Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old pilot, took out on Wednesday for a three-month journey to become the world’s youngest woman to fly solo around the globe, Reuters has reported. Rutherford dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Rutherford took off in her Shark ultralight, the world’s fastest microlight aircraft, from Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in western Belgium.

“Growing up, I loved aviation and STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but I didn’t see many other women or girls doing that. I just always thought that was quite sad or discouraging,” Rutherford told Reuters. “I’m hoping that I can encourage girls to go into this field.”

“I love adventure, and I think space is probably the biggest adventure out there,” she added.


Rutherford will take the title from Shaesta Wais, who became the youngest woman to fly solo round the world at 30.