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Anyone here had a flight in a Spitfire?

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Anyone here had a flight in a Spitfire?

Old 24th Oct 2019, 02:26
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I would imagine the boutlbee flight sim is possibly running generic gaming software as the cost of developing it can run into the millions. Anyone know?
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 07:30
  #42 (permalink)  
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Does gaming software offer motion and force feedback?
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 08:48
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Octane has mentioned the option of flying in a Spitfire in New Zealand, which is what I did, eight years ago. It wasn't as organized as it is today - you had to "know someone". Luckily I did.

Was it a lot of money? Yes, but as a warbird owner said to me "I know it's a lot of money, but trust me, we're not making any money out of you - you are just helping to defray our expenses!"

Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yes, not only for the experience of actually holding that spade grip and maneuvering a Spitfire, but for the memories and the bragging rights. It is great to watch other pilot's reactions when I casually mention that I've flown a Spit! One of the highlights for me, was when returning for landing, the Tower gave an outbound Cessna opposite-direction traffic information. The pilot responded "Tally ho, the Spitfire!"

A well-known instructor flew in the Spitfire the next day and he summed up his impressions in typically laconic Kiwi fashion "You're sitting in that back seat and it could be just another rubbishy old Harvard, but then you look out at that wing and you know you're flying something special!"







Warbird Adventure Rides - Flight Experiences

The current price for a Spitfire ride is about £2000, significantly cheaper than Boultbee - you could probably buy a ticket to Auckland with the savings!
They also offer rides in a Mustang and a P-40, which are both significantly cheaper than the Spitfire. I've flown in the Mustang and while it was a memorable trip - "Fancy a low-level whizz round the harbour?" - there are no back seat controls, so I wouldn't recommend it. The P-40 appeals to me - it has dual controls!








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Old 24th Oct 2019, 11:30
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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£200 for 30 minutes
That's about on par with with a proper Tiger Moth which in my own opinion is much more fun than any SIM.

Thanks for the info IFT, now to try and squeeze in a quick trip over to NZ (from Melbourne which should be easy enough).
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Old 9th Jul 2020, 19:15
  #45 (permalink)  
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Belated reply, winter, then this damned pandemic got in the way, but I'm now booked for a 55 minute jolly in SM520 from HMS Daedalus, with Boultbee, in September, including the opportunity for some aeros over the IoW.

To say that I'm looking forward to it is an understatement. Currently re-reading the pilot's notes, somewhat more avidly than I have for other types . . .
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 00:23
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Nice one! Hope you get some photos or video to enjoy the experience again and again... I would love to do that someday.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 02:38
  #47 (permalink)  
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My Tiger time was for my PPL. £3 per hour. I was lucky to fly one before it was lost to crop-spraying. My Wing Commander instructor (retired, of course) was destroying them at a prodigious rate. 'A good plane to crash in, boy.' He took such care, filtering all fuel through chamoius leather.

My pal took me up in the Tiger and this allowed the front seat. Breathtaking on a bright spring morning. A protracted stint of aerobatics in an open cockpit tested my stiff upper lip. Back on the ground. Yeah! And life was changed forever.

One of our members has had a ride in the South African Lightning.

If I saw a Spitfire idling with the pilot missing, I have a feeling a crime would be committed, though I'd plead I wasn't going to permanently deprive the owner - though Tower Bridge would be a must. It's funny, but up until VP's age I'd have got airborne without any real fear and trepidation apart from the law. I'd spent a lot of time as skipper on DC3s, Doves and Herons, so didn't mind petroleum or a tail wheel. But now, these last few years, I think I'd need a bit of hand-holding. Bringing it back broken and seeing the dismayed faces of the restoration team would be a distinct downer.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 12:33
  #48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Out Of Trim View Post
Nice one! Hope you get some photos or video to enjoy the experience again and again... I would love to do that someday.
Thanks! Boultbee have a camera setup in SM520 that records a 360į video of the flight, so I've opted to include that, means I don't have to faff around with a camera and can just concentrate on flying the aeroplane. I owned a small single seat taildragger for a few years, but with only about 1/30th of the power, so not really comparable, I suspect. This will be far and away the most powerful propeller-driven single engine aeroplane I've ever flown, but from what I've heard the Spitfire isn't too much of a handful in the air, like all taildraggers I suspect it's just waiting to bite you hard all the time it's on the ground, and I doubt there's a hope in hell of me being allowed to touch the controls whilst on the ground.

I'm thinking about going over to Chichester and spending some time in their Spitfire simulator, first. In two minds about it, as although it might be useful to get a feel for the aeroplane first, I can't help but think that part of the sheer joy of sitting in a Spitfire might be diluted a bit by sitting in the sim for an time, first.

Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
My Tiger time was for my PPL. £3 per hour. I was lucky to fly one before it was lost to crop-spraying. My Wing Commander instructor (retired, of course) was destroying them at a prodigious rate. 'A good plane to crash in, boy.' He took such care, filtering all fuel through chamoius leather.

My pal took me up in the Tiger and this allowed the front seat. Breathtaking on a bright spring morning. A protracted stint of aerobatics in an open cockpit tested my stiff upper lip. Back on the ground. Yeah! And life was changed forever.

