NEWS

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    PRINCE HARRY LAUNCHES THE SPITFIRE FLIGHT SCHOLARSHIP 15TH FEBRUARY 2014
     
    On Saturday the 15th February 2014 Prince Harry launched a Spitfire Flight Scholarship for wounded ex-servicemen during a visit to Boultbee Flight Academy. The scholarship is being operated by Boultbee Flight Academy with support from Aerobility and Flying for Freedom in partnership with The Endeavour Fund, of which Prince Harry is patron. Pilot veterans from World War Two, and some who fought in the Battle of Britain, were also in attendance at the launch to give their backing to the scheme.
     
    Beginning in the summer of 2014, a small team of six candidates will be selected to begin a flight training programme to mirror that of WW2 pilot veterans. The programme will see one of the selected candidates progress from a Tiger Moth to a Harvard and finally the Spitfire itself. It will culminate with at least one pilot taking a solo flight in a Spitfire, to help mark the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain in September 2015.
     
    This scholarship draws inspiration from the pilot Douglas Bader who flew throughout the Second World War with 20 individual aerial victories despite losing both his legs in 1931. Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader DSO DFC flew his final sortie from the same airfield where Boultbee Flight Academy now stands. The candidates will be drawn from wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, who have already received initial flying training from two disabled flying charities, Aerobility and Flying for Freedom. These two charities will ensure the chosen pilots have the essential skills to begin this demanding course in the summer of 2014.
     
    The flight scholarship aims to shine a spotlight on the inspirational actions undertaken by our wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, and to inspire those who have served their country to go on and achieve great things.
     
    Matt Jones, Managing Director at the Academy says: "We at the Boultbee Flight Academy are very proud to be working with the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour fund in this exciting scholarship. We believe that the act of training a disabled pilot to fly a Spitfire will help to continue to raise the profile of the charities that support wounded ex-servicemen and will play a part connecting a new generation to the spitfire, the emotions that the machine evokes and the actions of The Few who defended Britain during World War 2."
     
    Mike Miller-Smith, Chief Executive, Aerobility states "Aerobility regularly finds that learning to fly proves to be a life changing process for those with injuries and disabilities, and this incredible project uses the iconic Spitfire, so much more than a simple aeroplane, a symbol of hope and British endeavour to bring together history and new opportunities for those that have given so much."
     
    John Laity, Founder, Flying for Freedom says "Post-recovery flying activities demonstrate what is possible for often severely disabled people to achieve. This can inspire those still in rehabilitation and enable recovery for our wounded, injured and sick. However it is really important that we do not just train pilots, but also provide opportunities that allow them to develop and go on to support others in need. This is what this project will do, by allowing our pilots to show that in the air they are free of disability and capable of flying a national treasure. Flying for Freedom is not a charity, it is a Flying School / Club run for and by our wounded, injured and sick. As such, I am thrilled that some of our pilots will be able to make history as part of this exciting project."
     
    Everyone at the Academy is very excited and proud about this scheme and we really look forward to starting at the start of this next flying season.
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    SPITFIRE OWNERSHIP SYNDICATE 3RD JULY 2013
     
    Today there are very few opportunities to have any involvement with the Spitfire, let alone the chance to become an owner and custodian of one. However, Boultbee Flight Academy is now offering the possibility to purchase a 1/10th share in an original Supermarine Spitfire in flying condition. In addition to this, as the only accredited Spitfire training academy in the world we are uniquely positioned to provide training that will allow the new owners to fly this iconic machine themselves.For more information please click here or email Jenny@boultbee.co.uk .
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    JIMMY TAYLOR FLIES AGAIN 1ST JULY 2013
     
    Jimmy Taylor a former strategic photo reconnaissance pilot who served with No 16 Squadron took the controls of the Spitfire once more during his flight in G-ILDA with our very own Willy Hackett.
    Whilst flying over occupied Holland he encountered engine failure and was forced to make an emergency landing before going on the run from the Gestapo for five days. This was the first time Jimmy had been in a Spitfire since that day in 1944.
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    ERIC WINKLE BROWN'S 94TH BIRTHDAY 3RD FEBRUARY 2013
     
    Boultbee Flight Academy were honoured to host a birthday party for Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown to celebrate his 94th birthday. Eric holds a world record for flying the most aircraft types including having flown every mark of Spitfire ever made. He also holds the record for the most aircraft carrier landings (2407) and most catapult launches. Eric celebrated in style with his very own limited edition 'Winkle Brown' ale produced by IPA to mark the occasion.
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    BOULTBEE WIN VIDEO OF THE YEAR 2012 FEBRUARY 2013
     
    Boultbee Flight Academy are proud to announce that a video made about the Academy last year has recently been voted Telegraph Video of the Year 2012. At the end of last summer Alex James, blur bassist and Telegraph columnist, attended our last Introduction Course of the season and documented his experience at the Academy (tears and all!). We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. In case you didn't catch the video it can be viewed here .
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 18TH & 19TH SEPTEMBER 2012
     
    A testimonial from Justin Woolley

    "After such an incredible two days at the Boultbee Flight Academy I really don't know how to begin thanking you all enough. It has been a truly amazing experience, the memory of which I shall treasure for the rest of my life. There have been few experiences in my life that I might class as defining moments; marrying my wife, the birth of my daughter and flying a Spitfire. I class myself as one of life's lucky few who are able to fly for a living (and after 21 years and 6000hrs I still thoroughly enjoy the experience) but to fly the Spitfire really has been the pinnacle of my flying career."

