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Female aviator flies across Southeast Asia in historic 1942 Boeing

December 21, 2015 Aviation No Comments Print Print Email Email

Adventurous female aviator Tracey Curtis-Taylor touched down safely at Seletar Airport in Singapore in a classic 1942 Boeing Stearman named Spirit of Artemis.

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Female aviator Tracey Curtis-Taylor (background middle) inspires young girls during her Singapore stopover, as part of her U.K. to Australia expedition on a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane.

The experienced pilot is more than two months into her intrepid expedition from the U.K. to Australia, which started on October 1. During her trip she plans to fly 13,000 miles across 23 countries, making over 50 stops along the way.

Midway through her five-country Southeast Asia leg, she arrived in Singapore from Malaysia having completed 8,000 miles of stick and rudder flying. Exposed to the elements and using basic period flight instruments, she will continue on to her next stop of Palempang, Indonesia on Saturday, flying through other cities in Indonesia and Australia before arriving at her final destination of Sydney, Australia.

Curtis-Taylor’s flight celebrates the pioneering days of early aviation in the 1920s and 1930s, and especially the achievements of revolutionary British aviator Amy Johnson. A celebrity of her day, Ms Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930 and tragically died in mysterious circumstances during World War II flying for the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Throughout her journey, flying between 50 to 1000 feet at 90 mph, Curtis-Taylor has been engaging with local communities and inspiring others with her expedition, especially women. Commemorating the fact that Amy Johnson was the first President of the Women in Engineering Society, she is hoping to promote the achievements of women in every sphere around the world, especially their historic and contemporary role in aviation and engineering. In Singapore, she met young women from the UN Women’s Girls2Pioneers programme which encourages them to consider STEM careers.

Speaking at the Girls2Pioneers session, Tracey Curtis-Taylor said, “I have always been inspired by the achievements of pioneers like Amy Johnson. This expedition from the U.K. to Australia is the realisation of a burning desire to fly my beloved Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemisaround the world, following in their footsteps. I hope to showcase the significant role women have played in the history of aviation and inspire the next generation to follow their dreams, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”

“This trip has already exceeded all my expectations and delivered unforgettable moments and incredible challenges.”

Since her departure from the U.K., she has flown across Eastern Europe, through the Middle East, over India and now, Southeast Asia.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Tracey Curtis-Taylor to Singapore, and see how far she has come to re-creating this historic flight in a beautifully restored 1942 Boeing Stearman. Our sponsorship of Tracey’s quest reflects Boeing’s ongoing support for the aviation industry, and the role we’ve played over the past century. Tracey will touch down at her final destination in Sydney, Australia in early 2016, just in time to mark The Boeing Company’s 100th year anniversary,” said Skip Boyce, president, Boeing Southeast Asia.

Boeing’s centennial celebrations will continue at the Singapore Airshow in February 2016.

To follow Tracey during the flight and learn more about her route, please visit:www.birdinabiplane.com or www.facebook.com/birdinabiplane

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