The RAF and Armee de l’Air are of course playing down the significance of this, but to any of us of a certain age it’s highly significant – in an entirely good way.
Apparently coincidentally, the UK’s Red Arrows and France’s Patrouille de France are each fielding their first female pilots this year. In an ideal world this wouldn’t in fact be of any great significance, but in the real world it’s been a huge struggle getting to this stage and you can only salute the ladies involved.
I’d add that the UK military at least has always exemplified the best and worst of attitudes towards females at work, having for many years given them vastly better opportunities for advancement and self-realisation than most civilian employers, but also having harboured some of the most ghastly sexism.
(I think I’m right in saying the US military display teams have been way ahead in this regard, right?)
Here are the ladies involved:
Flt Lt Kirsty Moore and Commandant Virginie Guyot