One of our members has had a ride in the South African Lightning.

If I saw a Spitfire idling with the pilot missing, I have a feeling a crime would be committed, though I'd plead I wasn't going to permanently deprive the owner - though Tower Bridge would be a must. It's funny, but up until VP's age I'd have got airborne without any real fear and trepidation apart from the law. I'd spent a lot of time as skipper on DC3s, Doves and Herons, so didn't mind petroleum or a tail wheel. But now, these last few years, I think I'd need a bit of hand-holding. Bringing it back broken and seeing the dismayed faces of the restoration team would be a distinct downer.
I've flown a Tiger Moth a couple of times, great fun, but surprisingly hard to fly well I found. As my moniker here reveals, I have a certain soft spot for that wonderful, but slightly quirky, gentleman's aerial carriage that was the Devon (the military version of the Dove).

My late father in law trained in a Tiger Moth, then flew the Harvard, Meteor and Super Sabre, before leaving the RAF and becoming an airline pilot. I flew with him on his last, somewhat eventful, flight, when he was in his late 70's. He'd been giving prospective customers for a kit-built light aeroplane demo flights that morning, and the flight was for him to brief me on how he did the demo flights, so that I could take over and fly a couple of potential customers whilst he went and had some lunch (I'd not flown the exact type before, but was part way through building one for myself). The thing had no fuel gauges, just translucent plastic tanks in both wing roots, that you could just about see by looking up above your head. We both thought the tanks looked full, and double checked when we'd taxied down to do the run-up. Needless to say both tanks were empty, and the engine was only running on the litre of so in the collector tank. The inevitable happened, the engine stopped when we were around 100ft up after take off, the field in front was full of WWII concrete blocks, so we did the lethal turn back, stalled, and crashed. Neither of us was badly hurt, but he took it very personally, and felt it was his fault, as captain. It was every bit as much my fault as his, as we'd both talked about not being able to see the fuel level clearly. He decided that it was his age catching up with him, and never flew again, even when I offered to take him up. Great shame, as he'd been flying continuously from around 1948 right up until that accident around 55 years later.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 07:33
  #49 (permalink)  
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I'll be going for the sim first. I have a disability which might mean I wouldn't be allowed in the real a/c, and at least the sim will mean I haven't wasted the 300 miles round trip. It will also allow them to assess me physically, and maybe, if the judgment is marginal, a demonstration of outstanding airmanship in the sim might tip the balance. (Is there a smiley for tongue in cheek??)

Good luck with your flight, green with envy here.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 11:20
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst at BZN several years ago, Caroline brought the Grace Spitfie in to prep for an evening flypast at nearby Blenheim Palace. Sat just outside of ops, I commented that the trim looked to be a little out of balance and that she needed 95kg of dunnage, just behind the pilot!
It fell on deaf ears!!!!!!
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 12:16
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Mrs D treated me to a flight in PV202 for my 70th birthday, from Classic Wings at Duxford. By good fortune I knew the driver - we both flew for a UK airline.

Once airborne PIC handed me control - my impression was that '202 was a big, fast Chipmunk. No aeros - at my request - any hint of airsickness would have reduced the fun, though we did a barrel roll back at Duxford - brilliant! First time I'd been inverted in a flying machine for over 50 years!

The Classic Wings set-up includes a GoPro facing the pax so you'll have a DVD record of the trip to take home.

Last edited by Discorde; 18th Jul 2020 at 15:45.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 23:42
  #52 (permalink)  
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Hmmm . . . looking at fuel in the wing roots. It's what led to 'the incident' for me too.

It was about twenty-five years later I decided to forgive myself. There, right in front of my eyes were the gauges. It was obvious now why I found myself over the sea with no fuel.

Back to being a student, so keen to get airborne that I stuck my head into the cockpit of the Auster Autocar and satisfied myself it was almost full of fuel all in about one femtosecond. I flew from Southend to Walton on the Naze, primarily because the navigation home wouldn't strain my brain. Coming back to base should have been just as easy. Visually, it was going well. Mersea Island on the right, and Bradwell and other familiar stuff ahead. Audistically, things were not so ordered. The missing became patches of stopping - and I gained some satisfaction from changing fuel tanks so quickly the engine began to purr again. For about thirty seconds.

I was way past my swimming range. The nearest dry object was Jaywick. I pressed the button and told SEN that I was heading back to Clacton. I gave some thought to the oddness of his answer. "Roger. We'll send someone to see if you're alright."

I was now over Jaywick with the engine giving little life-giving bursts between patches of almost-silence. It was going to be a downwind landing on the short runway, but ho hum, in those days there was not a soul about, so it wouldn't matter. There was not even a hut for no one to be in. I ran out of lawn and bumped over some rough just as the engine stopped. I got out, looked around and gave thought to who on Earth someone in Southend air traffic control could possibly know that lived in Clacton. I also remember I was wearing a rust red jumper and blue jeans which helped me mingle with the hordes of excited holiday makers who all arrived in one lump. Obviously the entire customer base of Butlin's. They turned as one towards the ringing of bells. Oh. So that's who they know. A police Wolseley, two fire engines and two ambulances. The crowd turned back to a landing aircraft. My disguise didn't help, my CFI strode from his aircraft, to my aircraft and then straight towards me. "You bloody fool! You've run out of fuel!" I resisted all temptation to mention that rhymed. It was possibly life changing that he said it out of range of the most senior of the three police officers.

