Mercedes F1 technician, beauty queen, soars into the air

A Northamptonshire beauty queen – who is a full-time Mercedes F1 test technician – took part in an aerobatic demonstration with a top flight team.

Leading aerobatic team The Blades took Miss England finalist Ellie Pacey on the flight.

Ellie, who was crowned Miss Northamptonshire in July 2020, enjoys tractor pulling in her spare time and uses her tenure to advance women in motorsport, engineering and agriculture.

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She visited The Blades at their home base, the Sywell Aerodrome near Wellingborough, where she made her way up and experienced aerobatics in close formation.

Ellie is an ambassador for young women who are going their own way and considering a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) industry.

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Blades-owned pilot Kirsty Murphy MBE is also a brilliant role model for girls looking to get into tech.

Ellie flew with former Red Arrow and Typhoon pilot James McMillan.

She said of her flight: “The view and the stunts today were, to be honest, breathtaking. I never thought I’d get the chance to do this, but I’m so happy that I could do it.

“Thanks to James for being such a great pilot and for putting up with my screaming and yelling at all the places I knew.

“It’s something I would definitely recommend to anyone as you won’t get this thrill anywhere else.”



Ellie flew with former Red Arrow and Typhoon pilot James McMillan

Former Typhoon pilot James, who was also the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s youngest qualified high-speed jet pilot and a leader of the Red Arrows synchro couple, joined The Blades in 2018.

James said, “It was a pleasure to host Ellie’s visit and show her from the air the county she represents.

“We wish her every success with her application for Miss England and we are delighted that she took the time to meet us and share her ambitions for the up-and-coming generation of women in the industry.

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“The Blades pilots are big proponents of STEM, and in close collaboration with the Air Cadets, the RAF Benevolent Fund and local youth clubs, we are happy to give lectures and presentations to inspire the younger generation and, in particular, encourage more girls to to realize their dreams in this area. “

“The sky doesn’t have to be the limit.”

The Blades were founded in 2006 and the current team of pilots has logged over 25,000 flight hours. They also perform in front of over four million people annually at air shows and private events.

Find out more about the unforgettable Blades experience here.

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