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Sophie Blanchard


Born around 1778 — Died 1819.



Also known as:

One of the first women to fly ANYTHING solo.

Not to be confused with:

Blanche Stuart Scott, the first woman to fly an AIRPLANE solo.

Claim to fame:

A pioneer in flying with balloons, Sophie took over her husband's balloon business when he died in an accident. She made over 50 more flights before she, too, died in a balloon crash.

Teaser if on the evening news:

"Are giant flying whales attacking Paris, or is Mme. Blanchard up, up, up to her old tricks? Either way, we hope there's no air disasters! But first — and speaking of HAIR disasters — our beauty correspondent tells us how to deal with the scourge of Paris: beret head."

Likely to say:

"Up, up, and away!"

Unlikely to say:

"What do you mean there's no in-flight snack?"

Who would play Blanchard in a movie?

Jodie Foster. She's a can-do person, AND she speaks French.

Who would not play Blanchard in a movie?

Paris Hilton (although she has the name for it).

Overheard conversation between Mme. Blanchard and Napoleon:

BLANCHARD: "Napoleon, I have good news and bad news."

NAPOLEON: "Oh, I hate this. Always with the good and the bad. Okay, how about the good news first."

BLANCHARD: "The good news is, I've been named Official Aeronaut of the Restoration."

NAPOLEON: "Hey! Nice going. I've always liked you. That's why I had you fly at my wedding."

BLANCHARD: "The bad news is, 'the Restoration' means that King Louis XVIII has been restored back to power, and you're being exiled to Elba."

NAPOLEON: "Elba? You're kidding me. That's nowhere near here. How can I rule my Empire from..."

(awkward pause as Mme Blanchard whistles and looks at her shoes)


Favorite ice cream:

Truffle (the chocolate, not the mushroom).

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