Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bi-plane pilot in Amy Johnson UK to Australia flight

Tracey Curtis-Taylor Image copyright Tracey Curtis-Taylor
Image caption Tracey Curtis-Taylor will make the 13,000-mile solo flight in her 1942 Boeing Stearman

The epic solo flight made by aviator Amy Johnson from the UK to Australia is being retraced.

Bi-plane pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor is following a similar route to the aviator who became the first woman to make the journey in 1930.

Ms Curtis-Taylor, 55, described the 13,000-mile flight as a "destiny which was always meant to be".

She took off from Farnborough, Hampshire, in The Spirit of Artemis, shortly before 13:00 BST.

The journey will see her fly across 23 countries, making 50 refuelling stops in the 73-year-old open cockpit bi-plane.

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Media captionOver the next 14 weeks Tracey Curtis-Taylor will fly over 23 countries in a plane with an open cockpit, using flying instruments from the 1930s, reports Duncan Kennedy

Unlike Amy Johnson, her flight path which sees her fly below 1,000ft (304m) is affected by the conflict in the Middle East.

"Amy just drew a straight line to Australia - she flew right through Syria and Iraq but I can't go that route for obvious reasons," Ms Curtis-Taylor said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Amy Johnson became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in 1930

The flight is expected to take 12 -14 weeks with her arrival in Sydney planned for early 2016.

Amy Johnson's solo flight to Darwin took 19.5 days.

In 2013, Ms Curtis-Taylor flew 8,000-miles solo from Cape Town to Goodwood, West Sussex, to recreate the 1928 flight of Lady Mary Heath.

Image caption Tracey Curtis-Taylor started the epic journey from Farnborough

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