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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 10th Aug 2020, 17:11
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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VP,

Didn't they message you?
They are taking the engine out, and replacing it with an electric one.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:13
  #62 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
VP,

Didn't they message you?
They are taking the engine out, and replacing it with an electric one.
Very droll . . .
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 17:30
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Coming soon

For anyone interested, the Heritage Hangar are expecting the arrival of a 2 seat Hurricane in the near future.
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Old 12th Aug 2020, 10:46
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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I'm just jealous. Nice medics at the Belgrano said VFR only, on a good day. I decided cost made it not worth pursuing. Especially as medics were being very kind............
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 13:43
  #65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Biggin has three two seaters (MJ627, MJ772 and the original Vickers conversion prototype MT818) on strength and a fourth on its way (TE308, flown by Bill Greenwood in the US for many years).
Pleased to see that Biggin's fourth two seater TE308 was taken for her post-rebuild first flight this week by Peter Kynsey.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 17:04
  #66 (permalink)  
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Today looked a bit disappointing early on, with the cloud base sitting stubbornly at around 1,000ft, and the promised lift by mid-morning failing to materialise. After about three hours or so of hanging around, patches of blue started to appear, and there was a hope that we could get up above the cloud to get enough height for a bit of fun. I needn't have worried, ten minutes after the photo below was taken we were up around 3,000ft over the South of IoW, with me muttering three mundane little words I've said hundreds of times, but today had so much more meaning, "I have control"



I know the word "awesome" is now over-used by the younger generation, but cloud-surfing, rolling, and looping a Spitfire (in the case of the rolls and wing overs several times), in bright sunlight, over gleaming clouds, white cliffs and the scenery along the South Coast of England, really does fall into the awesome category. I spent the entire flight grinning from ear to ear. I don't think I've ever had so much fun in an aeroplane in around 50 years of flying, on and off. Should get the 360 degree video of the flight in a week or so. The downside of having one of the camera views looking at my face may well be that I just didn't stop grinning the whole time.

If anyone's looking for what has to be one of the most memorable flying experiences I can highly recommend Boultbee Flight Academy. Very professional, and even in these difficult times they've managed to put together safe protocols that were very efficiently managed. I don't yet have any shots from inside the A/C, as I didn't risk taking a camera with me, both because the cockpit is pretty tight, and because I'd have had nowhere safe to stow it during the aeros. One memorable shot has to be pulling a steep turn around Arundel Castle, which was gleaming through a hole in the cloud, with that simply beautiful elliptical wing pointing straight down at the castle. Simply magical.

The final verse of John Gillespie Magee's poem just popped into my head as we rolled around some glistening, brightly sunlit, clouds. I can think of no better words to describe the experience:

"Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

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Old 29th Sep 2020, 18:57
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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VP congratulations to you achieving today this ambition that you set. Pleasing to read a good news story.......( of course that is a mega-understatement)
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 21:25
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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PPRuNe discussion on the ambiguous wording of High Flight.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 21:32
  #69 (permalink)  
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You know what I mean. One day I'M going to have that grin on my face too!
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 01:48
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I appreciate that aviation is a somewhat diverse community, even though some here are, shall we say "associate members". Realistically, how many would still be game with another aircraft trying to shoot you down? They do say old age is a reversion to the simplicity and fantasy of childhood... carry on.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 07:00
  #71 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
Realistically, how many would still be game with another aircraft trying to shoot you down?
That's a thought that hits you pretty much straight away, or at least it did me. The cockpit is tight, and visibility is not great by the standards of many modern fighting aircraft, plus the only sensors you have are those you were born with, and they are somewhat degraded by the sheer level of noise in the cockpit, especially at high power levels.

I can't begin to imagine the feeling of vulnerability those young men, often with little flying experience by today's standards, must have had when going into battle. Despite the many tales of derring do, and the demonstrable level of bravery many of them exhibited, I bet a fair proportion of them were scared shitless the first few times they went into battle. I think that, for many, their saving grace may have been that the aeroplane is probable very capable, both as a fighting machine and, perhaps more importantly, because it feels like it's trying to help you. Hard to describe, but some aeroplanes feel like they would kill you given the slightest lapse in concentration, yet in the very short time I was in the Spitfire it felt to me that this was an aeroplane that would try its damnedest to keep you alive.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 12:51
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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I am trying to figure out how much of a sin Jealousy is................10th commandment, and all that.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 18:57
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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I would love to have a go, but I'd be airsick.

I can't do theme park rides, so I know looping and rolling would be a no-no for me and if you can't do that in a Spit, then sadly there is no point.

