Monday, 16 February 2015

Powered Flight: when a woman's not writing Romance

Oh. My. Gosh.  Who in the Romance industry hasn't heard of Dame Barbara Cartland? I don't need to tell you she wrote over seven hundred novels, not to mention plays, opera, music, magazine articles and more. That alone should put you in complete and total awe.

I said   A W E.  (Ignore her overfondness for the colour pink.)

Otherwise, Dame Babs' social adventures makes the Kardashians look like a sixth grade girl's playground tussle. Check out her Wikipedia entry. I wouldn't be surprised to see a "Keeping Up with the McCorquodales", should reality television have existed nearly a hundred years ago. Certainly would have been far more entertaining than anything shown today.

Nevertheless, she's one of those larger-than-life people that everyone should meet at least once in their lives.

But Dabe Babs was more than awe-inspiring. Dame Babs should totally smack your gob.

You would never have guessed this froofy socialite with royal connections and overblown literary aspirations spent her down time pioneering aviation.

Gobsmacked yet?

She was rather fond of unpowered gliding. When she wasn't campaigning for better pay for midwives and nurses or championing housing rights for gypsies (Travellers), she was hanging out at the airport, inventing towed gliders. Back then, gliders were considered short-range toys to keep the rich entertained. But Dame Barbara saw potential in long-distance gliders.

How useful it would be, she thought, to tow a glider up high, then set it loose to fly as far as 200 miles away. So she built her own, naturally named the "Barbara Cartland". She even took it for a mail run to prove its worth.

It impressed someone important, because her inventions were later used in WWII as silent troop carriers, aka the gliding infantry, as you do.

Her Grace feels better when she reads about other overachievers.

No comments: