A remarkable woman is at the controls of the two-seat Supermarine Spitfire Mk1XT that will be showing off its legendary qualities during the Farnborough ‘96 flying display.

Carolyn Grace vowed to learn to fly the historic Second World War fighter after her husband, who had restored the aircraft, died in a car crash in 1988.

Carolyn is the first woman in the world to own her own Spitfire and fly it in displays. She is the only female display pilot at Farnborough ‘96.

"It is an enormous honour to be here," Carolyn says. "Flying the Spitfire is an addiction that takes over your whole life.

"My Spitfire was delivered by a lady pilot to a New Zealand squadron in the war. It was the first Spitfire to shoot down an enemy aircraft on D-Day in 1944," she says. "It has had an amazingly ‘graced' life to survive so far."

Carolyn, who has 160 solo hours in the Spitfire, flew with her husband in it.

"He flew the aircraft for three years and got the taste for this wonderful aircraft and then I took over the challenge."

She has also flown the early model Mk1A Spitfire which was a very different experience to her later war version.



Source: Flight Daily News