You’ll hardly meet a veteran pilot who’ll say no to the chance of flying a genuine World War II Spitfire, but woe of all woes, only the wealthy or lucky few have realised that dream. That is, until now. Thanks to the world being more open-minded (not to mention more open to taking calculated risks), pilots of all sorts—and even non-pilots—can now take their place in a Spitfire cockpit and fly.
Wounded service personnel—the most worthy of all
They have served the nation, virtually risking their lives for every moment in service flight for the country’s good. It’s time to give them the honour they richly deserve. These are sentiments echoed by Prince Harry when he initiated a scholarship that gives wounded veterans the chance to take on a Spitfire flight solo during the 75th Battle of Britain Anniversary on September 2015. After months of selection, two winners were announced last November. The Endeavour Fund website provides more info on the announcement:
Two candidates have been selected to take on The Spitfire Scholarship for injured service personnel. Nathan Forster and Corporal Alan Robinson will begin training out of Boultbee Flight Academy this autumn. Launched by Prince Harry in February this year, the Spitfire Scholarship for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans has been supported by The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, and is being delivered by the Boultbee Flight Academy.
Nathan and Alan were chosen after successfully completing the rigorous selection process which involved initial flying training with two disabled flying charities, Aerobility and Flying for Freedom as well as a weekend of flight and aptitude testing aided by expertise from RAF Cranwell’s Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre. Prince Harry had the opportunity to meet Nathan and Alan during a visit to Boultbee Flight Academy in the summer.
You too can take on Spitfire flights
What could possibly compare with flying a Spitfire? Not just sitting as a passenger, but actually taking the controls of one? Can you imagine yourself doing aerobatics, swirling and tumbling with victory rolls through the clear blue sky? Like the fortunate servicemen mentioned above, you too have the chance to take to the skies in the very same planes that flew over Britain 75 years ago. All you need is a pilot’s licence, a few thousand pounds, and a proud sense of history.
Flight academies in UK now offer Spitfire pilot courses
Flight academies like Boultbee Flight Academy offers Spitfire pilot courses at different levels of difficulty. Get in touch with one of their representative to learn what it takes to fly solo in a Spitfire today.
(Source: Spitfire Scholarship: Winners Announced, Endeavour Fund, Nov. 11, 2014)