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Jessica Cox to Build New Airplane for Armless Flight
By Erin Henze
July 29, 2021 – Flying can be difficult enough as an able-bodied person, taking years of training and practice. For pilot Jessica Cox, who was born without arms, flying an aircraft is even more difficult.
In 2008, when Jessica earned her Sport Pilot certificate, she was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the first certificated armless pilot in history. Currently in an Ercoupe, Jessica flies with her feet. However, the current setup in her aircraft isn’t ideal.
“The cramped position how I fly the plane is very uncomfortable,” Jessica said, “so it doesn’t allow for long-distance flight.”
However, Jessica and her team are looking to change that. On Monday, Jessica announced that she and a team of volunteers will be working to build a fully accessible RV-10. Not only will this aircraft be more comfortable for her to fly, but it also goes much faster, as the RV-10 is capable of flying more than 200 miles per hour, much faster than the cruising speed of 90 miles per hour of the Ercoupe.
Being able to fly more comfortably and faster will help Jessica in her mission to inspire children with disabilities around the world.
“The plan is to fly this airplane around the country to reach more children with disabilities to inspire them,” Jessica said.
Jessica wants to help prove that “disability does not mean inability.”
“We can think bigger,” Jessica said, “recognizing that different is good.”
Jessica and her team are looking for both design and financial help on this huge project.
“This is a huge endeavor, but it’s going to inspire so many,” Jessica said. “We need all the help possible… we need a community. I’m very happy to be part of this aviation community, because it’s so powerful, and it’s such a wonderful tool in ways of inspiring the world.”
If you would like to help, please go to JessicaCox.com/project2025.