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    SHUTTLE COMMANDER RICK SEARFOSS 16TH SEPTEMBER 2012
     
    Rick Searfoss, a retired USAF Colonel and NASA Astronaut with 3 space missions as Shuttle pilot (and one time mission Commander) was the winning bidder at a fundraising dinner in benefit of fly-2-help last year in a pilot only auction for the prize of an Academy Introduction Course donated by BFA. Rick flew the Chipmunk and then the Harvard before flying the Spitfire. The training was conducted at Southampton Airport, formerly Eastleigh Aerodrome, which of course was the airfield from which K5054, the first prototype spitfire, flew on the 5th March 1936. Rick said it was the best flight of his life!!! Wow.
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    GOODWOOD REVIVAL 14TH - 16TH SEPTEMBER 2012
     
    The Academy enjoyed a 'Pride of Place' pitch in the Spirit of Freddie March Enclosure at the Revival this year to celebrate its first year of residency at Goodwood. We raised £750 for fly-to-help by allowing members of the public to sit in the Spitfire, met lots of new friends, and were even honoured by the presence of a few celebrities and The WW2 test Pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown. It was a fantastic weekend enjoyed by all.chText.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 4TH & 5TH SEPTEMBER 2012
     
    A testimonial from Andrew Sparrow"When experiences surpass already heightened expectation. Those are glorious days. I wanted to express my appreciation to Matt, Cliff, the team and everyone associated with the Spitfire Introductory Course this week for making reality a once impossible mere fancy. The way the course is configured works supremely well –but it's the marriage of professionalism, technical knowledge and approachability of all involved which succeeds. Boultbee lifts the aircraft from history book pages directly to their synonymous skies. It's very special –and those glorious days will stay with me."
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 28TH & 29TH AUGUST 2012
     
    A testimonial from Stuart Burdess"Just a note to thank you and everyone at Boultbee for a fabulous 2 and a bit days last week. The flying was awesome (still 'on a high' 2 days later!) and the whole arrangements and content of the course were perfect."
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    BOOK LAUNCH 21ST AUGUST 2012
     
    12 Veterans, including Nigel Rose from 602 Squadron who flew Spitfires from Westhampnett during the war, attended the launch of 'To War in a Spitfire' which was proudly hosted by BFA, which also included a flypast by SM520. The book, written by Mark Hillier, Dieter Sinanan and Gregory Percival is the Diary of American Spitfire pilot Lieutenant Colonel H.C. Strawn DFC, who was based at Goodwood (then Westhampnett) during WW2. The book is for sale on this website.
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    ERIC CARTER FLIES AGAIN 15TH AUGUST 2012
     
    Eric Carter flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in WW2, most notably in Murmansk, Russia where he was part of Force Benedict. At the start of this year he was stopped from sitting in a Spitfire in a Museum due to Health and Safety rules. We were lucky to be in a position to be able to right this wrong arranging for him not only to sit in a Spitfire, but to take the controls of one in flight once again.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 14TH & 15TH AUGUST 2012
     
    A testimonial from Gerry Ashton"Just to say a huge thank you for the hard work and effort that you all put in to making this last Introduction Course a success. I am well aware of the challenges that you must face in managing and organising such events, especially given the unpredictability of the weather, machines - and, of course, not forgetting your customers! Personally, I will never forget the whole wonderful experience and was especially delighted by the courtesy and hospitality you were able to find time for your other guests who has also had an amazing two days."
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 7TH & 8TH AUGUST 2012
     
    A testimonial from Iain Macdonald"I would just like to let you know how incredibly grateful I am for the care and attention with which the course has been constructed. From the moment I entered your lounge (and what a hangar!) and spotted the tail end of G-ILDA through the hangar window, the scene was set for an outstanding 3 days.The content and quality of the briefings was far better than I could have imagined for such a short course, and was only surpassed by the enthusiasm and experience of your instructors. This is surely the most concentrated focus of such expertise anywhere in Europe. I was surprised to have free access during our time to all of these wonderful machines, and made as much of it as possible. The structure from Chipmunk/Tiger to Harvard to Spitfire is perfect. Having virtually no aerobatic experience, I was able to have some rolls and wing overs demonstrated to me in the Chipmunk by Chris, which i then repeated (with variable success!) afterwards. I did not think in my wildest dreams that I would be allowed to aerobat the Harvard or Spitfire: how wrong I was and what a great honour! I have learnt more during this course than in the last several years of flying.Keep up the good work!"ichText.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 17TH & 18TH JULY 2012
     
