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FTMF celebrates female flight legend “Pancho Barnes”

By May 27, 2022August 22nd, 2022No Comments

PALMDALE, CA – May 11, 2022 — Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes (July 22, 1901 – March 30, 1975) was a pioneer aviator and movie stunt pilot. She is one of the first American women to establish a reputation and a business in the field of aviation. Barnes was an instructor and stunt pilot and founded the first movie stunt pilots’ union. She broke Amelia Earhart’s (her good friend) air speed record. Pancho raced in the Women’s Air Derby and was a founding member of the “The Ninety-Nines”, Inc, International Organization of Women Pilots.

She was the owner and proprietor of the “Happy Bottom Riding Club”, a bar and restaurant, catering to the legendary test pilots and aviators who worked in the nearby Aerospace Valley. Today, Pancho is affectingly remembered and honored as one of the 100 greatest women in aviation.

Pancho Barnes was a pioneer and a trail blazer for women in aviation and was a member of the Barnstormers, Associated Motion Picture Stunt Pilots, OX-5 Fraternity, the 99’s, and the Silver Wings Fraternity. As a tribute to her accomplishments in aviation and her friendship to military pilots, Chuck Yeager dedicated the Pancho Barnes room and bar in the Edwards AFB Officers Club in her honor in 1964. Her greatest passion in life was to fly and to help others, especially women, learn to fly.

The design vision for the new Museum includes a 60,000-square-foot hangar and will add 15,000 square feet of multifaceted programming for a welcome lounge, gallery space, classrooms, library, and gift shop. A branded bar named Pancho Barnes Happy Bottom Riding Club Bar will pay homage to Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes, the legendary female aviator who founded the first movie stunt pilots’ union.


Our Special Collection of Pancho Barnes’ “Fly Like a Girl” T-shirts, tanks, and hoodies featuring the 1929 photo of “Pancho” by famed photographer, George Hurrell. This copyrighted photograph has been generously licensed to the Flight Test Museum Foundation (FTMF) by Board Member, Louis F. D’Elia (Trustee of the Pancho Barnes Estate). Help us celebrate Pancho’s legacy and spirit!

Become a Friend of Flight Test Historical Foundation/ Flight Test Museum Foundation and choose your gift for a donation.


The Flight Test Museum Foundation’s educational mission is to promote interest and generate excitement for K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a focused educational outreach campaign about flight testing, aerospace, and Edwards Air Force Base.

To achieve this goal, the Flight Test Museum Foundation is committed to providing open-access educational resources in STEM subjects for teachers, students, and families. These resources enable them to engage in an exploration and understanding of STEM in aerospace and flight testing, build learning opportunities for Southern California students, and provide an educational center where students can learn and explore.

The mission of the Flight Test Museum Foundation (FTMF) is to raise funds to support the development of the Air Force Flight Test Museum at Edwards AFB. The FTMF’s fundraising efforts focus on museum improvements, exhibits, and aircraft acquisition/restoration. They are actively engaged in STEM education and the construction of a new, more accessible museum facility.

The Flight Test Museum Foundation (FTMF) is a private, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. Tax ID: 77-0003353. The FTMF is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components, and it has no government status.

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