Amy Johnson flying 'Desert Cloud', 8 November 1932.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by James Jarche; 'Solo Flight to Australia - Amy Johnson in her new plane, Desert Cloud'. In 1930 Johnson (1903-1941) became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia, winning £10,000 from the 'Daily Mail' newspaper. Her aeroplane was a de Havilland Gipsy Moth aircraft (nicknamed 'Jason'). In 1932, she flew 'Desert Cloud' to set a record for the fastest solo flight from England to Cape Town (a record she herself broke four years later). In 1933, with her husband, James Mollison (1905-1959) Amy Johnson flew in a de Havilland biplane non-stop acros the Atlantic in 39 hours. She joined the Air Transport Auxilary as a pilot in World War II and died on 5 January 1941 when her aeroplane was lost over the Thames estuary.