On September 15th 2015, 75 years after the day considered as the day in which the Battle of Britain was won the clouds finally parted to allow the 35 amassed warbirds from all over the world to take off from Goodwood. In small wings of between 2 and 8 aircraft they spread across the south of the UK in order to commemorate this great day. Boultbee Flight Academy was very proud to have organised this event in co-operation with the Goodwood Estate and we're very pleased to be able to say that on this occasion all aircraft made it home safely.
Prince Harry attended the event with the intention of flying himself but a technical issue with one of the two seat spitfires meant that there was one seat less available for passengers so he gallantly stepped down allowing one of the scholars from the Spitfire Scholarship to take his place. Instead he stayed on the ground to help Dermot O'Leary present the live Channel 4 was covering the event.
Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC then 96 years old was flown by Boultbee Flight Academy's Matt Jones as a part of an 8 ship formation that flew over the white cliff's of the Needles as a part of its route. Matt described the flight as the greatest honour of his flying career and was overjoyed that with Tom having survived the Battle of Britain and the rest of WW2 that he had brought him home safely. Actually it was one of the best landings we've seen him do which makes us think that it was really Tom who was at the controls!
The night before the event all the pilots and engineers were hosted at Goodwood house by Lord and March for a fabulous evening that saw Tom recount his experiences as a Battle of Britain pilot, one of The Few, a speech which captured the minds and hearts of the silent audience.