For many pilots and aviation enthusiasts the idea 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 than at any other time since World War II.
Scroll down if you want to go straight to the list of experiences and prices.
Spitfire Flights – What are the options?
There are three main ways in which you can enjoy this ultimate aviation experience:
- Flying lesson in a Spitfire. You are the pilot under training and you log the time as PU/T in your logbook.
- Pleasure flight in a Spitfire. You enjoy a flight as a passenger with all that it involves.
- Fly alongside a Spitfire. You are in another aircraft and you and the other passengers get to film and photograph the Spitfire as it flies in formation.
Learning to fly a Spitfire
This is now possible thanks to training schemes offered by the Boultbee 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 to in 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 time logged.
They also teach formation and display flying. Prices are what you would expect for being taught by talented instructors in rare and expensive vintage aircraft. If you want to know the price then you probably can’t afford it but if money is plentiful then pop along and have a chat with them.
Pleasure Flights in a Spitfire
If you’re not looking to be taught how to fly the aircraft and simply want to enjoy the experience then there are two main options.
The aforementioned Boultbee Academy offer several Spitfire flights packages; 30 minute or longer flights 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 Spitfire ML407 which is based at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. Email the owners for details. You may have a long wait but the sooner you get on the waiting list the sooner your name will reach the top.
If you’re based in London or the south east you could visit the historic airfield Biggin Hill in Kent. ‘Biggin on the Bump’ (because it’s on a hill) has a long history that dates back to the dawn of aviation. It was a strategically important and very busy fighter base during the Battle of Britain.
The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar provides all kinds of experiences including Spitfire pleasure flights. Other options are in the list at the end of this post.
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 and therefore several companies offer this service. It is a very popular gift idea for special birthdays and other anniversaries, or just a treat for no other reason that it’s on your bucket list.
One of the more affordable options is to buy a seat on another aircraft. The Spitfire then flies alongside and in formation with your aircraft so that you can film and photography 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 friends for years to come.
Flights in formation with a Spitfire are available in Goodwood, Biggin Hill, Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent, and at Duxford Airfield near Cambridge, where some packages include a visit to the vast Imperial War Museum of aircraft.
Ultimate List of Spitfire Experiences in the UK
The flights and experiences are listed in descending order of price, from £22,000 to £20.
- Exclusive group package that includes up to 8 Spitfire flights and tours of the Heritage Hangars at Biggin Hill in Kent for up to 25 people. £22,000.00
- One or two day Spitfire training at Duxford in Cambridgeshire. Includes flights in three different aircraft and final flight in two seat Spitfire. £5,495.00
- Ultimate Spitfire flight training experience including flights in a Tiger Moth and a Harvard. Available in Headcorn in Kent or Sywell in Northamptonshire. £5,395.00
- Fly in a two seat Spitfire over the white cliffs at Dover or Beachy Head, taking off from Biggin Hill, Kent. £3,750.00
- A flight in a two seat Spitfire along the south coast, taking from West Sussex. £2,750
- Combine a flight in a two seat Spitfire with a Heritage Hangar tour. Biggin Hill, Kent. £2,750.00
- A flight in a Harvard that flies in formation with a Spitfire for that thrilling air to air experience. Duxford, Cambridge. £1,395.00
- The Dambusters Spitfire flight in which you fly in formation with a Spitfire aboard a de Havilland Devon passenger plane. £789.00
- Fly in formation aboard a de Havilland Dragon Rapide with a Spitfire Mk1a. Meet the pilot. Duxford, Cambridge. £579.00
- Fly in formation with a Spitfire aboard a de Havilland Devon passenger plane, taking off from Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. £579.00
- Fly in formation with a Spitfire and a Hurricane aboard a de Havilland Devon passenger plane, taking off from Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. £499.00
- Fly wing to wing with a Spitfire aboard a de Havilland Dragon Rapide, and visit the extensive IWM museum in Duxford, Cambridge. £399.00
- A 20 minute flight alongside a stunning Spitfire, taking off from Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire £399.00
- Fly over Leeds Castle with a Spitfire leading the way as you watch from aboard a de Havilland Devon. Headcorn, Kent £399.00
- World War II Spitfire and Messerschmitt Flight Simulator Experience (extended) – 60 minutes in Bedfordshire. £125
- World War II Spitfire and Messerschmitt Flight Simulator Experience – 30 minutes in Bedfordshire. £70
- A guided tour of the Heritage Hangars at Biggin Hill with an optional upgrade to sit in the cockpit of a Spitfire. £69.00
- Meet the Mk26b Spitfire (90% scale, new-built replicas) with a tour of the production facility at Enstone Aerodrome, Oxfordshire £49.00
- Classic Spitfire Simulator Experience. 30 minutes, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. £20
- Adopt a Spitfire and Support the MK26B Spitfire project. Includes a visit to the Spitfire Club hangar £20.00
Alternatively, choose a Spitfire flight or experience by location.
So you see there’s an option for every budget. Make that dream come true and book the experience today!