View Full Version : Women Pilots at Old Warden?

6th May 2004, 09:18
Just thinking about the pilots at Shuttleworth. A grand crew, but...

Why are there no women pilots at Old Warden?

Skip the jokes, ta.

Several a/c at old Warden have been flown by women in the past, and at least two (no longer with the collection, sadly) to garner a range of records. (I refer to the Spitfire PR XI - Lettce Curtiss, and the Percival Gull of Jean Batten.)

I presume a lack of female applicants? Airbedane?


James K

6th May 2004, 09:43
How many female test Pilots are there? That may provide a clue to your answer.

6th May 2004, 10:11
Good point MOTF.

I'm not trying to make a point about OW, perhaps I should say a lack of 'qualified' applicants. I wonder when the first will arrive.


James K

6th May 2004, 10:58
I wondered when somebody would publicly ask that question, JDK, and the answer you postulate is correct - there have been no suitably qualified applicants.

However, there was a female pilot graduate of ETPS a couple of years ago and there will be more to come, so it's only a matter of time.

As an aside, and to clear up any possible anomalies, Shuttleworth pilots are picked on their qualifications (graduate of one of the four accepted test pilot schools), their attitude of mind to historic aircraft operations (assessed over at least a year as a Collection helper), their age (mid thirties is ideal, to allow some payback in the training of future pilots in later years) and their commitment to the Collection and their ability to operate as an effective part of the Collection Team (again, assessed during their first year as a helper). Colour, creed, gender, race, ethnic origin or whatever is not a part of the selection process.

I wonder when the first will arrive, too..


6th May 2004, 11:04
Thanks for a good answer A!

One reason for asking is that OW has a much more 'family' atmosphere and (for a number of reasons) is a less testosterone driven aviation venue than others. My wife's reaction is interesting - loves OW, doesn't like Duxford (too military) and a modern squirts show is dull. And I don't think she's alone in that. A couple of women pilots (in due course, and I quite agree that the criteria set are appropriate and have to be as high as they are) would add something to the day.

After all, Carolyn Grace, for instance, shows what can be done with bags of determination!

(Edited for correct spelling and good manners!)

PPRuNe Pop
6th May 2004, 19:26
JDK, in time I suspect that there will be a few ladies out of ETPS as Airbedane says. I personally know of one who drives for the air force and has, I think, been accepted on the next course.

Btw, Carolyn does not like Caroline! Sorry.

8th May 2004, 10:50
Adding my ten penn'orth!

Some of these old machines are very weight limited and a lightweight pilot will surely be of great benefit.

This also holds true for a plethora of 'old' machines that have yet to be built/ restored.

The little Demoiselle in MagMen was, I believe limited to a 100lb ish pilot so that rules me out twice over!

We seem generally to be..ahem..a lot lardier than 100 years ago. Even in more recent years, I understand that all efforts to kit the Memphis Belle Actors in genuine original leather jackets failed because they were just too small. Check out the jackets on display at Duxford for example. Tiny.

So, if a female ex TP weighing 7 stones applied, I bet AB would give her a thorough check out (Baaaaaaaaaah!)


9th May 2004, 15:00
We seem generally to be..ahem..a lot lardier than 100 years ago

My you are looking good for your age, must be all that flying :E