This book dedicated in loving memory of
- draining her fuel tank
- loosening her control wires
- changing-out fresh spark plugs with clogged ones
Despite such adversities, she became the first German female to obtain a pilot’s license and went on to build an aircraft of her own that was very similar to the Rumpler-Taube of the time. It was called the Melli Beese “Colombe“. A modified aircraft, it claimed an airspeed of 120 km/h.
Melli subsequently broke several altitude and distance records before opening up her own
MELLI BEESE COLOMBE
By 1913, after having chosen to marry a French aviator and aircraft designer, Charles Boutard, Melli continued operating her Flight School at Johannisthal which boasted no fatalities (which was rare for that time) and went on to become a flying legend in her own right.
She and her husband designed aircraft, but as fate would have it, war broke out in 1914 and the Boutards’ aircraft were seized as Charles was considered an enemy of the state. Melli held 2 patents at the time - one for a collapsible aircraft and for a flying boat.
MELLI BEESE-BOUTARD AIRCRAFT
MB-WASSERFLUZEUG (FLUGYACHT) 1914... Stolen by DORNIER???
The “Fliegende Boot” had been built at the Yacht-Werft Oertz in
Melli Beese and Charles Boutard were expelled from Flugplatz Johannisthal too, and their Fliegerschule closed. Charles was in and out of prison and Melli was forbidden to design aircraft or to fly. Their businesses closed permanently and Charles resorted to driving taxis postwar.
The war had destroyed two otherwise promising careers for the couple which led to a divorce in the early-1920s.
Her motto had been, “Flying is everything, life is nothing”.