Celebrating Aviation History Month: Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes

November has been branded Aviation History Month, and here in the Department of Special Collections, we have a number of items showcasing the crossroads of Iowa State University and aviation history. These dapper gentlemen are participating in the Model Airplane contest portion of 1948’s VEISHEA, for example.

Let’s not leave out the female contributions to flight, though. During World War II, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation sponsored an engineering program for women students that introduced them to aspects of drafting, stress analysis, materials lab, aerodynamics, and production liaison.

RS 13/16/4

Members of the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Program experiment with model planes

Eighty-four of the 100 program participants went on to work in Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s St. Louis, MO, plant. More information on the Cadettes, as the women were known, is available in RS 13/16/4, Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Program Records, 1941-1945. A finding aid is available online.