And I definitely wouldn't want a 360 camera recording the whole episode!
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 00:30
  #74 (permalink)  
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Wonderful news. So glad it was such a success.
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 09:25
  #75 (permalink)  
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I received the 360 deg video yesterday, all 17.9Gb of it. Pretty impressive for such a tiny little camera, a Go Pro I think. Here's a still from part way through a roll (rotated so that the blue bit is up):





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Old 16th Oct 2020, 10:16
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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VP : Congrats where it is due. Only just seen your opener of a year ago ! My answer would have been , no . But a mate of mine was gifted, for his BD and sent me a full CD play of the event . In a sense, I feel as though I have been for a ride in a Spit. Even as they pulled up for a loop, I spilled me Jack & Coke , narrowly missing the laptop and felt a bit sick . Too late now to give you what info I had.
By the way, strictly as as an airline pilot, you know, 30degrees up /down /left / right ; how dya get out of the thing if things go horribly wrong ? What if driver conks at the controls ?

Anyway, in a sense, been there,done that ( yeah right).
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 10:35
  #77 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Gordomac View Post
VP : Congrats where it is due. Only just seen your opener of a year ago ! My answer would have been , no . But a mate of mine was gifted, for his BD and sent me a full CD play of the event . In a sense, I feel as though I have been for a ride in a Spit. Even as they pulled up for a loop, I spilled me Jack & Coke , narrowly missing the laptop and felt a bit sick . Too late now to give you what info I had.
By the way, strictly as as an airline pilot, you know, 30degrees up /down /left / right ; how dya get out of the thing if things go horribly wrong ? What if driver conks at the controls ?

Anyway, in a sense, been there,done that ( yeah right).
The red knob at the top of the canopy (bottom in that photo) pulls the pins out that hold the canopy on, so it can be jettisoned. The bale out procedure is to lower the seat, jettison the canopy, open the door flap on the left, release the seat harness, kneel on the seat and exit left, over the wing trailing edge. The parachute is modified to have a static line, although the drill is to still pull the D ring as normal.
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Old 16th Oct 2020, 23:08
  #78 (permalink)  
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I'd never remember all that. I think I'd go down with it, still grinning ear-to-ear.

What if driver conks at the controls ?
More sinful than envy, to wish ill of the pilot, but as I've suggested before, What if they were abducted by aliens and were safely back in ops when one returned the aircraft in pristine condition.

There was a Roger Bacon bit in flight many moons ago, or was it just a letter? The crew of an airliner all get sick and the flight attendant asks if anyone is a pilot. You're just undoing your seat belt when the chief test pilot for Boeing introduces himself to the crew.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 02:31
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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I was just thinking today what it must have been like for those pilots. Never mind the thing about getting shot down.

My aircraft had 100hp. My father's aircraft had 2,000 plus. 3,000 if you pushed the throttle through the wire and the engine was reputed to have more under test (Typhoon). Every flight must have been like holding a double sized grizzly by the tail.

Edited: Yeah, about envy!
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 07:52
  #80 (permalink)  
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The thing that hits you straight away after the engine starts is the noise level. Even with a modern helmet and ANR system the engine noise is loud, and nothing like the sound you hear on the ground, it's far more guttural, overlaid with a whine from the supercharger and may be the prop gear. At low power levels it's the sort of noise you hear from a dragster that's sat idling with open exhaust stacks. Even a modern intercom struggles with all that noise, so I don't believe for a minute all those films you see with the perfect, clipped, English accents using the R/T. My guess is that comms would probably have been challenging at best, and impossible at high power levels.

The cockpit is tight, and not exactly ergonomically laid out. Even wearing a modern, thin, coverall, with a very slimline lifejacket it was a bit restrictive. For those young men dressed in thick sheepskin flying clothing, with a bulky Mae West over the top, it must have been a pretty uncomfortable place to be, especially at low level on a warm summer's day. The rudder pedals are massive cast aluminium affairs, with straps to go over the top of your boots. I can see why the stick has that articulation in roll part way up, without it there wouldn't have been a way to get enough lateral movement between your legs, I think. The controls are very light, just two fingers on that spade grip is all that's needed. If you just think about a turn the aeroplane just seems to do it. The only thing I found took a few minutes to get used to was the lightness in pitch, it was easy to apply just a bit too much back pressure in a turn, and pitch up a bit. I didn't have control on the ground, but got the feeling that things were a heck of a lot harder on the ground than in the air, not least because of all that power up front.



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