Kendall Heritage Society's proposal for Nancy Bird Walton replica plane

Kew project: Kendall Heritage Society are pushing for a replica model plane to recognise Nancy Bird Walton. Graphic: supplied.
Kew project: Kendall Heritage Society are pushing for a replica model plane to recognise Nancy Bird Walton. Graphic: supplied.

The Kendall Heritage Society is seeking support from the Camden Haven community to establish a replica aircraft at Kew in recognition of aviation pioneer Nancy Bird Walton.

Nancy Bird was known as The Angel of the Outback and was born at Kew in 1915. At the age of 17 she was trained as a pilot by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

Nancy was the first woman to be awarded a commercial pilot's licence at the age of 19. She bought her first De Havilland Gipsy Moth aircraft, financed mainly by family and friends.

The Reverend Stanley Drummond hired Nancy to transport nurses for the Royal Far West Children's Scheme, to help mothers and babies in remote towns and properties.

Nancy used her own Gipsy Moth as an air ambulance, which was the beginning of an illustrious aviation career.

It is proposed that a replica of Nancy's plane be locally engineered, fabricated and constructed upon a pylon at a location to be determined at Kew.

In 2003 Nancy agreed to be the guest speaker at a lunch for the Kendall Heritage Society.

The society's president Bill Boyd said Nancy had specified there was no hyphen in her name, despite many media outlets spelling it so.

Another member of the society, Sandra Haswell, said Nancy was a gracious woman who spoke at length about her experiences with the Flying Doctor Service.

Members of the society said they envisage the replica will be a feature of the region, given the recent Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport naming.

Nancy was named a National Treasure by the National Trust in 1997 and in 2008 Qantas named its first A380 in her honour.

Nancy died just three months after the naming ceremony, on January 13, 2009 at the age of 93. She was given a state funeral in Sydney.

For more information about the Kew project or to offer your support please email Bill Boyd via nancybirdgipsymoth@bigpond.com

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