AIRCRAFT PURCHASE & MANAGEMENT

Buying a warbird, whether it be an airworthy aircraft or an airframe for renovation, is a milestone event for the very few people who are able to entertain the idea. Whilst hugely exciting a great deal of care needs to be taken throughout the process so as to ensure purchase of the best airframe available within the budget, setting up the correct financial structure bearing in mind liability and tax implications, operation from a safe location and by suitable pilots and engineers, and to understand the costs involved and the opportunities to mitigate these costs with potential income streams.   

Boultbee Flight Academy has been operating warbirds since 2009 and now owns and manages a fleet of these aircraft based around the country. Our own requirements and those of the various owners for whom we work vary quite substantially and therefore we find ourselves well placed to advise potential owners who are new to the industry of their options. Below you'll find the simplified process, with an explanation further down the page, that should form the basis of any aircraft acquisition.

We believe there are 5 key steps that need consideration when considering the purchase of a warbird as detailed on the diagram below. We can help with the entire process or any individual part of it. All we need is a full understanding of your requirements then we can start the process utilising, where necessary, our extensive network of contacts around the world in order to deliver a solution that works best for you.

SALE AIRCRAFT MARKET CHECK 

 

We will look at the world market to get a complete feel for the value and condition of the type of aircraft that you have chosen, bearing in mind your specific configuration and requirement for historical importance, and contact all owners of that type that meet these requirements. It is important to remember that some of the best aircraft are available off-market so it's essential that you have access to the owners of these aircraft too. 

HOLDING COMPANY STRUCTURE ADVICE

 

Setting up the financial vehicle in which your aircraft will sit is a key part of the process. Here we will work with your accountants to ensure a structure that minuses the tax implications for you whilst also limiting your liability in the unlikely event of an accident. For some this is a simple as personal ownership but for most is it slightly more complicated necessitating the use of an Limited Liability Partnership or something similar. With the constantly changing tax laws in the UK and around the world we would also verify our solution with market tax experts to confirm the advice given. Care will also be given for aircraft that need to be imported into the UK that the suggested structure takes into account any import duties or taxes that may be levied.

AIRCRAFT PURCHASE AND DELIVERY

 

Once the preferred aircraft has been identified as 'for sale' negotiations will commence on price based on our historical market knowledge   an current comparable aircraft also for sale. This is a process we like the new owner to be involved with as much as possible. Once a price has been agreed the next step would be an in depth pre-purchase engineering check. This will confirm the owners description of the aircraft state, or gives the opportunity to find any serious unseen issues with the aircraft before the purchase takes places, thus avoiding any unforeseen and potentially expensive costs.

Once the purchase is complete and once the insurance, operating company and engineering company have been assigned for delivery the aircraft can simply be  flown to its new home base, this all presuming it was previously on the UK register. However if the aircraft is being imported from outside the UK it will need to be re-registered and possibly be prepared for shipping dependant on its location. These are all services that we have lots of experience in helping our customers with. 

AIRCRAFT MANAGEMENT

 

All warbirds flying in the UK can only do so on a Permit to Fly certificate which has very separate operating rules to most other aircraft. To be able to fly such an aircraft the operating company must have an approval from the CAA under CAP632 and this must be supported by an engineering company with A8-23 or A8-24 approvals (dependant on aircraft weight) for the purpose of maintaining the aeroplane, and a company with an A8-25 approval for engineering management (CAMO) of the same. We are able to provide all of the above as a part of an aircraft management contract.

As a part of a management agreement we can offer hangarage at our base at Goodwood which will give you and your friends and clients access to our facility at Goodwood Aerodrome to relax pre and post flight. For pictures please look in the gallery at the bottom of the About Goodwood page. However if you'd like to base your aircraft elsewhere we can help with that too, obtaining suitable hangarage to keep your aircraft safe whilst providing management and operational remotely.

Choosing the right pilots for your aircraft is obviously an important step. Whilst we have a large pool of very experienced pilots from whom you can pick we understand that you may have someone in mind who doesn't currently fly for us (to see a list of our pilots click here). I'm sure the credentials we look for in our pilots will match your requirements in ensuring the safety of your new acquisition and therefore we are very happy to discuss using the pilots of your choice. Whoever flies for us will become a part of our in house training and recurrent training program that ensures that all pilots are fit for the task, current, and have been tested by one of our check pilots in the preceding 6 months. Otherwise it may well be your intention to fly the aircraft yourself and if so we are well prepared to train you according to your experience. In this case you too will become a Boultbee pilot becoming a part of the pre-season and recurrent training that all of our pilots undergo annually as our current owner pilots do. 

SINGLE SEATER 

Public Displays       - Our fleet regularly participate in small, medium and large airshows around the UK and in Europe..

Private Displays      - We arrange  many private displays the season for weddings, parties and other celebrations and commemorations. 

Flying With              - Each month our sister company runs helicopter flights which allow our customers to fly alongside the warbirds.

DUAL SEATER (Rear seat with no controls)

Public Displays       - Our fleet regularly participate in small, medium and large airshows around the UK and in Europe..

Private Displays      - We arrange  many private displays the season for weddings, parties and other celebrations and commemorations. 

Flying With              - Each month our sister company runs helicopter flights which allow our customers to fly alongside the warbirds.

Passenger Flights  - We average 750 passenger flights per year across our fleet.

DUAL SEATER (Rear seat with controls)

Public Displays       - Our fleet regularly participate in small, medium and large airshows around the UK and in Europe..

Private Displays      - We arrange  many private displays the season for weddings, parties and other celebrations and commemorations. 

Flying With              - Each month our sister company runs helicopter flights which allow our customers to fly alongside the warbirds.

Passenger Flights  - We average 750 passenger flights per year across our fleet. 

Pilot Training          - Pilot training is at our heart and with some of the best instructors in the world your aircraft is in very safe hands.

REVENUE GENERATION

 

Owners motivations for owning a warbird differ considerably and a result the type of flying their aircraft does varies too. This decision can be affected by their budget but not necessarily. And this decision can also change over time. At Boultbee Flight Academy we have a business that can offer many varied revenue streams for those owners interested. However what we can offer somewhat depends on how the aircraft is configured. Below is a list of how your aircraft, dependant on its attributes, could be used to mitigate some or all of the cost of ownership, and the part of the Boultbee Flight Academy business structure in which it could be used. For more information on each opportunity please click the italicised items below.

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Photography:  John Dibbs, Richard Paver, Andy Annable, Jon Le Ray, Darren Harbar

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