As winner of the Fly with a Spitfire raffle I thought it only fair to recite the day’s events. With the flying season coming to a close the only booking I could make was for Sunday 25th September at 11 am. The booking was made with the Boultbee Flying Academy based at Goodwood Aerodrome, near Chichester, West Sussex. Boultbee have on their inventory a Mk XI Spitfire, named City of Exeter. They have another Spitfire, not sure what version but could be a TR9, this Spitfire can carry two pilots, ie; dual controls which they use to train pilots to fly Spitfires. They have a Mustang too, although on this specific day it was not seen and other aircraft, a DH Chipmunk in original RAF training school livery for instance.
I offered some seats in my car for the day to members and Phil Coupe took one up. So, early on Sunday 25th at 8 am we set off for Goodwood, a 100 minute drive. I was expected to be at the flight school for 10 am for briefing. With about 40 minutes spare Phil and myself strolled over to the “Old Watch Tower” now a cafe for breakfast.
- Passing Over Chichester Passing Over Chichester
- Flying alongside the Spitfire Flying alongside the Spitfire
- Fast Fly By Fast Fly By
- Hovering over Tangmere Hovering over Tangmere
Back on the ground we then walk back to the apron where the Spitfire is already parked up. We are given time to look around it and speak to the pilot. I had loads of questions to ask, one being, “Was it a bit of struggle to fly so slowly alongside the helicopter? No not a struggle but John said he need to keep the nose up attitude and continuous movement of the stick. The plane wanted and is designed to go some. I mentioned that I had model warbirds and a Spitfire but they all had some nose over and narrow track issues. John said that it was the same with the full size, plus or minus 5 knots on landing and you make it interesting for yourself!
Well that ‘s it except while we were in Chichester we might as well visit the Tangmere Air Museum, which I had passed thousands of times and never made an effort to go in and see. Very interesting and has a beautiful silver Lightning in the main hangar with missiles attached and machine cannons.
A video of the flight can be viewed here:Flying with a Spitfire