France began developing aviation by 1908, the date that Wilbur Wright demonstrated his flyer in Europe. Dutrieu, recovering from a near-fatal automobile mishap, watched the Wright flyer with enthusiasm. She signed a contract with The Clément-Baynard Company flying a Santos-Dumont airplane, the Demoiselle, the next year. The little airplane proved far too fragile for flight and Dutrieu tried a biplane built by Sommer, and then a Farman.
The Farman, developed by Henry Farman, provided Dutrieu with the perfect vehicle to set numerous flight records- from the first woman to carry a passenger to the first flight by a woman to make a go and return nonstop flight – and many awards – the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy for the highest altitude flown by a woman, the Médaille d’Or from the Aero Club of France, and the Grand Plaque of the Belgium Aero Club presented by King Albert I.
Following WWI, Dutrieu realized that aviation technology had progressed beyond her former expertise. She married and spent her time actively involved in her husband’s publishing business and public-health concerns. Dutrieu passed away July 27, 1967 at her home in Paris.
More about this remarkable woman can be found in Eileen Lebow’s book, Before Amelia.