Zara Rutherford is 19 years old. On January 20th, she landed back in Belgium after flying solo around the world in her Shark ultra-light aircraft. During her voyage that lasted 155 days, she visited 52 countries on 5 different continents.
By doing so, she became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in an aircraft. The goal of her flight is to encourage girls and young women to pursue their dreams, and promote aviation and STEM-related careers for them.
Zara is also the youngest person to fly solo around the world in an ultra-light, in this case a Shark high-performance aircraft manufactured in Europe. With its clean aerodynamic lines, variable-pitch propeller and retractable gear, it can reach an impressive cruising speed of 300 km/h on a modest but very reliable 100-hp Rotax engine.
While she is inspiring others, Zara has her own role-models such as Bessie Coleman, Valentina Terechkova and Amelia Earhart. This gave me the idea to create a model in the same style as previous LEGO sets honoring women in aerospace.
It consists of her mini-figurine in a tan flight suit, along with a 1/35th scale model of her customized Shark ultra-light aircraft. The canopy can be opened to let Zara sit at the controls and take-off toward her next destination. The gear can be "removed" for cruise, the propeller can be replaced with a transparent disc to simulate its rotation and the flaps can be extended for landing. Between flights, the Rotax engine is easily accessible for maintenance by removing the nose cover. Also included is a small stand to display the pioneer and her aircraft from various angles.
This set idea is a tribute to Zara's voyage. With your help it could become an inspiration for girls and young women to be bold and take their place in the sky.