Fly in a Spitfire

Credit: Magnus Manske

It is the dream of many people interested in aviation or WWII to one day fly in a Spitfire.With so few remaining that are airworthy this dream is a remote one, especially as the Spitfire is a one seater fighter plane. To even get a chance of flying in a Spitfire requires a pilots licence, and then they are not the sort of plane you can just hire for an hour. But wait, look closely at the photo above, yes, you might be in luck, there is a few 2 seater Spitfires, that were used for training, that are still airworthy! So even if you can't fly, you can just sit back and enjoy a spectacular ride, and experience flying through the English air powered by a Merlin engine, just as the brave young pilots of the RAF were in 1940.


Such an experience is available at Biggin Hill, one of the most famous of the Fighter Command airfields that played a key role in the Battle of Britain. Located in the county of Kent, South East England, the Spitfire is based in a hangar at former airfield, which is now a small modern airport. The flight experience, as to be expected is not cheap. The standard experience which is 30 minutes, with 20 minutes in the air is at the time of writing (2015) £2,750. An expensive half an hour, but one that you will never forget for the rest of your life.

Then from there it just gets better the more you can afford to pay. For £4,950 either a Spitfire or a Hurricane will fly with you in formation for 25 minutes. £6,450 will pay for a flight in the Spitfire with a Spitfire AND a Hurricane both flying in formation alongside the plane you are in. £6,200 will get a longer time flying, and the Spitfire will fly over the White Cliffs of Dover and the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. This flight will be about 45 minutes, and if you want a plane or two to fly with you then it is more money on top of this price.

If the above is not something you can afford, then the good news is they do cheaper flights in a Harvard - £430 for a 20 minute flight and in a Chipmunk - £159 for 20 minutes. Although not in the iconic Spitfire the flights it gives a great aerial view of the Kent countryside, above which, so many WWII dogfights took place.

You can book a flight at the website


Another place where you can fly in a Spitfire is at the Boultbee Flight Academy, at Goodwood Circuit, that during the Battle of Britain was RAF Westhampnett. Located in West Sussex, it offers similar experiences to those at Biggin Hill at similar prices. One big difference is that as well as pleasure flights they also offer a full Spitfire flying course for people that have obtained their pilots licence. The training involves learning to fly a Chipmunk, followed by a Harvard, then finally the Spitfire.

Spitfire Scholarship

A Spitfire scholarship has been set up for ex servicemen and women with disabilities, which offers them training to fly a Spitfire. The scholarship aims to emulate the spirit of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader who fought in the Battle of Britain despite having lost both his legs in a flying accident in the 1930s. In his later years he was knighted for his charity work helping the disabled. More details of the scholarship HERE./


GoActionStations has a number of Spitfire flying experiences, where you travel in a Chieftain twin engine plane and a Spitfire flies very close by for 20 to 40 minutes. Although not in the Spitfire, it still provides a wonderful experience of being in the air alongside one, and allows for great photo and video opportunities. Some of the flights go above the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. Prices are cheaper than flying in a Spitfire and range from £399 to £1,199 depending on the experience chosen.


Classic Wings based at Duxford, a major Battle of Britain airfield offers Spitfire flights, Spitfire flying courses and Spitfire Wing to Wing experiences. A 30 minute flight in a T9 Spitfire is £2,995. Minimum age is 18, maximum height is 6’6”, maximum weight is 230 lb/105Kg.
A cheaper alternative is a flight in a De Havilland Rapide, the oldest commercial airliner, with the Spitfire flying alongside.The price is between £399 and £789. The most expensive option also includes a trip in a Tiger Moth, one of the planes used to train Spitfire pilots.

The Spitfire Training Day course for qualified pilots is £5,495. Aim To give an appreciation of the level of training required in order to fly a Spitfire.
Ground School 3 hours
Flight Training 1 hour Tiger moth
45 mins T6 Harvard
30 mins Mk 9 Spitfire

There is also a two day training course for £7,495.
Aim To give an appreciation of the level of training required in order to fly a Spitfire.
Ground School approximately 6-8 hours
Flight Training 1 hour 20 : Tiger moth (2x 40min lessons)
1 hour 20 : T6 Harvard (2x 40min lessons)
40 mins : Mk 9 Spitfire

If you are really serious about wanting to be a fully qualified Spitfire pilot, then the full training course is £71,032.
Aim To complete an intensive course of Flight training to take you through all the basic Tailwheel skills and complex training in order to convert onto the Spitfire.
Ground School Approximately 30-50 hours
Flight Training Will include the courses listed :
Tailwheel Conversion
Tiger moth or Chipmunk Conversion
High performance complex type conversion (5hr)
Spitfire Conversion training Course


This one is of particular interest to American readers! Tiger Airways is a pilot training company that also offers pleasure flights in bi-planes and is based at Gloucestershire Airport. However, on their website they also mention they have a contact in the USA who has a twin seated Spitfire based in Aspen, Colorado and takes people up in it. Flights last for 45 minutes and are $2,500. Interestingly Tiger Airways mention that there is a strict weight limit of 190lbs / 13.5 stone / 86.18kg for passengers, which is checked on the day using weighing scales. 

If you would like to see a Spitfire up close, but don't want to fly in one or cannot afford to, then see the Battle of Britain Airfields page, which lists all the former Fighter Command airfields that have museums and has links to their websites.

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