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]

25 Comments | Add New

By Shaz  |  2011-10-07 at 17:14  |  permalink

HI,

I’M WONDERING IF ANYONE CAN HELP ME… FOR MY DADS BIRTHDAY PRESENT ME AND MY FAMILY WOULD REALLY LOVE TO GET HIM A FLIGHT IN A SPITFIRE… HE LOVES THEM AND IT WOULD MEAN THE WORLD TO HIM.. PUT A SMILE BACK ON HIS FACE… I’VE HEARD YOU CAN GO TO AMERICA FOR IT BUT THATS JUST CRAZY SO CAN ANYONE HELP IS THERE ANYWHERE OR ANYONE IN ENGLAND THAT WOULD TAKE YOU UP IN ONE… I DONT CARE HOW MUCH IT IS. THANKS

By Luis  |  2011-12-20 at 10:13  |  permalink

Hi Sir sorry to replay this post too late, as you see in this page, it is impossible to fly as a passenger in spitfire, But I Dare myself to suggest to you a beautifull game you could get for your dear Father, here are a lot of people mature virtuall pilots only, but real pilots too, you can sellect in 3 different planes Spitfire and experience a really close fly over different escennaries, the name is Wings of Prey available in YUPLAY and STEAM 2 different places to buy the game simulator more real you could immagine, already you had ? good if not please be my guest, Humbly a friend 50 years old…Saludos and sorry my english

By John D  |  2012-12-07 at 17:23  |  permalink

This is a company in Colorado offering flights for $2,500 for 45 mins

http://tigerairways.co.uk/spitfire-flights.html

By Frazer  |  2013-01-20 at 03:33  |  permalink

John
Do you happen to know if this is still available. It looks like their site is down?

By Don Malpass  |  2013-05-13 at 10:52  |  permalink

I as well as hundreds of others in the UK would love the experience of a flight in a Spitfire, I was quite willing to pay around $5,000 to take a trip in the Colorado plane but have been told this morning that it will be at least 2 more years to complete a major overhaul. I am 75 and still don’t know wether to put my name forward !
Certain ‘legislation’ in this country precludes flights in the uk planes. What I would like to know is what ‘Special arrangements’ for BBC staff entail.
Regards Don.

By Lyn Keohane  |  2013-06-17 at 11:27  |  permalink

Dear Don

I have access to a ride in a Spitfire which has been offered to me so we can raise money for a young lad who needs sponsorship.. This is not something that is available commercially, but the guy (family friend) who owns/flies the spitfire is offering this as a way for us to raise money for the training of this young lad. This is a one-off opportunity so please let me know if you are interested. Regards. Lyn

By Chris  |  2013-09-04 at 05:32  |  permalink

Lyn,
I’ve only just come across this thread but if you still have access to a ride in a Spitfire then let me know as I have a dream that needs fulfilling!! Thanks!

By steve osborne  |  2013-10-14 at 13:05  |  permalink

Hi Lyn,
I just saw your reply and I have a similar impossible dream to meet for my wife’s 40th – she has been obsessed with spitfires since a little girl – often writing to the living WWII pilots for their experiences – for her to actually ride in one of the rare 2 seaters would be incredible.
If there were any way on earth you could help I would grateful beyond description. I would be happy to make a substantial donation to your charitable cause and cover all costs of the flight.
Kind regards,
Steve.

By Mike Dawson  |  2013-10-30 at 21:05  |  permalink

Hello Lyn, I would be interested in flying in the 2 Seater Spitfire.Please could you let me know if this is still available ? Thanks.Kind Regards, Mike.

By Tony Mitchell  |  2014-07-05 at 13:15  |  permalink

Hi Lyn,
I’ve just come across your link and I would be happy to discuss sponsorship if the offer is still open in exchange for a Spitfire ride. As you can see from my name I share the same surname as the planes designer, R J Mitchell, and I am still working to find out what the family connection must be. Ever since growing up in the 50’s/60’s this would be a boyhood dream come true if it could happen! Hope to hear back from you.

By Paul Nolan  |  2013-11-10 at 22:30  |  permalink

Hi Don,

I am a little younger than you but also wish to take a ride of a lifetime in a spitfire.
I can tell you that there is a two seater Spitfire that can take passenger flights at the Ardmore airfield in Auckland, New Zealand if you wish to make the trip.
It is in service and available at the rate of NZD 3.750 for a 25 minute flight.

All the best.

Regards,
Paul Nolan

By IAN DEARNALEY  |  2013-06-04 at 06:33  |  permalink

Why not settle for a ride in a P51 Mustang at Caboolture just north of Brisbane. .New Packard Merlin installed last year, can pull up to 4 g’s and do aerobatics if you wish. Costs just under $100/minute airtime, I am one of the volunteer ground crew – and we have fun with people coming from all over the world to fly in it. Check website above, cheers, Ian.

By Graham Granville  |  2013-06-17 at 11:26  |  permalink

Hi

To any interested party. I actually have a Flight as a Passenger in a Spitfire available. Flies from Duxord and has been donated as a sponsorship deal. This is actually the only one available in the World and is only available through a kind friend who owns the plane.

Please mail me on graham.granville@yahoo.co.uk if interested.

Thanks

Graham Granville

By Mike  |  2013-09-15 at 23:51  |  permalink

Stumbled onto this thread will surfing,

You can ride in a two seater Supermarine Spitfire in NZ. There was a recent Civil Aviation Authority legislation change which enables Adventure Aviation Flights.I often see it flying over my house when it is down in Wellington.

No idea about cost etc but know you can book it

http://www.warbird.co.nz/

New Comment