'It's scintillatingly exciting': Britain's only female Spitfire pilot .....

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, May 12, 2011.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    'It's scintillatingly exciting': Britain's only female Spitfire pilot on her love affair with the classic plane and losing the man who introduced her to it.

    One magnificent woman and her Spitfire love affair | Mail Online

    Carolyn Grace is leaning over me to give precise instructions where to put my feet, arms and head. ‘You don’t get into a Spitfire,’ she says. ‘You wear it.’ I can see what she means. I’m climbing into the cockpit of a 1944 aircraft, trying to squeeze myself into a very tight space. These things were not designed for comfort.

    But it’s worth the effort. Because this is no ordinary Spitfire and Carolyn is no ordinary aircraft owner.

    Around 22,000 Spitfires rolled off production lines in the Thirties and Forties, but it’s estimated that today there are fewer than 30 working models left. One sold for nearly £2 million not long ago.
    Air ace: Carolyn Grace, a 59-year-old goat farmer, sat in her Spitfire

    Air ace: Carolyn Grace, a 59-year-old goat farmer, sat in her Spitfire

    But the one I’m sitting in is even more special.

    It was the first Allied plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft above the Normandy beaches on D-Day. And Carolyn, a 59-year-old former goat farmer, is not only its proud owner, but the only practising female Spitfire pilot in the world.

    (click the link to read more)
     

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  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #2 tyrodtom, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
    There's a series of videos on U-Tube about her and her 2 seat Spitfire.

    They took 4 young pilots who were just past primary flight school, military and civilian pilots, then put them thru the same approximate flight program they would have got in the RAF at the time of the Battle of Britian.

    Beautiful videos.

    It's called spitfire ace, and there's several episodes.
     
  3. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    I assume they mean "Only present day female Spitfire pilot." Plenty of women flew them during WWII.
     
  4. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    It was on the TV a few years ago. Iirc it was 4 1 hour episodes.
     
  5. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Very popular display the 'Grace Spitfire'.
    It usually visits Plymouth for a fly over in June during our Jazz festival.
    The lady flies it in memory of her husband.
    Would I love a ride in the second seat?
    YES :D
    Cheers
    John
     
  6. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    ugly airplane , it looks so wrong
     
  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Very true, still exaggeration in a news paper article is only to be expected. Doesn't detract too much from what is an alright read.

    Certainly does nothing to improve the Spitfire's looks...
     
  8. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #8 tyrodtom, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
    In the article it doesn't ignore that a lot of Spitfires were delivered from the factory by women.

    If fact they even know the woman that delivered this Spitfire, the owner got in touch with her.

    As a two seater one heck of a lot more people can experience flight in a Spitfire, than would ever be possible, or safe, with a single seater.

    A lot of the still flying Mustangs are 2 seaters, it's just not as noticeable with that long bubble canopy.
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #9 pbfoot, May 12, 2011
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
    sorry it looks like a 4dr hatchback Jag XKE
    I'll just have to suffer without flight experience and suffer with having been been the very best tail sitter that I could be:(
     

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  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    At least it retains the 'smooth' lines, with the rear canopy a twin of the front one, unlike the TR8 'real' trainer, with the larger rear canopy.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Is this the Spit that Terry showed in his Duxford pics?
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    No Chris, the one I posted is a genuine 'trainer'. The 'Grace Spit' started life as a normal MIX fighter, flown by New Zealander Johhnie Houlton in WW2, in who's markings it now flies. It was converted to 2-seat configuration by Nick Grace, but with a standard canopy, to try to retain as much as of the Spit shape as possible.
     
  13. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    It's a Daily Mail story. I didn't bother reading it. Along with 99% of the UK.
     
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