Elly Beinhorn-Rosemeyer (30 May 1907 – 28 November 2007) was a German pilot.
She was born in Hannover, Germany on 30 May 1907.
In 1928, she attended a lecture by famed aviator Hermann Köhl, who had recently completed a historic East-West Atlanticcrossing. This lecture is described as the spark that ignited her interest in aviation.
At just 21 years old, with funds from a small inheritance (against the wishes of her parents) she moved to Spandau in Berlin where she took flying lessons, at Berlin-Staaken airport, under the tutelage of instructor Otto Thomsen. She soon made her solo flight in a small Klemm KL-20. With her money running out, it was suggested that she give aerobatic displays on the weekends. She found this financially rewarding, but personally unsatisfying.
Elly Beinhorn was born in Hannover in 1907. An only child, she grew up dreaming of travel and adventure in foreign lands. In 1928 she went to a lecture of noted pilot Hauptmann Hermann Köhl. Struck by the lure of flying to distant places she sought to enroll in a flying school. Since none was available in Hanover she travel to Berlin. Both parents were against their young daughter flying so she rented a small room in Spandau and learned to fly at the Berlin-Staaken airfield. Since there were few jobs available for a female pilot she earned a living flying aerobatics but her heart was still in long-distance flying. Her first opportunity to take a longer flight was when her former instructor asked her to fly to Rome and deliver some clothes to a wealthy relative of a flying club member. Dutifully she took off and headed towards Rome guided only by a compass. Unfortunately her first major trip resulted in her getting lost and having to land the plane, finally arriving at her destination aboard a commercial flight 24 hours too late. From this humble beginning her next trip was to Africa with a group of anthropologists. Fort the rest of her life she would have a special affection for Africa. Later flights would take her to the Americas and Asia.
Elly Beinhorn was already a well known woman aviator when she first met her future husband, Bernd Rosemeyer in 1935. Since 1931 she had flown all over the world and in order to finance her trips she gave lectures. This occasion was a lecture to the local Flying Club in Brno, Czechoslovakia. As a guest of Auto Union she attend the Masaryk Grand Prix being held at the time of her visit to Brno. In the pits she was impressed by a handsome driver, who's name was Hans Stuck. But this was not Stuck's race as he suffered what could have been a tragic accident when he was struck in the face by a bird which shattered his goggles. Luckily he was able to mange to return to the pits where he was attended to. The eventual winner was a new rookie driver by the name of Bernd Rosemeyer. Elly was asked by Franz Michler, the Press Officer for Auto Union to go up and congratulate the young winner. One year later on July 13th they were married. To the Nazis they were the perfect Aryan couple and in fact unlike the other drives Rosemeyer was asked to join the SS. Theirs seamed the perfect marriage and the couple became the toast of Berlin. Tragically it was to end not quite three years later with the death of Rosemeyer while on a record attempt.