Flying With a Spitfire – “Can I arrange for a flight in this aircraft?”

Spitfire Site

Flying With a Spitfire

“Can I arrange for a flight in this aircraft?”

Experiencing the Spitfire in flight remains a dream of a lifetime for many. Here is a comprehensive answer to the question about the availability of Spitfire flights.

Amongst the many emails that I receive through this site, one question returns particularly frequently:

Perhaps you were inspired by recent BBC programmes showing well-known TV reporters taken on a tour in a Spitfire; perhaps you would like to buy a flight in a Spitfire for your beloved’s birthday, or you’re just dying to know what it would be like to fly in such an iconic aircraft. 60 years after its retirement from active service, the Spitfire continues to stir emotions, and experiencing it in flight remains a dream of a lifetime for many.

Your view
[HAC / Stuart Adams – The Flying Photographic Company]

This page is intended to provide a comprehensive answer to the question about Spitfire flights.

Taking a passenger flight

It may sound disappointing – unfortunately there is no possibility for an occasional passenger to take a flight in a Spitfire.

The reason for it is as follows. Despite the fact that many examples of this aircraft are kept in flying condition, the Spitfire continues to top the list of the most sought-after vintage aircraft in the World. With that comes the very high price of acquisition and keeping the aircraft operational. Of the flying Spitfire fleet, only a handful are two-seaters and none of them, either in the UK or in the World, is licensed to take passengers for rides (BBC filmed their shows through special arrangements).

An alternative available in the UK is to arrange a flight in a Harvard trainer or a Tiger Moth. Both are lovely aircraft in their own right, but neither of these can be quite compared to the Spitfire.

If you insist on taking control of a World War II fighter, a company in Florida, USA offers customisation flights on converted two-seater P-51 Mustangs. Again, it’s great, but not a Spitfire, and if you’re not living in the US, it’s rather far away!

Flying with a Spitfire

Now, let’s get on to the good news. You can get up in the air with a real Spitfire in the UK – albeit slightly differently.

UK company Action Stations! located in Kent, a division of A4A Ltd, offers flight experiences in a helicopter for an air to air encounter with a Spitfire. You are taken up into the in the air and formate with a Spitfire for a private ‘air to air’ flying and aerobatic display.

You fly around the Battle of Britain country and the White Cliffs of Dover, safely strapped in the helicopter, but with the option of the doors off (!) and the Spitfire so close that you could almost walk onto it’s wing, and with that Merlin bellowing away… It is bound to be your aviation experience of a lifetime. And it is also my recommended option!

You don’t need to take my word on it. Daily Mail reporter has tried the experience, and his  video review can be found here.

To the best of my knowledge, Action Stations are unique in offering these flights with a Spitfire.

In flight air-to-air Spitfire experiences cost from £175 per person and can be arranged on individual or group basis. Flying is planned for weekends from March to October.

Inquiries can be made directly by phone to Action Stations! at:

+ 44 (0)1227 721929

Opening hours: weekdays 8.30 am – 7.00pm and weekends 10.00 am – 5.00pm
Additional information (and online booking) is available at the Action Stations! website http://goactionstations.co.uk/

Please mention the Spitfire Site when contacting the company.

The Spitfire used for Action Stations! personal air-to-air displays is BM597, a well-known Spitfire Mk. V operated by Historic Aircraft Collection and based at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.

[HAC / Stuart Adams – The Flying Photographic Company]

27 Comments | Add New

By Simon Billing  |  2017-07-22 at 15:58  |  permalink

Hi I was at an auction recently and my wife thought it would be good idea to try and bid up a lot unfortunately the plan backfired and we ended up with it. The experience is for two people flying in two Spitfires in a simulated dogfight with a B109 if you were to buy this it would normally cost £12k (we ended up paying £14k!) if anyone is interested I can offer this at a discount I just need to recoup some of my money!

By Doug Duke  |  2018-08-13 at 08:33  |  permalink

Hi …

Coming into this quite late and probably providing information that is now old and well known.

I came upon this site when doing some catch-up research following the flight I took in “MJ” the 2-seater Spitfire now operating public flights from The Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill airport near Croydon, south of London. You can find everything you need to know at: https://flyaspitfire.com/. For the international curious the cost of the package rounded out to almost exactly $5000.00 Australian Dollars after including the bank charges for international credit card payment.

The pilot on my flight gave an excellent commentary on all aspects of the flight, the operation of the aircraft, the sights to be seen below and in the sky around us. As we discussed before the flight he was happy to fly us around to the full capability of the aircraft under the conditions imposed due to location (rolls, tight turns but no loops due to a height restriction of 2000ft on account of being in the flightpath of Gatwick Airport).

I was invited to take the control column … and accepted … and fly the aircraft for about 5 minutes under his direction – confirmed by his putting his hands inside on the top of the front cockpit canopy.

Worth it ? You bet !! Bloody Magnificent !!

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