Saturday June 14 2014, Afton-Lincoln County Airport, Lincoln County, Wyoming, USA at 1600 GMT: The British pilot and noted inventor Dr John C Taylor OBE (http://www.johnctaylor.com) has set off on an epic solo flight in his new HUSKY plane from Wyoming, USA to his home on the Isle of Man in the UK.
This is thought to be the longest single journey in a HUSKY plane, in excess of 7,000 kilometres (4,400 miles), and is expected to finish in early-July.
Dr Taylor, who has over 60 years of experience as a private pilot, is flying his brand new HUSKY plane, M-HSKY from its factory in the United States across North America and the Atlantic Ocean. He has just completed an intensive training programme that qualifies him to fly solo in this particular type of plane that is noted for its tail wheel.
In a message to his team he said, “I hope to be airborne from KAFO Afton WY at 1600Z (GMT) and route across the Wind River Range at 12,500 ft, just South of Gannett Peak 13,804 ft, the highest in Wyoming. Hopefully the sun from the SE will give a fantastic photo opportunity from the air.”
The British pilot and keen photographer will be landing the plane a couple of dozen times along the way, both for refuelling and to stretch his legs and enjoy a cup of tea.
Speaking at the start of his trip, he said, “At 77, having stiff legs makes getting in and out of the plane part of the challenge, so I have purposely chosen to have short ‘legs’ to break up the journey into manageable steps.”
During his trip, Dr Taylor will be stopping at various locations such as Bismarck in North Dakota, Iqaluit in Canada, Reykjavik in Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.
He will then briefly stop off at his home on the Isle of Man before finishing his trip in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Bob Pooler, Director of AVIAT Aircraft UK Ltd (http://www.aviataircraft.co.uk ), the company that arranged the sale and of the plane said, “With a wingspan of just 35 feet (10.6 metres) and a length of just 22 feet (6 metres), the trail dragging Husky is a small and sporty choice of plane.
“No-one has attempted to fly a Husky across North America and Greenland back to the UK before, so I take my hat off to Dr Taylor who shows true British grit.”
Dr Taylor is most famous for his invention of temperature controls in household appliances, as well as his passion for early English clocks, but his first love has always been aviation, and he has been flying since the age of 14.
He was first introduced to the excitement of aviation by his father Eric, also an inventor, who designed flight suits for British Great War pilots and the iconic aviator Amelia Earhart.
Dr Taylor continued his father’s work in bi-metal in order to create his extremely successful kettle thermostat inventions. It has been calculated that over two billion of Dr Taylor-designed bi-metal blades have been produced since their invention in the 1970s.
His work with horology has also seen him invent and design the Corpus Clock, a massive time-eating time piece situated at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, which has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Having accomplished so much, it’s amazing that he has found the time to pilot the world’s longest HUSKY journey. With over 5,000 flying hours under his belt, Dr Taylor is relishing the opportunity to test himself with his new acquisition.
Dr Taylor is keen to point out that there is no sense of urgency in his big trans-Atlantic adventure.
He said, “This is not a race against the clock, in fact it is quite the opposite. I’m hoping to be able to stop off for tea in the afternoon at three o’clock on as many of the flying days as I can.”
About Dr John C Taylor OBE
Dr John C Taylor OBE FREng was born in Buxton in Derbyshire in 1936. Having spent six years living in Canada during his childhood, he returned home at the end of the Second World War and attended King William School on the Isle of Man before studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University.
After finishing his formal education he took a job at Otter Controls, run by his father, and started working in bi-metal. He invented a kettle control which has been used in around two billion kettles and small household appliances worldwide.
Dr Taylor is a passionate horologist. His admiration of John Harrison, an early pioneer of clocks and time-keeping, led him to design and help build the Corpus Chronophage, a metre-high clock that adorns the Corpus Christi College building at Cambridge University.
In his spare time, Dr Taylor has a keen interest in aviation, having been a private pilot for over sixty years. Initially taught by his father, he has so far amassed over 5,000 hours of flying time. He has a small collection of private planes that he keeps in a hangar at an airfield near his home in Arragon Mooar on the Isle of Man.
In order to give something back to those who have helped him over the years, Dr Taylor is an active philanthropist, having donated to various causes, including the library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which also houses his first Chronophage clock, which he donated to the university.
Dr Taylor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DrJCTOBE.