I was driven to Clacton police station where I was offered a seat in a dimly lit office. One of the men pulled an appropriate book from a tin cabinet. It was one of those very dark green tin cabinets and the book looked like a double sized Jeppesen. "You became concerned about your fuel and did what you refer to as a precautionary landing." Yes, that's about what I'd said. They made token attempts to find appropriate words in the big book but I believe they decided that what I'd said was so eminently sensible that they'd not only not charge me, but drive me back to the airfield. It's the oddest thing, but some of my memory is so vivid that I recall the young be-hatted officer waiting until he'd entered every bend before sharply turning the wheel. I wondered if they taught all police to drive like nitwits. Maybe he'd mistakenly gone to Hampton instead of Hendon.

My aircraft was fuelled from the Jerry can they happened to have on board and we set off back to Southend. I got a right royal rollicking but was not expelled. I have a feeling my custom had just a little to do with the decision. But how could I have been so fe-ekkin' stupid?

It's not really an excuse, but I can see how the young fool was fooled. Someone asked me to take a Bandeirante into Weston for servicing. I had a while to hang around so went to the flying school or club area. There was an Autocar. Hmm, it holds nearly as much as my Rallye Club, which could make north Africa on a good day. What!? Cobblers. But the needle is pointing just down from 20, just where it was on that fateful day. BUT, the 20 isn't a 20, it's a 2, with a 0 to the right but down a fraction. The gauge works backwards 0 - 2 - etc.

Well, this is why they employ psychologists to stop pilots from doing bizarre things. I suppose they've done some good, but frankly having youthful exuberance kicked out of one is the first step, though there was a time when running to get airborne had its place.
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Old 13th Jul 2020, 08:01
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Belated reply, winter, then this damned pandemic got in the way, but I'm now booked for a 55 minute jolly in SM520 from HMS Daedalus, with Boultbee, in September, including the opportunity for some aeros over the IoW.

To say that I'm looking forward to it is an understatement. Currently re-reading the pilot's notes, somewhat more avidly than I have for other types . . .
good decision!

thats the one I flew in, itís a real TR9.

Consider a flight in a Harvard first, that was worth it imho.

I found these warbirds are surprisingly big when youíre sitting in them, glad I flew in the Harvard first, the Spit then freaked me out less and I was able to enjoy it more.

the 360 video is completely immersive and is a VR video if you have one of those little holders/goggles and an iPhone. Well worth it.
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 00:28
  #54 (permalink)  
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Some years ago I was cycling back from the pub in Kirby le Soken and I noticed a folder with a navigational rule sticking out. It was luckily lying on the path. I was perhaps one of the very few people who knew just how valuable the contents were. Several of the documents were original, or old, and would have been the very devil to replace. They were for this:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=to...gbLG75Fhn1hIZM

I was rewarded with a glass of wine in Haig-Thomas' back garden. The Rivetess chatted to his charming wife, mostly about their kids and the local school. I bought his book. It seemed shaking the windows out of a skyscraper were something of a career ending procedure. But still, to have flown all the types available must have been fun.

He was lucky IIRC to virtually swap a Chipmonk for a Vampire.
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 02:28
  #55 (permalink)  
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Flight ? No unless I let it go out of control and crapped my pantaloons......
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 05:22
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FLCH View Post

Flight ? No unless I let it go out of control and crapped my pantaloons......
Lovely - shame about those awful bumper/fender extensions.
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 06:04
  #57 (permalink)  
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The Classic Wings set-up includes a GoPro facing the pax so you'll have a DVD record of the trip to take home.
The 360 degree setup sounds like a much better bet. I had the camera-facing-me DVD when I had a flight in a Tiger Moth some years back. When I viewed the DVD later, instead of the huge grin I expected to see, there was I in total concentration, as if I was flying myself, even when I wasn't, keeping a good lookout and scanning the instruments. It was worth it for some stills I took from it, though, such as upside down at the top of a loop!
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 11:26
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Here are Neil Williams's musings on flying Spits:

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Weekend in the Country

Spitfire to Switzerland
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 16:43
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Finally got my "Pandemic Postponed" retirement present last week and flew MT818 with the Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill. Awesome.
Wife says I still have a the stupid grin that started just before climbing in. Got 45mins of flight, about 25 mins "Hands on" and some aeros over Beachy Head.
If that wasn't enough, I also have the 90 mins of HD video from the 2 onboard GoPros that recorded the event. Amazing how something that was quite "Lumpy" on the ground became so smooth and effortless once the wheels came up. I very quickly appreciated the words of the "Few" that you don't get into a Spitfire, you put it on.
Just do it.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 16:46
  #60 (permalink)  
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Still a few weeks to wait until my flight, I'm envious of your flight, especially with the good weather this weekend.
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