Kim Crow, the Original Bitching Betty – Audio Episode Show Notes

Kim Crow

These are the show notes to an audio episode. You can listen to the show audio by clicking here:  Better yet, subscribe to Airspeed through iTunes or your other favorite podcatcher. It’s all free!

In the early days of the Fighter Mafia and the first generation of new E-M fighter development, systems designers realized that lights, bells, and whistles simply weren’t immediate enough to give pilots urgent information that they needed while aloft in the battlespace.  Engineers realized that spoken annunciations were necessary, especially for urgent or dangerous conditions like terrain proximity.

The very first voice digitized for use in fighter cockpits was that of actress Kim Crow and the voice soon became known, loved, and hated as “Bitching Betty.”

Kim spent an hour talking with Airspeed about being Betty, from the very first Betty sessions in a conference room and later in a studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  Betty evolved with different platforms and conflicts and Kim was there at the mic and breathed life into this icon of aviation throughout Betty’s early history.  Betty has been a constant companion to pilots in many airframes in many conflicts and has even likely been the last voice that some pilots have ever heard.

There have since been other Bitching Bettys and Betty has even been joined by Nagging Norah (UK), Hank the Yank (Australia), and others.  But, for many pilots, Kim will always be the one and only Bitching Betty.

This is a very special episode and we still can’t quite believe that we get to bring it to you.

More information about Kim:

More information about Bitching Betty:

This episode’s selection:

Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe


About Steve Tupper

Stephen Force is the superhero alter ego of mild-mannered tech and aviation lawyer, commercial pilot (glider, with private privileges in ASEL, ASES, AMEL, IA, and DC-3 (SIC) type-rated), and Civil Air Patrol lieutenant colonel Steve Tupper. Steve writes, records, and brings you the inside story about everything that really matters in aviation. He's flown with the USAF Thunderbirds, he's and airshow performer and air boss, and he's one of only five pilots ever to earn a FAST card in the glider category. Follow Steve's ongoing quest to do all that is cool in aviation at or on Twitter as @StephenForce.


  1. Excellent show, Steve! And Kim’s right: you Do have dog ears! Blue skies…

  2. Thanks for the interview. I posted a link on Facebook just this week with the sad news that John Glenn has passed away.

    I had seen the photo of Glenn and the Mercury Seven given to Mercury ‘Number Eight’ Betty Skelton and was asked if this was the same ‘Betty’ heard on cockpit voice warning systems in MD/Boeing fighter aircraft (obviously not). But it did lead me to here and the interview. Thanks.


  1. […] digitized voice of Kim Crow was my Bitchin’ Betty, the aural warning system in the F-15 Eagle. When I first flew the […]

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