Belfast Telegraph

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Editor's Viewpoint: Bland but brilliant

Lilian Bland is a name unknown to the majority of people here.

Yet 100 years ago she arguably became the first woman in the world to fly an aeroplane, taking off from a field near Antrim. Lilian, as featured in this newspaper today, was quite a woman, almost scandalising genteel Ulster society by dressing like a man, smoking, shooting and even uttering the odd curse word.

But she deserves to be remembered for her pioneering aviation exploits. Thankfully a number of events are planned to commemorate them, including naming a park after her and erecting a statue of her historic biplane, the Mayfly. So, hopefully, future generations will appreciate better the life of a remarkable woman.

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