Not many aeroplanes are flying in our skies at the moment but that shouldn’t stop you finding out about some exciting air adventures by remarkable New Zealanders from our past.
Cliff Tait is one such person. Over 50 years ago, as an amateur pilot, he flew a tiny single engine Airtourer 115 around the globe to advertise New Zealand built aeroplanes. Here are some highlights from MOTAT’s exhibition about Cliff, The Flying Kiwi.
This map shows the route Cliff took. Can you spot Japan where he faced one of his biggest obstacles when his next planned stop, Russia, refused him permission to land? He hatched a plan to ship his aeroplane Miss Jacy to North America and on he went.
Impressive Stats & Interesting Facts about Cliff’s epic journey
Cliff’s prize possession
Cliff’s Rolex watch was one of the most important and treasured items he took with him. Its dual time feature stopped him getting confused by always telling the time correctly in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as well as the country he was flying over.
Can you spot the watch on Cliff’s wrist in this photo?
Winging his way
Whenever Cliff landed at his next destination, he always posted an envelope to his wife Joyce and the children to let them know his location. Often there wasn’t a letter inside because he was too tired to write!
A flying inspiration
Many children wrote to Cliff congratulating him on his amazing flight. Do you have a hero you would like to write to?
50 Years Later
At MOTAT in 2019, Cliff celebrated the 50th anniversary of his trail blazing global journey
Check out our incredible collection from Cliff Tait’s journey including photographs, letters and the marvellous Miss Jacy herself! See it all on Collections Online
Why not make your own Flying Kiwi or paper aeroplane!
These ones were made by the exhibition curator. We bet you could do better!