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ABOUT SPITFIRES.COM

We are a company of passionate Supermarine Spitfire experts who believe it is essential to keep Spitfires flying in order to commemorate the iconic aircraft’s exceptional World War 2 history.

 

Set up in 2010 Spitfires.com, formerly Boultbee Flight Academy, has become a leader in the Spitfire world creating a number of industry reforming regulatory changes and successfully delivering some word's first Spitfire experience products and events. We were the first company in the world to gain Academy status allowing us to train Spitfire pilots in two seat spitfires for remuneration. We created the mechanism and subsequently were the first company in the world approved to take paying passengers in the back of a two seat Spitfires for Spitfire flight experiences. We also hold a world record as the first company to successfully fly a Spitfire around the world, the Silver Spitfire.

At Spitfires.com we offer members of the public the opportunity to experience a flight in a two seat Spitfire from £2975. We offer training to pilots who want to learn to fly the Spitfire. We have the world’s only 100% original cockpit Spitfire simulator so non-pilots can have the experience of flying a single seat Spitfire. We offer opportunities to fly in formation alongside a Spitfire. And we can display the Spitfire at Airshows or private events such as weddings and funerals. Backing up all of this flying activity we have a very experienced inhouse engineering team who conduct all of the maintenance required to keep these Spitfires in the air. Our Spitfires are all original WW2 veterans each with varying amounts of wartime history and now maintained to a level comfortably higher than they ever have been before. We fly from seven locations around the United Kingdom and Channel Islands, always from airfields with their own wartime history, and selected for the enhancement of the experience we offer. This could mean flying to the White Cliffs of Dover from the grass runways at our headquarters at Goodwood Aerodrome, to flying over the Lake District from our North of England base at Leeds East, to flying the Spitfire through the Highlands from our Scotland base in Perth, or simply flying closer to home in our bases at Solent, Dunkeswell, Jersey or Bournemouth.

Whichever Spitfire experience you choose, from the flight of a lifetime in a two seat Spitfire to a display for your daughter’s wedding, you’ll be looked after by our customer service focused team of office staff, pilots, operations staff, engineers and volunteers. But don’t take our word for it - see the reviews below which have earnt us five stars and a Travellers' Choice Award from Trip Advisor year after year.

Goodwood Aerodrome, WEST SUSSEX - HQ

ABOUT & HISTORY

Goodwood Aerodrome airfield was created on Goodwood Estate land which was donated by Freddie March, the 9th Duke of Richmond, the renowned amateur racer and aircraft engineer to assist the war effort. As RAF Westhampnett, it was active from July 1940 to May 1946 as a Battle of Britain station, and later home to over 46 squadrons, operating Hawker Hurricanes, Hawker Typhoons, and  many of the various marks of Supermarine Spitfires.  Most of the Squadrons who flew at Goodwood operated the Spitfire including Polish, New Zealand, Canadian, American, Free French and Belgian Squadrons as well as British.  The charismatic Douglas Bader flew his last wartime flight from Westhampnett during which he had to abandon his stricken Spitfire over Northern France. Today a full-size bronze statue stands as a tribute to Bader at Goodwood. It was also from RAF Westhampnett that the first operational sorties by the Fighter Groups of the US 8th Air Force flew in combat with the allies, one of the first sorties being the infamous Dieppe raid. Many pilots from the war commented on how they felt that Westhampnett was home from home.  Indeed many waxed lyrical about the beautiful local countryside which helped them relax after sorties. From the South downs to Chichester harbour, the pilots enjoyed the many local benefits. 

Driving out to pubs at Bosham Harbour or heading into historic Chichester for entertainment. Goodwood, much the same today, it  is well placed for access  to great scenery, horse racing, motor racing, sailing, theatre or just soaking up the historic landmarks.  Not only is it a great place to fly, your straight into the skies that were under threat from Daily Luftwaffe raids during the battle of Britain, but also the scene of many furious combats between Spitfires, Hurricanes and Me 109s. Spitfires chasing Ju87 Stuka dive bombers out across the coast, after attacking nearby RAF Tangmere. If you want Battle of Britain skies and scenery then fly in one of our Spitfires from a grass Battle of Britain airfield, time travel back to 1940!

Goodwood Location
Solent Location

LEE ON SOLENT Aerodrome, HAMPSHIRE

ABOUT & HISTORY

Lee on Solent has a long association with the Seafire, the naval version of the  Spitfire as well as having RAF and American Navy units operating Spitfires. In early 1944, the main home based units were from the Fleet Air Arm’s 885, 808, 886 and 897 Squadrons equipped with  the Seafire L III, fitted with a merlin 55m. Later on, towards the build up for D-Day, 26 and 63 Squadrons from the RAF moved in, as well as The US Navy VCS-7s squadron operating Spitfire Mk Vs. The RAF units formed 34 Reconnaissance Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force. HMS Daedalus was the busiest airfield on the South Coast during D-Day as the RAF were joined by Canadian Typhoons and Mustangs who also flew support sorties. On the 6 June 1944, the first aircraft to take part in Operation Overlord from Lee-on-Solent took off towards the Normandy beach head. The Spitfires worked in pairs, with one aircraft  spotting naval gunnery targets, while the other provided fighter cover to prevent Luftwaffe fighters attacking. The number of sorties deployed from HMS Daedalus for Operation Overlord was 435. This number was the largest achieved by any UK airfield on D-Day.

