Take a flight over Northamptonshire whilst flying alongside a true icon, the Supermarine Spitfire. Not only do you fly with this famous aircraft you also get the chance to sit in a Spitfire on the
ground. Your aircraft for this Castle Ashby Spitfire tour is a de Havilland Devon.
Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire
As if being an active part of these Spitfire flights from Sywell wasn’t enough, this Castle Ashby flight package also includes the chance for you to sit in the cockpit of the
Spitfire. Smell that distinctive oily odour as you climb up on the wing and into the (rather tight-fighting) cockpit to feel just what it was like as a Second World War fighter pilot going into
aerial battle on another daring mission.
Back to the main event: the flight itself. As the Spitfire takes off from Sywell, you will be ready and waiting cruising over the Northamptonshire skies in your ex-Royal Air Force passenger
plane, the de Havilland Devon. As the tension mounts, your pilot will inform you whether it’ll be all eyes to the left or the right, as the impressive fighter aircraft swoops alongside you.
It’ll catch your breath, that very first moment you look directly across to the Spitfire that seems almost within touching distance. A couple of seconds to gather your composure and it’s time
to capture some of the finest photos ever as you take advantage of these amazing air-to-air photography opportunities.
And what a subject matter - this Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX (TD314) is in fine form, after languishing unrestored in storage for many years. TD314 was built at Castle Bromwich in late 1944. After being
sent to various squadrons around the UK, she found herself assigned to the South African Air Force in 1948. Abandoned by 1954, she was bought in 1969, but stored until she resurfaced in the UK in
2009. Now fully restored, you might recognise this Sywell Spitfire as the cover star of the Haynes Spitfire Restoration manual.
As for where you’ll fly on this experience, you’ll be heading in a southerly direction right over Castle Ashby House and estate. The traditional seat of the Marquess of
Northampton, this private house and estate village is currently the home of the Earl of Compton. The gardens, including a walled garden, are open to the public - but nothing beats the
view as you look down on them, Spitfire by your side before you'll return to Sywell.
Participants should allow for a whole day for the experience 9am-7pm, experiences generally last half a day and this is a precaution to allow for weather conditions. There is a on site cafe, bar and Sywell Aviation
Museum. At no point do you fly in the Spitfire.
Who is suitable for this experience?
Height restrictions: Minimum 4ft 6ins, maximum height 6ft 4ins.
Maximum weight 18 stone.
You need to be agile enough to climb up into the Spitfire cockpit.
Selected weekend dates between April and October, subject to weather conditions.
Spectators are welcome, with excellent views of the aircraft.
- Flight in a vintage RAF de Havilland Devon alongside the St George Spitfire.
- 20 minute experience in close formation, wing to wing with the Spitfire.
- Spectacular views of Castle Ashby and the surrounding countryside.
- You will form part of a group of up to 8 participants for your flight, all with a window seat.
- Ground viewing of the Spitfire with plenty of photo opportunities.
- Staff on hand to answer all your questions about the Spitfire.
- Opportunity to 'Sit in a Spit'.
- Sittings are hosted by staff members who will assist you into and out of the iconic Spitfire Mk IX (TD314).
- Entry to the Sywell Aviation Museum, subject to opening times.
- Experiences generally last 3-4 hours.