    A testimonial from Nick Davidson"Thanks again to you and the whole Boultbee team for a truly memorable two days. The whole experience was absolutely first class -- the professionalism and enthusiasm of the instructors, the flying program, the aircraft and most of all the incredible formation flying in the Spitfire. We all especially appreciated the lengths you all went to in order to complete the flying program in the two days -- over and above the call of duty. You have a outstanding operation, made up of outstanding people. Please thank each of them for their encouragement and patience as we tried to do justice to these amazing aircraft. My head is still in the clouds, and it will be some time before I get myself fully back on the ground again.Thanks to you all."
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 3RD & 4TH JULY 2012
     
    A testimonial from Paul Jansen"Can't speak! Not enough words to describe it!"
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 19TH & 20TH JUNE 2012
     
    A testimonial from Allen Knight"Incredible, all of it, absolutely fantastic"
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    BILL GREEN FLIES AGAIN 6TH JUNE 2012
     
    Bill Green, 501 Squadron, flew Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain and the Spitfire later on. It was a great honour for us to welcome him to the Academy and to put him in the air once more behind a Rolls-Royce Merlin. We hope he'll come back and see us again soon, and to regale us with more of his seemingly limitless tales of incredible near misses. Bill was made an honorary instructor at the Academy.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 5TH & 6TH JUNE 2012
     
    A testimonial from Garth Gardner"I would like to thank you for the course last week; as I said on departure a most enjoyable well run experience. You and Steve can be proud of the team."
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    PARLIAMENT DINNER 23RD MAY 2012
     
    Our Spitfire dinner at the House of Commons, highlighted by Willam Walker's (pictured) recital of some of his own very amusing and very emotional poems about WW2 and Bill Green's stories of his Battle of Britain experiences, was an extremely enjoyable and successful evening with over £35k raised for our charity fly-2-help.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 22ND & 23RD MAY 2012
     
    A testimonial from Stephen Deane"As a couple of days has passed since last weeks course and on reflection I just felt I should drop you an email.It is difficult when achieving your childhood dream to take in all that happens, but suffice to say, the course, the two days exceeded all my expectations by a 100 times.Firstly that location is both fitting in terms of atmosphere and excellent in its practicality. It was a lovely place to be at and instantly felt at home. The instructors, staff, everyone who was there were fantastic. Friendly, engaging, accommodating and clearly at the top of their game. I had the pleasure of flying with Willy Hackett in the Spitfire. For us mortals, to fly with someone of his calibre is an experience in itself. Everyone I flew with or met were equally nice and informative yet supremely professional. The other hidden quality your staff had, was that we were not treated as paying guests, but fellow pilots. Superb. My wife, mum and dad joined me on Wednesday afternoon and they were equally looked after and commented on the warm friendly atmosphere. The aircraft were in outstanding condition, again, exceptional.The added benefit of formation flying was fantastic."
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    JOE RODDIS - MERLIN STARTER 22ND MAY 2012
     
    Joe Roddis of 485 Squadron,Bob Doe's engine fitter during the Battle of Britain, visited the Academy and with the help of our Director of Engineering, Mark Crosby, ran the Merlin for the first time in over 60 years. Apparently he needed no help in remembering the steps required to start the engine! There were very few dry eyes in the house.
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    INTRODUCTION COURSE 8TH & 9TH MAY 2012
     
    A testimonial from Jack Culver..."Just a quick email to say thanks again for a fantastic couple of days... The planes, people, weather, atmosphere made it truly special…..slowly remembering more of the flight and the grin keeps coming back."
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    ANDY DAVENPORT APRIL 2012
     
    Andy came to the academy as our first full conversion student. Andy has gone on to fly the single seat MkIX TA805. Andy is due to return to the Academy in the near future to complete his Display Authorisation training on the type.
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    BATTLE OF BRITAIN VETERANS FLY ONCE AGAIN 26TH JULY 2011
     
    The 26th July saw 3 Battle of Britain pilots once again take to the skies over England in a Spitfire. Tim Elkington, Michael Wainwright and Geoffey Wellum blessed the Academy launch with their presence. To start the day off the day Geoffrey gave an emotional speech recounting stories of training and combat. Soon after he and his colleagues donned their flying suits and climbed into SM520 for their flights. Also in attendance were Joy Lofthouse and Molly Rose of the Air Transport Auxillary. Although they didn't get to fly on the launch day it is the Academy's intention to get them airborne again in the next few months. It was a huge honour and indeed pleasure to have these brave men and women with us to mark the start of our new venture.
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    BFA'S FIRST STUDENT, ANDY DAVENPORT, SOLO'S THE SPITFIRE 20TH JULY 2011
     
    Andy came to us with plenty of experience in Stearman, Harvards, and DC3's including a Display Authorisation on his licence for the DC3. This made him eligible for our abridged course. This in turn lead to Andy making his first solo flight in our Spitfire TR9 after just 6 hours of instruction. His plan is to build between 10-15 hours total time on SM520 in order to obtain his DA on type. Andy is employed as a corporate pilot on a Gulfstream 550 and Lear 45.

THE WORLD'S ONLY SPITFIRE FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOOL.