Carolyn Grace

Carolyn Grace Bio

Carolyn Grace was born in and is native to Australia but has lived in the UK for many years. As a young woman, Carolyn married Nick Grace, a pilot and aircraft mechanic.

In 1979 her husband Nick purchased two Spitfire airframes, one of which was sold and the other (ML407) became Nick’s restoration project. Carolyn and Nick had two children together, but in 1988 when their daughter Olivia was five and their son Richard was four, Nick died in an car accident.

It was a tragedy from which Carolyn Grace struggled to recover, but she was determined to keep her husband’s passion alive. It was that passion that led her to decide to attempt flying his restored Spitfire.

Spitfire ML407

Spitfire ML407 at Middle Wallop in 1986. The late Nick Grace is to the left.

Female Spitfire Pilot

Spitfire pilots were and are mostly male (apart from those delivered by the ATA – Air Transport Auxiliary during WW II), but Carolyn decided to undergo the training required to become type rated to fly this aircraft.

She was, by all accounts, quick to learn and remains one of the only known female Spitfire pilots.  ML407 is now 70 years old but sounding and looking as healthy as ever after each winter’s overhaul and servicing.

A goat farmer when she is not taking to the skies, Carolyn has been flying her plane, the Grace Spitfire ML407, since 1990. She named the plane in tribute to her beloved late husband Nick.

A 20 minute flight alongside a stunning Spitfire, taking off from Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire £399.00 
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX G-LFIX (ML407)

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX G-LFIX (ML407) in 2016 flown by Carolyn Grace

Spitfire Display Pilot

Carolyn Grace has both a display authorization qualification and an aerobatic and formation qualification under her belt, and is well known for her impressive aerial shows, including cubans, loops and rolls. She endeavors to make sure that the audience of a show can see every angle of the Grace Spitfire to take in the full power of the machine.

She also performs displays to music at many events such as proms and concerts and has choreographed entire flight routines for event displays. She currently performs displays for weddings, birthday parties, individual shows by request, corporate promotions, multiple types of memorial displays, commemorative fly-bys and has performed in many large formation displays.

Ultimate Spitfire flight training experience including flights in a Tiger Moth and a Harvard. Available in Headcorn in Kent or Sywell in Northamptonshire. £5,395.00 

Grace Spitfire ML 407

Built at the famous Castle Bromwich factory in 1944 the Grace Spitfire ML407 was originally a single seat figher aircraft. She was delivered by the Air Transport Auxilllary pilot Jackie Moggridge to the 485 New Zealand Squadron and assigned to Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton DFC.

While on operations during the D-Day landings Flying Officer Johnnie Houlton show down a Junkers Ju 88.

Later that same year the aircraft was a Free French squadron before further transfers to Polish, Belgian, and Norwegian squadrons before finding her way back to the 485 squadron at the end of the war.

After the war, in 1950, she was converted by Vickers-Armstrongs at Eastleigh, Southampton, to a two seat aircraft for the Irish Air Corps. After several more years of service the aircraft went into storage and was eventually sold to Sir William Roberts who added her to this collection at the Strathallan museum.

In 1979 Nick Grace bought her from the Strathallan Museum and spent give years restoring her and she has remained in the Grace family to this day.

Fly in formation aboard a de Havilland Dragon Rapide with a Spitfire Mk1a. Meet the pilot. Duxford, Cambridge. £579.00 

Where can I fly in a Spitfire in the UK?

Spitfire Flights, Spitfire Experiences

Ever wanted to..

  • Learn how to fly a Spitfire
  • Take a pleasure flight in a Spitfire
  • Fly alongside a Spitfire
  • Try a Spitfire simulator
  • Get close to the aircraft on the ground

There are all kinds of options open to you and in various locations.  Here’s a list of airfields and companies offering Spitfire flights in the UK.