Up and Up She Flies - When Meters Stop
Mrs Juanita Burns
Los Angeles, December 28 (1931) (AP)
A new women's altitude record was claimed today by Mrs. Juanita Burns, Los Angeles
aviatrix, after descending from a three-hour flight. She reported she climbed for half an hour
after her third and last altimeter stopped at 26,000 feet.
Aviation workers stated the official women's record had been set at 21,598 feet by the
late Ruth Alexander. A climb to 27,418 feet claimed by Miss Elinor Smith of New York,
officials said had not been recognized officially.
Mrs Burns believed her half-hour climb after her third altimeter stopped had taken her
above 28,000 feet.
The woman flew an open cockpit high-wing monoplane. A sealed barograph recording the
flight will be sent by Joe Nikrent, National Aeronautical Association official, to Washington
for calibration and official recording of the flight.
Information on Juanita Burns and her solo round-the-world flight intentions are very sketchy. She was
an accomplished pilot who wanted to join in on the round-the-world flight accomplishments being made by
other male pilots. She first made altitude record attemps (above article) and then flying the Timm
Collegiate, "City of Los Angeles" participated in endurance flights.
The "Roaring Twenties" ended in October 1929 with the onset of the stock-market collapse in New York.
This crash set off a chain of events that plunged North America and the world into a decade-long
depression. Prosperity came to a halt around the world and marked the beginning of the "Dirty Thirties."
These hard times impacted on many of the small firms that were in their infancy. Before the crash, O.W.
Timm had formed the O.W. Timm Airplane Corporation in Glendale, CA., initially an aircraft repair and
With the profits of his shop, Timm decided to build an open cockpit high parasol wing aircraft that he
named the "Timm Collegiate." He build six "Collegiate" planes that were fitted with several different
engines. The 5th plane was named the "City of Los Angeles." Amongst other things, it was used for the
endurance craze of the times. Rather than the continuous flying with in-flight re-fuelings, it underwent
continuous engine-on operation making 97 landings and take-offs over 378H 48M without being swtiched-off or
receiving any maintenance. Fouled spark plugs ended this endurance demonstration and the hard times of the
depression ended Timm Airplane Corp.
Juanita Burns wanted to fly the "City of Los Angeles" round the world but to do so meant raising money.
To this end, she sold Air Labels (see above) but her dream of soloing round-the-world never came true.
Special thanks to the International Women's Air & Space Museum for their help in research.
Visit the San Diego Aerospace Museum.