our own Jackie Cochran (JC) and the other was Jacqueline Auriol (JA), daughter in-law of the then President of France. They each took on the sound barrier and each got through it, but JC was the first on March 12, 1963, in a Starfighter (solo). JA soon followed on June 14, 1963 again solo. Diana Barnato-Walker of the ATA, on August 26, 1963, achieved her goal as well in a Lightening (a dual configuration) with Squadron Leader Ken Goodwin as check pilot.

No doubt the speeds and courses have been properly homologated with the Federation Aeronautique Inernationale (FAI) so that these records of achievement can stand and be honored for all time.

Belatedly, this website salutes all three, however only Diana is alive today to accept our congratulations. (May 2002)

Doris Rich, a well-known American writer, biographer, and aviation researcher has added some specifics for us. She has written the definitive book on Amelia Earhart and will soon be publishing hers on Jackie Cochran.

Her sound barrier research with specifics follows:
  • March 12, 1963, JC flew a 15/25 kilometer course in a TF 104G Starfighter at 1,273mph
  • May 1, 1963, JC flew a 100 km closed course at 1,203 mph
  • June 14, 1963, Auriol flew a 100 km closed course at 1,266 mph
  • August 26, 1963, Diana flew an undefined course at 1,262mph.

If it was the 15/25 km course like JC's, she did not beat her. If it was a closed 100 km, then she did best both JC and Auriol. Doris Rich found a memo of JC's explaining the "course I flow was a circle of, 100 kms, with speed slowing as one turns. Auriol, she said flew a tear drop course with longer straight-aways and one turn half way along, permitting greater speed."

· In 1964 at the age of 58 JC beat both of them with the following:
  • May 11 with a 15 km straight course at 1,429mph
  • June 1 with a 100 km closed course at 1,302mph
  • June 4 with a 500 km closed course at 1,135mph

Go to the Top of the Page


Copyright © 2001 US Trade Inc. All rights reserved
http://www.marsh.org