If the old-fashioned designation aviatrix were still current, it would
undoubtedly be the terminology with which to describe Diana Barnato Walker.
A dashing, petite woman, she had begun flying in the era of the pioneers Amy
Johnson and Amelia Earhart. She served during the Second World War as a
ferry pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, in which women played a vital
role in delivering new aircraft from factories to RAF and Fleet Air Arm
squadrons, coming to the aid of the available reserve of hard-pressed men
pilots. She continued flying well into the jet age, and in 1963 became the
first woman member of the “Ten-Ton Club” when she piloted an English
Electric Lightning jet trainer at a speed considerably exceeding 1,000mph.