Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions' Flight Services Program is a major sponsor of the 40th Air Race Classic, an annual all-woman cross-country airplane race that features 58 planes that took off Monday at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Prescott.
The four-day race spans 2,700 miles and has 130 female pilots participating to encourage and educate future female pilots.
"Lockheed Martin has been a longtime champion of women in aviation," Andy Hartman, program manager, Lockheed Martin Automated Flight Service Station contract, said. "In fact, Amelia Earhart flew a single-engine Lockheed Vega to achieve her solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1932, a first for a woman, and the plane allowed her to set a series of women's speed and distance aviation records."
"Today, our flight services program team provides a range of services to more than 80,000 members of the general aviation community across the country each week—many of whom are female pilots. We welcome the opportunity to support an event that promotes the tradition of pioneering women in aviation," Hartman said.
Air Race Classic pilots range from 17 to 90 years old and fly a wide range of planes. Race teams of at least two female pilots must fly during daylight hours only and are given four days to make flybys at each timing point and then land at the terminus.
This year's route honors collegiate aviation programs across the nation. The 58-aircraft fleet started at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Prescott, Arizona, which is also the location of Lockheed Martin's Flight Service hub.