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Jean Landis, WASP Pilot
2,500 Miles … Long Beach to Newark in a P-51
“Your very first flight in a single-seat pursuit aircraft is a solo,” Jean Landis says, a big smile lighting up her face. “For that flight, I drew the P-51, the love of my life. How lucky can you get?” Known as the Mustang, this fighter aircraft had a cruising speed of 275 mph, a maximum speed of 437 mph, and could fly to over 40,000 feet altitude. The P-51 packed a punch.
In the cockpit, waiting to take off, Jean applied and held the brakes. She revved the RPMs (the engine’s revolutions per minute) while watching the oil pressure and oil temperature gauges. When she got the word from the tower, “cleared for take- off,” she was ready. “Full throttle, off with the brakes! I never felt such pressure against my back. The power and the noise were unbelievable. Thrilling! Exciting! Then I was off the runway and climbing.” Jean soared skyward in her first of what would be many P-51s.
A few words from Sarah Byrn Rickman:
That I write about the WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II — is no secret.
For four incredible years, thanks to the influence of the WASP, I flew this little Aeronca Champ taildragger that I dearly loved. It is yellow with a red belly. Pictured at left: me and the Champ, November 15, 2010, the day I did my cross-country solo.
In my wildest dreams I fly a P-51 like my heroines, the WASP of the Ferry Command.
I asked Jenny Hancey, my graphic designer to create the logo at the top of this site for me — an old fashioned pen drawing a P-51 in flight. “Flight to Destiny” is borrowed from my WAFS novel of the same name — because we are allowed to dream.
So I invite you to come along and dream with me. More WASP books are coming as I do my darnedest to tell their incredible stories.
Learn more on Sarah’s Blog