A group of students from the Montpelier School of the Arts in France have produced a short animated film based on the true story of Jacqueline Auriol, a French pilot, who was the first European woman to break the sound barrier, in 1953. The effort won an award early this year for best student film at the Paris Images Digital Summit, and recently the creators have begun to post the full seven-minute video on social media. Auriol learned to fly in 1948 and was an accomplished aerobatics flier and test pilot. She logged time in more than 100 aircraft types, and set five world speed records for women in the 1950s and 1960s.
Several times, Auriol’s records broke the previous record set by Jacqueline Cochran of the U.S., and the two maintained a famous rivalry for years, according to The New York Times. That story was told in a 2015 TV movie, “Supersonic Women: A Duel in the Sky.” Auriol published her autobiography, “I Live to Fly,” in 1970, and died in 2000 at age 82. At the time, according to the Times, French president Jacques Chirac called her ”the incarnation of courage and modernity for the French people.”