Aerial adventure
in Cultures and caricatures of British imperial aviation
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Flying for pleasure and adventure over long distances in the British Empire was part of the individualisation of imperial travel. British-manufactured light aircraft played their part in the late imperial movement. Typical of the young, moneyed and leisured aerial adventurers, Sir Robert Clayton flew his Moth to Egypt in 1932 to take part in an official desert survey. Whether for moral support, company or security, many people embarking on private adventure flights did so with a partner. Partnered flying across the Empire attracted less attention in the 1920s and 1930s than did long-distance journeys flown solo. Amy Johnson was the first, but neither the only nor the last woman to soar solo between the extremities of the British Empire. As in Johnson's case, the clamour surrounding Jean Batten was astonishing. Both women's heroic reception contrasted with the chill which Lorres Bonney felt after her epic flight.


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