Jerrie Mock's Cessna 180 'Spirit of Columbus' by Ron Cole

Jerrie Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world. Flying a modified Cessna 180 that was nicknamed 'Spirit of Columbus', Mock's flight began and ended at Ohio hometown's Port Columbus Airport; expedition financing included a loan from The Columbus Dispatch newspaper. She travelled eastbound, over Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam, among other countries. After stressful days traveling over the Atlantic, Mock was greeted by the president of the Aero Club of Morocco and stayed the night in a French home, where Mock reports, "there were no nightmares of thunderheads over the Atlantic. Dressed in red satin, I danced in marble palaces." Mock later journeyed to Saudi Arabia, where she landed at Dhahran Airport. In her book Three-Eight Charlie, Mock says that after landing in Saudi Arabia the crowd of men around her looked puzzled. One of the men approached her aircraft. “His white-kaffiyeh-covered head nodded vehemently, and he shouted to the throng that there was no man. This brought a rousing ovation”, she recalled. Mock was quite a spectacle in Saudi Arabia where women would not be allowed to drive cars until 2017, much less fly a plane. In Egypt, she mistakenly landed at a secret off-the-map military base instead of the Cairo Airport. Traveling the world gave Mock a new perspective and experiences.

Ron Cole has depicted Jerrie's C-180 in flight during her lonesome around-the-world journey. Ron's piece (above) is seen displayed with Jerrie's original Cessna in the Smithsonian Nation Air & Space Museum. Jerrie's younger sister, Susan Reid (far left) in April 2024.

Available in various sizes, papers, canvas, framed and un-framed - all are signed & numbered by the artist. 

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