Maud Tait

Maude Tait

Maude Taite

Maude Tait was born in 1901 in Chicopee, Massachusetts,she was the daughter of James Tait. He was one of the Tait Brothers who operated the Springfield Airport. James was later president of the Springfield Air Racing Association. S.A.R.A. Maude Tait was a pioneer aviatrix during the 1930's. She became a very accomplished pilot and established several flying records. She posted a new speed record for women on September 6, 1931, when she flew fifty miles at an average speed of 187.5 miles per hour; this beat even Amelia Earhart's previous record by 10 mph, and missed the existing men's record by only 1 mph. In 1929,she set an unofficial altitude record for women by flying at 16,500 feet. She also was the first woman in New England to hold a Transport Pilot license, the highest rating given by The United States Department of Commerce.Maude Tait's world fame rested on many racing achievements. Over the Labor Day holidays in Cleveland, Ohio, she won many major races. It was in September of 1931 at the Cleveland National Air Races that she flew her Gee Bee Model "Y" Senior Sportster NR11049 to victory, winning the Aero l Trophy Race, the big Free-For-All race for women. She set a new women's closed-course world speed record of 187.574mph, a feat recognized by the National Aeronautic Association and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. The prize for winning back in 1931 was a whopping $3,750.Also at the 1931 air races while flying the 110 Warner Scarab powered Model E Sportster NC46V, she finished 3rd in both the Women's 510 cu. in. Free-For-All and the Women's 650 cu. in. A.T.C. (Certified Aircraft). Oddly enough, the finishing order in both races was the same. Phobe Omline first and Mary Hazlip second in the Menasco C-4 powered Gee Bee Model "D" Sportster NC11043.


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Written & Edited by Darrell Graves