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Youngest woman to fly solo around the world chose an ultralight of Czech design

19-year-old Zara Rutherford is attempting to be the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. For this mission, she chose an ultralight airplane „Shark“ designed in Czechia. Through this adventure, Zara hopes to inspire girls and young women to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and pursue careers in aviation. During Zara’s stopover in Singapore on 24th December, the Czech Embassy co-organised a webinar for her to engage with local students and young aviation enthusiasts.

Ms. Rutherford, a Belgian-British teenager who is on a quest to become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo, arrived in Singapore for a stopover on 24th December after starting her 52,000 km expedition from Belgium in August this year. A key aim of Zara's mission is to create awareness and inspire more girls and young women to take up STEM and pursue careers in aviation. In order to help Zara spread this message to young women, and aviation enthusiasts in general, Mr. Ladislav Graner, the director of CzechTrade office of our Embassy, co-organised a webinar with the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore) (AAIS), the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, and Women in Aviation International Singapore Chapter (WAI SG). At the start of the event, several important personalities welcomed Zara: the Czech Ambassador Michaela Froňková, Belgian Ambassador Colette Taquet, and Singapore Member of Parliament and former RSAF helicopter pilot Mme Poh Li San.

Not only is Zara’s mission admirable and by all means successful. Zara by her choice flies a small ultralight aircraft called Shark designed in Czechia and built in Slovakia. Shark is one of the world's fastest ultralight aircrafts, with speed records exceeding 300 km/h, thanks to advanced construction and optimised aerodynamics. Ultralights are typically small airplanes susceptible to weather conditions, and can be used not only as a means of low-cost personal transportation but also for special missions such as border patrolling and search and rescue.

Ambassador Michaela Froňková on this occasion remarked: "The Shark Aircraft represents the innovative spirit of the Czech Republic’s aerospace industry, which we have proudly developed since the beginning of the 20th century. The industry has worked tirelessly to forge strong public-private cooperation in research and development. Today, our aerospace companies share their knowledge and experience with partners at the national and international levels, providing expertise to companies such as Honeywell, GE Aviation and Safran. We are delighted that the Shark aircraft is enabling Zara to realise her dreams, and hopes it inspires others to do so as well.”

More information on Shark aircraft on SHARK.AERO website.

More on Zara's mission on FlyZolo.

In media: Straits Times


Zara Rutherford and Shark in Singapore