Richard left University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree and began work as a Development Engineer with Jaguar Cars in 1987. His love of all things aviation got the better of him, however, and began PPL flying in 1988 at Birmingham airport. In 1991 he left Jaguar to begin a British Airways sponsored commercial pilot training scheme at Kidlington in Oxford.


After graduation he joined BA as a First Officer on the Boeing 737-200 at Gatwick. 2 years later he became dual rated and began flying various types of 737. In 2000 Richard converted to longhaul flying on the Boeing 777 and in 2006 was promoted to Captain on the Airbus A320 fleet based at Heathrow.


Richard bought into a Chipmunk group based at Shoreham in 1998 and completed his tailwheel conversion on it. He has since flown other tailwheel/aerobatic types such as T6/Harvard, Wilga, Stampe, Cub, Starduster and Pitts Special. On selling his share in the Chipmunk in 2000, he became co-owner of a Christen Eagle aerobatic biplane, which he has since flown in national aerobatic competitions. In 2004 along with fellow BA pilot Jon Drake he formed Thunderprop Ltd and bought a non flying T-6 Harvard and on completing the restoration began operating it as an instructor.


He gained his Display Authorisation in the T6 several years ago. Richard flies the Chipmunk and Harvard for the Academy.


BOULTBEE FLIGHT ACADEMY was established in 2010 and was the world's first Spitfire training school and approved Spitfire flight provider flying single seat and two seat spitfires. So if your question is:  Can I buy a flight in a Spitfire? Where can I fly in a Spitfire? or Where can I train to fly a Spitfire? the answer is that you can at Boultbee Flight Academy. The Academy is the world's authority on Spitfire flying. We offer Spitfire experience flights to non-pilots and Spitfire training to pilots. All of our two seat Spitfire flights are incredible experiences whether you are a pilot or not. A two seater Spitfire flight really is everything you will hope it to be and more. Flying in a Spitfire is an experience you won't forget. So why not come and fly with us? CLICK HERE for more information.

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

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