The Spitfire pilots of 1944, taking off on sorties for D-Day were best placed for a direct route to Normandy, up over the majestic Solent, looking out to the Isle of wight. Looking down on the invasion fleet and support ships, having left from Portsmouth and Southampton docks. Just imagine the unprecedented scene unfolding below the wing of the Spitfire as they set course over the  glistening waves  The airfield is right on the beach, with local access to Portsmouth and Southampton and the historic naval dockyard. The scenery out over the Isle of Wight and to the Needles was a daily vista for the wartime pilots but now you can enjoy the scenery from the rear seat of one of our Spitfires with  no risk of being harangued by enemy aircraft. 

DUNKESWELL Aerodrome, EAST DEVON

View of a Spitfire plane flying across the countryside, from above.

ABOUT & HISTORY

Dunkeswell Airfield was built between 1942 & 1943 by George Wimpey and Co and following its completion it was initially occupied by the Consolidated  Liberator B24s of the USAAF 479th Anti Submarine Squadron and then by the US Navy who flew Consolidated Catalina flying boats. It was the only US Naval Airbase in Europe. who undertook U boat hunting in the Bay of Biscay. During this period of occupation by the Americans, the squadron found  and attacked 65 U boats, sinking 7 and damaging another 11.  They also took the surrender of another 5  at a cost of  23 Aircraft & 178 men. Within a stones throw of our operating base is the very famous Uppotery Airfield which you will see during the flight. Upottery was one of two Devonshire bases from which the 101st Airborne Division embarked  in C47s, heading into action on the night of June 5th 1944 as part of the D-Day invasion. 

Taking off from Dunkeswell, your straight into the heart of Devon, and almost immediately can see the Jurassic coast stretching out and down to Waymouth. The British Riviera within easy flying reach of our Spitfires.

Nearby Exeter airport was home to many Spitfire Squadrons including 315 Squadron, whom operated our two-seater BS410. The local area was home to many squadrons during the war carrying out a variety of roles, from the air defence of the South West, to U boat patrols and convoy protection on the western approaches. Witnessing the scenery from a rear seat of our Spitfire in this beautiful part of the country  is such an unforgettable experience. Weather you are interested in the military history aspects or just want to be blown away by the sheer beauty of England at its finest, this is a fabulous location.

Dunkeswell Location

LEEDS EAST AIRPORT, YORKSHIRE

Back view of the Leeds Spitfire aircraft hangar
WW2 memorial in Leeds.
The Leeds aircraft hangar with grey tin roof surrounded by grass.

ABOUT & HISTORY

RAF Church Fenton (Leeds East) was opened on 1st April 1937, it was part of the RAF’s massive pre-war expansion program, in response to Hitler’s move to increase the strength of the German armed forces. Initially designed as a fighter base from the outset, with the task of protecting the industrial regions of Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Humberside. During this period, the airfield was home to many squadrons and aircraft types, such as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mosquitoes, Blenheims, Beaufighters, Typhoons and Mustangs. As with all of the RAF, inevitably a number of Church Fenton aircrew paid the ultimate price in the defence of Britain. From the start of the war, until August 1940, Church Fenton was a sector station in 13 Group, seeing many battle-scarred fighter squadrons passing through as well as resting before working up to operational status. It was to later become a night-fighter Operational Training Unit with 54 OTU forming at Church Fenton. Between May 1942 and the end of the war, squadrons were employed on offensive sorties on targets in northern Europe, but also carrying out defensive sorties aiming to stop local cities being bombed by German intruders with the DH Mosquito night fighter.

Post World War 2 it remained an RAF station seeing squadrons of Meteors through to the Hawker Hunter in residence. The very last Spitfire operator was 609 Squadron in 1950 who arrived with their Spitfire XVI. Getting airborne from Leeds East, your close to the historic city of York and can soon see out towards the Humber Estuary. The East coast and route through to the industrial towns in the Midlands  and Yorkshire were regular  targets of the Luftwaffe as well as the airfields in Lincolnshire. RAF Church Fenton was well placed to offer some defence against marauding bombers heading in from Norway and later night fighters lingering around the bomber airfields. Getting airborne in one of our Spitfires from Church Fenton, you can head out towards the historic port of Grimsby and scenic East Coast, a route regularly patrolled by the RAF during WW2. Or head up towards the impressive Yorkshire moors.  South, you can head into Derbyshire and Ladybower reservoir, which is also another landmark that is worth a visit, the site of many practice runs by the legendary 617 squadron in their Lancasters, preparing for the Dambusters raid.

Leeds East Location

JERSEY AIRPORT, CHANNEL ISLANDS

ABOUT & HISTORY

The States of Jersey decided to build an airport which opened on 10 March 1937 with four grass runways, the longest being 2,940 ft with a concrete centreline. In early March 1940 the British Admiralty took over Jersey airport, to use as a Naval Air Station, known as RNAS Jersey. However, due to the German occupation of France and the proximity to the Channel Islands, the Government concluded the Islands weren't defendable and the Naval Air Squadrons were withdrawn on 31 May 1940 with RNAS Jersey closing on the same day.  On 1st  July 1940 the Island was occupied by German forces.

The  Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944 marked a new chapter in the Second World War, one that had a profound effect on life in channel islands. the Germans had been in occupation for four years, but freedom was a way off. Islanders could see and hear planes flying overhead and the fighting on the French coast, but for 11 months liberation remained cruelly  out of reach. 

Small but mighty, this is the only location that we fly from that we can circumnavigate on one of our shortest flights , meaning flying over your house or hotel is almost guaranteed on every flight if so required. Witnessing the scenery from a rear seat of our Spitfire in this beautiful part of the world  is such an unforgettable experience, whether it be St Ouens Bay, the marina in St Helier, or one of the many historical landmarks that fill the island such as Grosnez Castle, Elizabeth Castle or the Lighthouse at La Corbière. Flights will be conducted from The Jersey Aero Club, a well known and well loved centre for General Aviation on the Island.

Jersey Location
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