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-   -   Anyone here had a flight in a Spitfire? (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/626483-anyone-here-had-flight-spitfire.html)

VP959 19th Oct 2019 19:52

Anyone here had a flight in a Spitfire?
 
Years ago, the inspector overseeing my first kit aircraft build also looked after the Grace Spitfire, and I had a good look around when it was based at Goodwood, and I asked then if there was any chance of a flight, but it was way outside anything I could afford. I've just received a wholly unexpected windfall, and have decided to treat myself for my upcoming birthday, before I get too old.

Looking around, there seem to be several websites offering flights, with all being much of a muchness in terms of price. Ideally, I'd like about an hour's flight time, with an outfit that would allow me a bit of stick time (I REALLY want to add a Spitfire to my logbook!).

Anyone here treated themselves to one of these flights, and able to give any insight as to how the various companies offering flights compare?

felixflyer 19th Oct 2019 19:58

John Romain's company at Headcorn do flights. I'm not sure how much stick time you get but if you are going to fly in a Spit then doing so over the white cliffs of Dover surely adds to the experience.

VP959 19th Oct 2019 21:07


Originally Posted by felixflyer (Post 10598573)
John Romain's company at Headcorn do flights. I'm not sure how much stick time you get but if you are going to fly in a Spit then doing so over the white cliffs of Dover surely adds to the experience.

Thanks, I bet it does! I've flown from Headcorn, as a stepping off point to cross the channel, years ago, be nice to go back there again.

Interesting that they also seem to have a Devon, an A/C close to my own heart (hence my username here...).

Russell Gulch 19th Oct 2019 21:10

The only thing worst than not having a flight in a Spitfire would be having a flight in the back seat of a Spitfire. Baggage, moi?
Not intersted unless its the only seat of a single seater.
{Grumpy guts)

VP959 19th Oct 2019 21:12


Originally Posted by Russell Gulch (Post 10598618)
The only thing worst than not having a flight in a Spitfire would be having a flight in the back seat of a Spitfire. Baggage, moi?
Not intersted unless its the only seat of a single seater.
{Grumpy guts)

Not going happen for us mere mortals, though, is it? I'll happily take second best.

NutLoose 19th Oct 2019 21:35


Interesting that they also seem to have a Devon
Ex BBMF one, I've worked on that in the past so you might want to reconsider that ;) :p

Boultbee allow you to fly theirs

https://www.boultbeeflightacademy.co.uk/

also airleasing at Sywell, spit, mustang or 109

https://www.warbirdflights.co.uk/

Steepclimb 19th Oct 2019 21:54

OK, total repost. I once wanted to do it. My wife was onside the money was there but I sabotaged myself.

Duh!

Russell Gulch 19th Oct 2019 21:55


Originally Posted by VP959 (Post 10598620)
. I'll happily take second best.

To be honest, VP, I'll not be dithered to by some arse in a growbag and pretend-badges purporting to be a WWII Spitfire pilot whose parents were still in nappies back then.

If I get offered a rear seat, you can have it or someone else can. I'll wait my turn for the correct seat, and fly it quite well wearing a tie.

Russell (old school)

:)

VP959 19th Oct 2019 22:03


Originally Posted by Steepclimb (Post 10598640)
When I inherited some money from my Mother I seriously considered flying in a Spitfire, not just flying but getting checked out, Apologies to the non aviation people here, (but what are you doing on a nerdy pilots website?)
Anyway it never happened.
My wife, well that's says it all.

Guess I'll have to live for a lottery win. As in never.

By coincidence, my windfall is an unexpected inheritance from my Mother. I took her flying years ago, as she'd not flown since she was a WAAF radio operator in the late 1940's, and had a whale of a time. Her last flight before that had been in an Anson. I also inherited an album of old photos, and she'd put all the photos she had of me flying after all her own flying photos from decades earlier, I had no idea that she'd done this until after she died.

It sort of justifies me treating myself to a flight in a type I've always wanted to fly. When we lived South of Chichester, it was during the time that Carolyn Grace was working up for displays, and our first summer there was serenaded by the glorious sound of her putting ML407 through it's paces right overhead. I've just spotted that it's possible to get a flight in ML407, so that has to be a firm favourite.

Luckily SWMBO is all in favour of me doing this; she knows full well that it's an A/C I've always longed to fly, and has bought me a couple of bits of Spitfire memorabilia as presents over the years, including a print of ML407.

