I read about this last night and had to share. The Spitfire is one of the most iconic aircraft to come out of World War II. It’s pilots bravely defended Britain against the Nazi onslaught during the Battle of Britain and the Spitfire became a symbol of British defiance.
There are many Spitfires that still fly to this day (and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing one fly twice).
Recently a millionaire property developer in Britain bought a Spitfire at auction (he paid almost £2 Million – about $3 million) and promised to keep it flying. To make the Spitfire earn its keep, he decided to open a flight school that will train pilots over a long weekend to fly the iconic aircraft and then actually take the controls of one.
Amazing! I know have a new line on my bucket list!
From their website:
Conceived by R.J Mitchell, the Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft of World War II, a classic piece of design that is both beautiful and fit for purpose, that being the 1940′s requirement to defend our skies and our country.
Over 70 years ago brave young men and women trained in what was then the latest technology aircraft, before winning one of the most famous victories in human history, the battle for control of the skies over the UK, the Battle of Britain.
Most modern day pilots dream of experiencing the thrill and the emotion involved with climbing into the seat of a Spitfire, strapping in, hearing the Rolls Royce Merlin engine roar as it whirrs into action and then taking to the skies in this iconic machine, which has become an emblem of our nations freedom.
With only an estimated 35 flying Spitfires remaining out of the more than 21,000 built, and only six two-seaters, it has been a pretty difficult box to tick to date. But 75 years after the first Spitfire took to the skies, the Boultbee Flight Academy now makes this dream a possible reality, giving a new generation the chance to take the controls.
We passionately believe that part of our role as custodians of a Spitfire is to ensure that it continues to grace the skies over the United Kingdom. Our aim at the Boultbee Flight Academy is to keep the memories of a part of our proud British past and heritage alive, whilst also maintaining the engineering and piloting skills required to operate historic warbird aircraft into the future. We feel that the only way to continue to achieve this is to allow the experience to be enjoyed by as many pilots as possible.
So we have been approved by the CAA (in accordance with AIC 39/2011) to carry out training that could lead to you soloing and even displaying the legendary Spitfire aircraft. Although these courses are designed primarily for the lucky few, such as the owners of high performance vintage military aircraft, or prospective owners, or those lucky enough to be selected to fly such aircraft on behalf of their owners, there is another option!
Training packages start at £5800 and go up from there. You have to already be a licensed pilot, however.