Posted by: sunshack | November 5, 2016

Spitfire

I recently took a flight in a World War Two Spitfire. It was an amazing experience. I flew in this plane.

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MJ627 is a WW2 Veteran, flown by the Canadian Airforce and was stationed in Belgium. My flight was organised by the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar who offer flights to the public during good weather.

A choice of routes are available, and it’s possible to fly as far as the Spitfire Memorial on top of the White Cliffs of Dover.

The weather for my flight was perfect, still air and light clouds. There is an extensive safety briefing carried out for all participants, as this is not like a commercial flight. I would be wearing a Parachute! By the end of the briefing, I knew how to use it.

It’s possible to withdraw and get a full refund if you change your mind. I was quite sure that I wanted to fly in this plane, as it’s been on my “Bucket List” of things to do for a long time. The option to withdraw, ends as the engine is started, and that was the point at which I wondered if I had done the right thing!

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Lots of noise, smoke and shaking!

It’s not possible to take a Camera into the rear Cockpit, since it may interfere with the controls, so I left mine with the Ground Crew. The Plane can be flown from the seat I was in, so once the short takeoff was completed and I’d settled in, I was delighted to be offered the chance to take the Controls. Nervous? Well, yes, but the Flight Commander was very reassuring, and I managed to fly straight and level, and make some turns too.

There was the option of doing a Barrel Roll, so the Flight Commander accelerated to 240mph…..

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This is the view of the Kent fields, below my head There was a Go-Pro Camera fitted behind me in the rear Cockpit, but I’ve not managed to make it play properly (bah)  If I ever make it work, I’ll post this segment, as it was amazing. There was no real sensation of the acceleration,  it’s nothing like being in  a commercial plane. Tiny plane,  27 litre, supercharged V12 engine.

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Here is the Cockpit view, looks really complicated to me.

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There are two heights for the Rudder Pedals. When flying Acrobatics Pilots use the higher set to help keep their blood flowing. I learned that 6g is possible.

This year, some events in my life, made me question just what am I waiting for. If I wanted to do this, then just do it. I’m very glad I did.

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