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Blanche Noyes was a competitive air racer and aviation businesswoman of the Golden Age. She landed once at Pitcairn Field. She also landed and signed the Registers four times at Parks Airport and twice at Clover Field. Her detailed biography, including photographs and news articles covering her life and race competions, is online at the Parks link. News photo, left, from The New York Times of August 32, 1942. Another photograph of Noyes shaking hands with Jimmy Doolittle on June 30, 1931 is at the link.
Her visit to Willow Grove was on Wednesday, May 7, 1930. She flew a Travel Air she identified in the Register as NR657H, a model E-4000. You can see her airplane in the photomontage, below. She cited Cleveland, OH as her home base, but offered no destination information. Neither did she cite a reason for her trip.
Noyes was married to an aviator, Dewey L. Noyes. Her husband taught her how to fly. This article from the Pittsburgh Press of November 25, 1928, right, captures her as a non-pilot taking lessons from. She soon abandoned her acting and devoted most of her time to aviation.
The October, 1929 issue of The Sohioan, the Standard Oil Company of Ohio internal publication, featured them in an article at the link. The photomontage from that article is below, which includes a photograph of NR657H, which she flew to Pitcairn Field. About half of this article is devoted to Dewey and half to Blanche. In the article she describes her experiences as she participated in the 1929 National Air Races (NAR) from Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH. She was licensed for only a few months before she participated in this grueling, cross-country event.
And, August, 1929 was the first time women were allowed ot compete in the NAR. Despite being one of the least experienced flyers among her sister pilots, despite getting lost, despite affecting repairs after a forced landing in mesquite, and suffering an in-flight fire, she placed fourth in the women's derby flying NR657H. She won $725 for her efforts. It was a brilliant result.
While with Sohio, she flew the company's Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro NC10785, S/N B-14, seen in the photograph, below, from the Ohio Guide Collection. The photo is from the early 1930s and the caption on the back of the photograph states, "Reverse Reads: A scene of the airport near Shoenbrum Memorial Park, Credit Mr. Shearrow." The Collection describes the image, "The The photo depicts a crowd gathered around an airplane with helicopter blades on it. The crowd consists mostly of men and young boys. A pilot is boarding the plane." The pilot is Blanche Noyes. Note the Sohio logo on the fuselage and the wide stance of the landing gear, and the tail skid.
About six years after her NAR experience, Dewey Noyes was killed in an aircraft accident in December, 1935. With her husband's passing she appears to have eased her grief by continuing to fly and compete.
Barely nine months later, in 1936, she teamed up as co-pilot with Louise Thaden to win the New York to Los Angeles Bendix Trophy Race in a Beech C-17R Staggerwing. They won $4,500 for their winning time of 14:54:49, plus a prize of $2,500 for a new women's record. This was the first time women were allowed to participate in the Bendix Race. Both Noyes and Thaden were pioneers in this regard, competing both in the first National Air Races in 1929 and the first Bendix Trophy Race in 1935 that allowed women to compete.
Noyes was born June 23, 1900 and flew West on October 6, 1981. Her obituary from the Cleveland Plain Dealer of October 9, 1981 is posted at the Parks Airport link, above. She flew carrying Transport license number T6540. She was quoted in 1977 (The New York TImes, August 6th), "Age is the only phobia that I have."
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/17/14 REVISED: 01/21/16, 04/20/16