Graphic 2D animation (graphic timeline) summarising the events of the Space Race up to now. Including the first man on the moon, the first woman to go to space, the first vehicle to enter orbit, a few major accidents.
Biography of William Wilberforce,Phillip Larkin or Amy Johnson. (With the whole city of Culture thing, it may well be worth exploring the lives of these influential figures.)
Biography of Amy Johnson: Watch “They Flew Alone”/”The Wings and the Woman”
Born, July 1st 1903, Kingston Upon Hull, England.
Died, January 5th 1941 (Age 37) Thames Estuary. Died on Crash landing, body never recovered.
Educated at Boulevard Municipal Secondary School (Kingston High School) and University of Sheffield (1923, Age 20.)
Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. Worked in London as a secretary to the solicitor, William CHarles Crocker.
Began flying as a hobby in Winter 1928 at the London Aeroplane Club, which quickly turned into a passion to prove the women could be just as capable in a male dominated field.
On July 6th 1929 she gained her pilots A license, under tutelage of Captain Valentine Baker. In the same year she qualified as the first British-Trained female ground engineer, the first woman ever.
Early 1930’s, with financial aid from her father and oil magnate Lord Wakefield, she purchased a used DH Gypsy Moth (G-AAAH) dubbed, ‘Jason’ after the family business trademark.
She set off alone from Croydon on 5th of May 1930, and landed in Darwin on 24th of May, a flight distance of 11,000 miles. The first woman to fly alone to Australia and returned to the UK a hero. (C.B.E (Most Excellent Award of the British Empire))
July 1931, she and co-pilot Jack Humphreys were the first pilots to fly from London to Moscow in 21 hours (1,760 miles), then across Siberia to Tokyo, setting a record time from Britain to Japan. The Flight was completed in G-AAZV de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth (Jason II).
1932, married scottish pilot Jim Mollison.He proposed to her midflight 8 hours after they met.
July 1932 set a solo record for a flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa, using a Puss Moth, “G-ACAB” (Desert Cloud)
1933 – Duo flew G-ACCV “Seafarer” de Havilland DH.84 Dragon I nonstop from Pendine Sands, South Wales to the U.S. The aircraft crash landed in Bridgeport Connecticut when fuel ran out, both were injured but survived.
1934 – Duo flew from Britain to India in a G-ACSP “Black Magic” de Havilland DH.88 Comet, as part of the Britain to Australia MacRobertson Air Race. Forced to retire at Allahabad due to engine trouble.
May 1936 – Made her last solo record-breaking flight from Britain to South Africa in G-ADZO, a Percival Gull Six.
1938 – She overturned her glider when lading after a display at Walsall Aerodrome in England, but wasn’t seriously hurt…
She also divorced Mollison in the same year.
1940 – Second World War. Amy Johnson joined the Air Transport Auxiliary, whose job was to transport Royal Air Force aircraft around the country. She rose to the rank of First Officer.
January 5th 1941 – While flying an Airspeed Oxford for the ATA from Blackpool to RAF Kidlington (near Oxford) Johnson flew offcourse in the adverse weather conditions. Her plane out of fuel, she bailed out as it crashed into the Thames Estuary. The crew of HMS Haslmere attempted to rescue her, the heavy sea, strong tide and cold snow made for poor conditions. Lieutenant Commander Walter Fletcher died attempting to rescue her. Amy Johnson’s body was never recovered. She was the first member of the A.T.A. to die in service.
Reasons for the flight remain a government secret, though in 1999 it was reported that Tom Mitchell of Crowborough Sussex, claimed to have shot Amy down when she twice-failed to give the correct identification code over the radio. His company assumed it was an enemy plane until the next day when the papers reported her crash. He was told by his superiors to keep it a secret.