British aviatrix Tracey Curtis-Taylor has embarked on a 13,000-mile solo flight from Britain to Australia in a vintage open cockpit biplane – Spirit of Artemis, a Boeing Stearman. Tracey, known as ‘Bird in a Biplane’, 53, set off from Farnborough Airport in Hampshire. She will fly across 23 countries, making 50 refuelling stops over 14 weeks, before finally arriving in Sydney in January 2016.
Tracey will follow in the slipstream of Amy Johnson, the pioneering British aviator who became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930.
‘For my whole life, I have been moved by the achievements of pioneers like Amy Johnson. My own flight to Australia is the realisation of a burning desire to fly my beloved Boeing Stearman around the world following in their footsteps. It has taken 30 years to arrive at this point, and now I not only have the desire to do it but also the resources and a huge network of support behind me. I am very, very grateful for this. It feels as if I am finally breaking free of the shackles of life and fulfilling a destiny which was always meant to be.’