Femina Cup (Aviation)

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The Femina Cup or Coupe Femina was an award of 2000 francs established in 1910 by Pierre Lafitte the publisher of French women's magazine Femina to honour women pilots.[1] This French challenge was opened to women aviators only.


The Coupe Femina was awarded to the woman who, by sunset on 31 December each year, had made the longest flight, in time and distance, without landing.[2] In 1910, Hélène Dutrieu, the first winner, was lifted out of her airplane and carried on the shoulders of the spectators after she landed.[3]

It is often difficult to determine who the official winner was, since each temporary leader (e.g. Marie Marvingt in 1911)[4] was referred to in several contemporary records as having "won" the cup, only to be superseded by the next temporary record. Thus, in various documents, there are several "winners" recorded for each year, but the formal winners were announced in Femina Magazine. It was first formally awarded to Belgian pilot Hélène Dutrieu on 31 December 1910 for her record-breaking non-stop flight. She won it again for the second time in 1911.

NOTE: There was also a "Coupe Femina" for Women's Golf, in this same time period.

Winners of the Coupe Femina[edit]

  • Hélène Dutrieu - 31 December 1910 for a non-stop flight of 167 kilometers in 2 hours 35 minutes.[5]
  • Hélène Dutrieu Won the second time in 1911.

There was no Coupe Femina Competition in 1912.

  • Raymonde de Laroche - 25 November 1913 for a non-stop long-distance flight of over 4 hours duration.

The Five Editions of the Femina Cup[edit]

Year Aviators Place Distance Duration of flight Day
1910 Hélène Dutrieu Étampes 167,2 km 2h 41m[2] 22 December
Marie Marvingt Mourmelon 45 km 53 m[6] 27 November[7]
1911 Hélène Dutrieu Étampes[8] 254 2 hours, 58 min[2] 31 December
Jane Herveu Compiegne 248
Marie Marvingt
1912 Marie Marvingt
1913 Elise Deroche


  1. ^ "22 December 1910: Hélène Dutrieu". Women in Aerospace History. Smithsonian. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Woman Sets Aero Record". The Indianapolis Star. 1 January 1912. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Snapshots at Social Leaders". The Washington Post. 13 March 1911. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Cochrane, Kira (2 October 2009). "Trailblazers: The Early Women Aviators". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Colby, Frank Moore; Churchill, Allen Leon (1911). New International Yearbook: A Compendium of the World's Progress for the Year 1910. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. pp. 9–10. 
  6. ^ "Daring French 'Aviatresses': Women Whose Startling Exploits in the Sky are Winning Them Fame". The St. Louis Star and Times. 1 January 1911. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Newspapers.com. 
  7. ^ "Aviatress Flies 56 Minutes". The Baltimore Sun. 28 November 1910. Retrieved 7 December 2016 – via Newspapers.com. 
  8. ^ Femina 1 Feb 1912