Spitfire Flights & Experiences

Spitfire flights and experiences are often on the wish list of many, aviators and non-aviators alike. For many pilots and aviation enthusiasts the thought of being able to fly in a Spitfire is probably on their bucket list, if not at the top of it.

With the restoration of these thoroughbred warbirds at an all time high, Spitfire flights are more easily obtained today than at any other time since World War II.  There are three main ways in which you can enjoy this ultimate aviation experience.

  • First, a flying lesson in a Spitfire in which you are the pilot under training and you log the time as PU/T in your logbook.
  • Second, a pleasure flight in a Spitfire in which you enjoy a flight as a passenger in the rear of a two-seat Spitfire.
  • Third, fly alongside a Spitfire.  In this case you are in another aircraft and you and the other passengers get to film and photograph the Spitfire as it flies in formation with your aircraft.
  • A fourth option is a session in a very realistic Spitfire simulator.

Spitfire Flying Lessons

A flying lesson in a Spitfire could be the start of a type conversion leading to eventual solo flying and being type rated to fly this aircraft.  This is now possible thanks to training schemes offered by the Boultbee Flight Academy who are based at Goodwood Airfield in West Sussex.

Boultbee offer all kinds of instruction; starting with the appreciation of flying other vintage aircraft like the Chipmunk, Tiger Moth, and Harvard.  Then moving on to lessons in a Spitfire and conversion courses for experienced pilots.

The prerequisites are that you already have a current SEP PPL and at least 1,000 hours of PIC time logged.

Spitfire Pleasure Flights

If you’re not looking to be taught how to fly the aircraft and simply want to enjoy the experience then there are several options.  The aforementioned Boultbee Flight Academy offer several Spitfire flight packages.

For example, 30 minutes or longer flights for one, and flights for two people during which the aircraft fly in formation with each other.  Flights are available from Goodwood and from Exeter and start at £2,750 for 30 minutes.  Another option is the two seat ‘Grace’ Spitfire ML407, which is based at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire.

If you’re based in London or the south east you could visit the historic Biggin Hill airfield in Kent.  The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar provides all kinds of flight experiences including Spitfire pleasure flights.  They also offer tours around their heritage hangars, during which you can experience a close-up view of the aircraft.

Flights in formation with a Spitfire are also available at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent, and at Duxford Airfield, Cambridge, where some packages include a visit to the Imperial War Museum of aviation. See links below for details.

Fly Alongside A Spitfire

There are plenty more opportunities for those who would like to fly alongside a Spitfire in another aircraft.  There is a higher demand for this and therefore several companies offer the experience.  It is a very popular gift idea for special birthdays and other anniversaries, or just a treat for no other reason than it’s on your wish list.

Once aboard the other aircraft and in a suitably scenic position over the English landscape, the Spitfire flies alongside and in formation with your aircraft so that you can film and photograph to your heart’s content.

This is an excellent opportunity to see a Spitfire in close formation and the footage and images you capture are unforgettable.  They will form a lasting memory of an event that will delight you and your friends for years to come.

Spitfire Flight Simulator Experience

How about pairing up with a friend and enjoying a realistic Spitfire and Messerschmitt simulator dogfight for two? You’ll have to decide which of you flies the Spitfire MK9 and who flies the Messerschmitt BF109. This experience is available in Bedfordshire.  If you’d rather fly alone then 30 minute slots in the simulator are also available.

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