The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club

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Released 2007

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Director:
Unknown
Released:
2007
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A charismatic figure immortalized in Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff, Florence Pancho' Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless pilot, Pancho raced Amelia Earhart, performed as a barnstormer, and made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot in the 1920's and 30's. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous and notorious hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the 'Happy Bottom Riding Club', it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. The Club's destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story is largely unknown, until now.moreless

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