NutLoose 19th Oct 2019 22:55

Mate, you are only "young" once and if it is your dream, go for it. And stuff what anyone else thinks.
Strangely in my past I had access to a Spit and people I knew who had dreams of just being close to, touching and the perhaps the pinnacle of sitting in one would email or pm me on different forums and even though it was just another aircraft as far as I was concerned, if I could I made it happen for them, I did, and my reward was the dumb grin from ear to ear of those involved.

UniFoxOs 20th Oct 2019 08:48

Please let us know the outcome of your deliberations, as well as the actual event, whatever it happens to be. I hope to come in to some money in the not too distant future...

Chuck Glider 20th Oct 2019 08:50

Closest I ever got. or will get, was a few years ago when a Spit came to Inverness for a display at Fort George. A bunch of us rec. flyers crowded round to drink it in and I was astonished when I was invited to get into the cockpit.

VP959 20th Oct 2019 09:06


Originally Posted by UniFoxOs (Post 10598885)
Please let us know the outcome of your deliberations, as well as the actual event, whatever it happens to be. I hope to come in to some money in the not too distant future...

Will do. At the moment it's a toss up between ML407 at Sywell, just because I had a look around it for an hour so years ago, and used to enjoy Carolyn Grace practising displays overhead our old house in Earnley, or MJ627/MJ727 from Biggin Hill, as the latter offers a flight over the White Cliffs of Dover. Both seem to offer the opportunity to actually fly the aircraft for a time.

treadigraph 20th Oct 2019 09:21

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).

I too will stump up the cash for a ride should I be able.

rog747 20th Oct 2019 09:22

Next is a Spit on my bucket list - got to lose some weight though - Will likely book to fly from Headcorn or Goodwood

Was lucky to fly in the Canadian LANC when she was over in 2014 - awesome !

pulse1 20th Oct 2019 09:43

A member of our Group flew in the Goodwood Spitfire (now at Lee in Solent) and was given plenty of stick time. The pilot seemed delighted to have someone who was happy to indulge in aerobatics as most of their passengers don't and it must be quite frustrating flying around straight and level all day in a Spit. My friend tried to get them to take his friend who is completely blind and they refused but he managed to get him an hour in the Biggin Spitfire as they would take him as long as he could show that he could get out unaided. Apparently he thoroughly enjoyed some hands on flying for an hour and is planning to go again soon.

slowjet 20th Oct 2019 10:36

Much admired colleague of mine developed a terminal disease. His fellow associates clubbed together and bought him the ride. Don't know where though. Another mate had his ride bought by wifey for his 60th (blimey, might even have been 70th), sorry, don't know where either. Both enjoyed it immensely and the latter sent me a full vid of the event. I enjoyed the ride too but from the safety of my office chair & lap-top controls. Still spilled my tea though as I got well into the mindset and suffered an unexpected loop ! Memsahib threatening the same gift has been thwarted. I'd rather lunch at Mazanno's in Town. I mean, back of a spit, upside down, blacking out and bod in front has a heart attack. I mean, howdoya get out, at any stage ? Much prefer an attractive popsy screaming........" Brace Brace....keep your head down ! " VP959, go for it and enjoy the moment.

treadigraph 20th Oct 2019 12:46


Originally Posted by rog747 (Post 10598910)
Next is a Spit on my bucket list - got to lose some weight though

Think I'll have to as well. Someone told me max weight for rear cockpit is about 200lbs.

VP959 20th Oct 2019 13:05


Originally Posted by treadigraph (Post 10599047)
Think I'll have to as well. Someone told me max weight for rear cockpit is about 200lbs.

Looks like the rear seat max is 105kgs, so about 231lbs. Health-wise you need to be to current driving licence standard, but nothing more onerous. It seems the main concern is being fit and able enough to open the canopy, unstrap and bale out if the unthinkable happens. Thankfully I'm now back down to about 84kg, so well inside the limit.

ChrisVJ 20th Oct 2019 20:14

Not a ride in a Spitfire but after I did some work on his house son bought me a ride in the B25 that was visiting. Nothing quite like any other aircraft I have been in (from Anson to Searey or as SLF in modern jets.) Clearly designed for the job and little consideration given to smooth or civil. Just running up at end of runway gave the impression the tail was going to fall off!


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