Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Flypast for Norwich by Britain's only Female Spitfire Pilot

There's an exciting 'first' happening in Norwich on Saturday 29th June, 2013.

Appearing at 'Sparks in the Park,' at Poringland Memorial Playfield, Norwich, Norfolk. NR14 7RF. Britain's only female Spitfire pilot is flying her 1944 restored ML407 Spitfire over Poringland, Norwich

'Sparks in the Park,' is the family fun event featuring live music, children's entertainment, classic cars, funfair rides, food & drink, and a grand finale firework display at 10.30pm. The event will be opened at 2.30pm by ITV weather reporter Amanda Houston. Music from Scratch the Cat; The Nigel King Band; Dale Bullimore ( Michael Buble Tribute ); Emma Crowther & Just Jazz. The Spitfire display will be between 3 - 3.30pm dependant on weather and flight paths. Pay on the gate. Tickets are £5 per adult, children under 15 are free.

"The Spitfire embodies Britain at its very best. When this country was on its knees, it came to the forefront," says Carolyn Grace, owner and pilot of the 1944 Grace Spitfire.

Carolyn Grace is currently the only female spitfire pilot in the country. She has been flying displays for 21 years and is known for her acrobatic loops and rolls as she presents every possible angle of the Spitfire to her spectators. Carolyn took on the expert tuition required to be a Spitfire pilot in memory of her husband Nick, who tragically died in a car accident in 1988 after spending three years restoring the aircraft. In 1990 she gained solo certification, and in 1991 her display permit. Since then the Grace Spitfire has been a regular on the display circuit, and can even be hired for private fly pasts.

The Grace Spitfire is thought to be just one of two 2-seater Spitfires that are airworthy in the UK. It was built in 1944 and was involved in 176 operations during World War II in the service of New Zealand, Belgian, Polish, Norwegian and Free French RAF squadrons. It was the first Allied plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft above the Normandy beaches on D-Day by Pilot Johnnie Houlton, of the 485 New Zealand Squadron. Of the 20,000 Spitfires built for World War II, there are only 28 still flying in the UK. One sold for nearly £2 million not long ago.

The Spitfire was not built with energy efficiency in mind: it has three fuel tanks - one at the front, two in the wings - which between them hold 160 gallons, giving the aircraft a range of approximately 650 miles.
At full pelt, the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines gobble 120 gallons of fuel per hour. That's an incredible £1000 worth of fuel!


  1. Caroline is indeed currently I believe the only female spitfire pilot in the UK, and indeed a fantastic one at that, but your headline 'Spitfire Flypast for Norwich by Britain's only Woman Pilot' is quite frankly insulting to the rest of us 'women pilots' of whom there are many!

    Regards - Lauren Richardson, the UK's current female aerobatic champion and Pitts Special display pilot.

    1. Hi Lauren, only just spotted your post. Of course I wasn't trying to be insulting to female pilots and the piece was more about advertising the Sparks in the Park event, and tying it to the Spitfire models that we sell at Hobbies. Hopefully you liked our blog entry about the Old Buckenham Airshow better where I even gave you a mention -
      Love to hear of any future events you're performing at.

  2. Hi does anyone know how I can get a flight experience for my partner in a spitfire he turns 50 this year and all he has ever wanted is to go up in a spitfire. I am despirately trying to fulfill his dream.


    1. Sorry your question got missed. Just in case its of any help, heres a link to 30 minute Spitfire flights:!copy-of-spitfire-flights/c1h4h