Military & Aerospace

Pioneering Lady Aviator Re Creates History in an Iconic Boeing Bi-Plane
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 25 Nov , 2015

Tracey Curtis-Taylor - lady aviator, with IAF, women pilots and the Boeing team in front of the Boeing Stearman vintage bi-plane and C-17 Globemaster III at Hindan Air Base

Adventurous British female aviator Tracey Curtis-Taylor landed safely today at Hindan Air Force Base near Delhi in her classic 1942 Boeing Stearman. Having successfully flown from Cape Town to Goodwood in 2013, Tracey Curtis-Taylor has taken on the challenge of flying her beautiful open cockpit vintage biplane from U.K. to Australia with stopovers at 50 locations.

Curtis-Taylorhas undertaken the flight to celebrate 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.

Speaking on arrival in New Delhi, Tracey Curtis-Taylor said, “For my whole life, I have been moved by the achievements of pioneers like Amy Johnson. My own flight to Australia is the realization of a burning desire to fly my beloved Boeing StearmanSpirit of Artemis around the world following in their footsteps.”

“I am delighted to have arrived in New Delhi. The flight has already exceeded all my expectations and delivered unforgettable moments and incredible challenges. From nasty European weather delaying us across Romania to the beauty of flying at 100 feet over the desert, and vibrant cities of India, every moment is an extraordinary experience.”

“We are proud to welcome Tracey Curtis-Taylor to India. Boeing’s sponsorship of Tracey’s adventure stems from an admiration for history and spirit of accomplishment captured in this epic journey, which is an example to a new generation of aviation enthusiasts,” said Pratyush Kumar, president for Boeing India. Tracey’s flight in the 1942 Boeing Stearman will reach Australia in early 2016, a year in which we will celebrate our centennial and our own onward journey of achievement into Boeing’s second century of aviation,” remarked Kumar

“It’s fitting that Tracy landed at Hindan Air Base where the C-17 Globemasters of the Indian Air Force are stationed. This is a unique moment where one of the oldest and one of the newest Boeing aircraft are together at the same base. Tracy’s visit to Hindan also highlights the long relationship that Boeing shares with the Indian Air Force which began when the Harvard Trainer was used to train pilots,” said Dennis Swanson, vice president, Boeing Defense, Space & Security India.

Throughout the flight to Australia, Tracey Curtis-Taylor will be stopping in a number of cities to engage with the local communities, with a particular focus on women and women aviators. Commemorating the fact that Amy Johnson was the first president of the Women’s Engineering Society, she will promote the achievements of women in every sphere around the world, especially their historic and contemporary role in aviation and engineering. In Delhi, Tracy will interact with women officers and aviators of the Indian Air Force at Hindan Air Force Base. She will also conduct a fly past in the vintage Stearman airplane.

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