Spitfire Flights and Experiences From Goodwood Aerodrome
The Spitfires.com main office and hangar is based at the Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex. As a historic Battle of Britain airfield, it is an ideal location to fly a spitfire. When you also factor in the grass runways and its proximity to the English Channel (just a minute away by Spitfire flight!), you’ll understand why it’s the perfect location to experience flying in a warbird. Our location is a part of the wider Goodwood Estate, a place well-known for events such as the Festival of Speed, The Revival and Glorious Goodwood (now known as the Qatar Goodwood Festival). So, there are plenty of places to eat, drink and even stay should you wish to increase your Goodwood Spitfire experience beyond a day.
The 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. Known as RAF Westhampnett, it was active from July 1940 to May 1946 as a Battle of Britain station, and home to 43, 129, 145, 602 and 616 Squadrons, operating Hawker Hurricanes, P-51 Mustangs, and Supermarine Spitfires.
Flying training began at Goodwood early in 1940 when young pilots were taught operational flying techniques in Hurricanes and Spitfires.
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.