Episode 115 – The Jean Batten Lecture 2016

Introduced by: Des Underwood MRAeS (Chairman, Bay of Plenty Branch, RAeS)

Main Speaker: Brian Lockstone MRAeS

Recorded: Friday 2nd of September 2016 in the Boeing Room at Classic Flyers Museum, 9 Jean Batten Drive, Mt Maunganui, Tauranga, recorded by Dave Homewood

Duration:  1 hour 19 minutes 2  second

In this episode we hear a recording made of the inaugural “Jean Batten Lecture”, an annual event that has been established by the Bay of Plenty Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. The branch has its base at the Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga New Zealand. This will become an annual history-based lecture by a notable historian on a New Zealand aviation topic.

In this year’s lecture the well known historian and author Brian Lockstone has flown home to New Zealand from New York specifically to give this address, in which he details the life and achievements of New Zealand’s most famous long distance record breaking pilot, aviatrix Jean Jean Gardner Batten CBE OSC.

Beautiful, driven and determined, Jean Batten was one of New Zealand’s earliest international celebrities back in the 1930’s, and is still a household name. As well as talking about her family and influences, her aeroplanes and her flights, Brian also details the long string of men that she callously used and abused for their money and influence, and her questionable memoirs that seemingly twist the truth. And we hear of her decline after getting mixed up with a Nazi sympathizer in 1939, and her last days in Spain as an unknown recluse.

Thanks to the Bay of Plenty Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society for inviting Dave Homewood of the Wings Over New Zealand Show to attend and record this excellent lecture.

Quick Links:

•  Royal Aeronautical Society Bay of Plenty Branch

•  Jean Batten on the Teara Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Website

•  Jean Batten on the Wikipedia Website

•  Jean Batten on the NZ History.net Website

•  Classic Flyers NZ Museum

•  Classic Flyers NZ Museum on Facebook

To learn more about the Royal Aeronautical Society Bay of Plenty Branch, or the Jean Batten Lecture, or to request a transcription of this lecture and the powerpoint photos please email Des Underwood at desunderwood@gmail.com


Photos of Jean Batten from around the internet

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Jean’s famous Percival Vega Gull hanging in the International Terminal at Auckland International Airport, Mangere, Auckland, the airfield where she landed at the conclusion of her flight from England
(Photos by Dave Homewood)

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