Spitfires.com "The Spitfire Academy"

Spitfires.com "The Spitfire Academy"

Spitfires.com "The Spitfire Academy"
5
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Spitfires.com (formerly Boultbee Flight Academy) is the world's first Spitfire training school and approved Spitfire flight provider. Spitfires must continue to grace the skies of the UK and whilst stunning on the ground, they cannot be truly understood until they are experienced in the air. Our aim at Spitfires.com is to keep these beautiful and highly significant aircraft airworthy and to open the doors of the Spitfire world to the public. We offer Spitfire experience flights to non-pilots and bespoke Spitfire training to licenced pilots. A flight in a Spitfire is an incredible experience whether you are a pilot or not and we believe that these aircraft should be accessible to everyone with an interest. A Spitfire really is everything you will hope it to be and more. Please carry on reading for details of the products and experiences we have on offer.
Chichester, West Sussex, England

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2024

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(95 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,165 reviews
Excellent
1,163
Very good
1
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1
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Terrible
1

MicD30
Hertfordshire, UK268 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Solo
Thank goodness my flight was deferred due to COVID-19. In the event the 12 August turned out to be an ideal day with clear blue skies. All that was missing were the BofB fighter trails.
All aspects of this experience were excellent. Matt H was very obliging in all aspects of arranging the flight. Simon was very professional in all aspects of pre-flight preparation and helpful with post flight photos.
The flight itself with Tim as the pilot was an outstanding experience. The moment I sat in the cockpit and heard that Merlin engine firing up brought a lump to my throat. KJ-I handled beautifully and was so sensitive to the touch. The flight over the South coast from Goodwood was breathing but alas the 20 minutes pass too quickly. It made me appreciate the excellence of those young pilots flying and fighting in the confines of a cramped cockpit and in such a responsive aircraft.
Yes, it is an expensive experience but equally unique, particularly in a year when Boultbee and the Spitfire performed on many special occasions for the nation and of course during the 80th Anniversary Year of the B of B.
Thanks to all at Boultbee for this unforgettable experience.
Written 13 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anna M
Portsmouth, UK58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Solo
From start to finish the team at Boultbee were exceptional. The contact and preparation in advance of the flight was clear and concise and all questions were answered quickly. On the day of the flight the team were engaging and interested and treated both the person flying and any guests with care and interest, they even took care to listen to the excited chatter of my 7 and 9 year old!

The briefs were great and they put you totally at ease with the safety requirements ensuring you are totally happy, and safe, before you fly.

And the flight......wow, just wow. It has been a life long dream of mine to sit in a Spitfire but to fly in one took that dream to a level beyond expectation. The pilot, John, explained every action and talked through his own experience with great clarity. This is an amazing experience, made even better by how well the team look after you.

I cannot thank Boultbee enough for making my dream come true and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this experience to anyone who wants to try it. And, if you feel even slightly nervous about flying in an old and iconic aircraft then don’t, any nerves are blown away by the experience!
Written 30 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chrissy.L
England, UK6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
The perfect gift for my husband’s 60th birthday!
When booking this experience over a year ago little did I know just how wonderful this was going to be. All the pilots I spoke to were so helpful and knowledgeable in regards to the booking and in helping me sorting this out even after a year of lockdown!
The day arrived and we headed off to Lee- on the- solentWe were greeted by Jack who explained the proceedings for the day and explained the slight delay due to the wind being too blustery ( safety first is their main priority).
Once we had the thumbs up it was all systems go. Gideon was briefed on the safety procedures and changed into his flight suit. John the pilot then took Gideon and I out to meet the war bird( Gilda) to see her in her full magnificent state.
As Gideon climbed into the aircraft the smell of testosterone was rife( talk about boys and their toys, the excitement was electric!)
John proceeded to do his pre flight checks while another pilot ( devastated I can’t remember his name but we will call him Gorgeous blue eyes) explained all the controls and went over the safety procedures once again!
As they taxied down the run way the smell and roar of the merlin engine filled the air. gorgeous blue eyes explained what was happening and where they would be going on their flight. Gilda roared down the runway then flew like the beautiful war bird up into the blue sky.
After heading over to the needles ( Isle of Wight ) it was time for some aerobatics. Three sixty loop, barrel role followed by a half Cuban. WOW!!!
By the time they returned I could see the elation spread all over his face.
To say the day was perfect is a huge understatement. He still relives every moment each day. A massive thank you to all the fabulous pilots at Boultbee for the most memorable day ever!
Written 24 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raymond A
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Best Experience Ever

First I would like to give a massive thanks to Matt Jones for creating such an incredible flying academy Boultlbee down at Goodwood Aerodrome.

For this has enabled me to live out my boyhood dream of flying in a Spitfire. Wow what an incredible experience it was.

From the moment me and my son Graham stepped through the doors it was like we were VIPs for the day. We were greeted by Jack and shown to the briefing room which was just an exceptional room full of modern and pastime pieces of furniture. After going through the safety procedures we were taken to be kitted up in the most amazing hanger, having the Silver Spitfire in the background was a bonus.

After being kitted out by jack, we were introduced to John and Tim our pilots for the day, who explained what was in store. We were smiling from ear to ear and could not wait to get airborne.

Graham my son got airborne first in the Harvard. A few minutes later I was chasing after him in the Spitfire. Once airborne my dreams came true as I felt like a real fighter pilot doing different manoeuvres. After a few passes with the Harvard we broke away and I was allowed to take the controls for a few minutes which was just awesome and something I will never forget. John said lets have some fun and he proceeded to show me what the Spitfire could really do, by looping, rolling and finishing off with the iconic Victory Roll. What a way to celebrate my 70th Birthday.

After landing I was met by Simon, who had strapped me in, who asked how was it? I just couldn’t stop smiling, and I said it was the BEST flying experience I’ve ever had.

I would recommend to anybody thinking of wanting to experience a flight in a Spitfire to contact Boultbee Flight Academy as it’s a fantastic professional setup, with the most incredible staff.

I would personally like to thank Jack and Simon, with a special thanks to my pilot John for the most truly amazing experience and a day I will never forget.

Kind regards
Raymond Archer
Written 19 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Connector230739
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
What an excellent experience, I attended Spitfires.com at Goodwood Aerodrome with my wife and youngest daughter, extremely professional service from the whole team throughout. We were warmly greeted and had a bit of time to relax in very comfy chairs before meeting Tim my pilot; Tim briefed me on the flight, where we would go, what I would be doing and asked what I would like to do. Jack and Cerys got me into the aircraft and made sure I was safety strapped in, it is a tight fit around the shoulders but comfortable, comms check with Tim, must mention this was great we were talking when we could for the entire flight.
The sound of that 27 litre V12 Rolls Royce Merlin on start-up is just amazing, watching and listening to a Spitfire from the ground is amazing but being up so close and personal is awe inspiring.
Nice gentle take off before climbing steadily to take a look at Chichester castle then off to the coast, a very gentle introduction to get me used to the experience, Tim had me feel the controls while he was flying and it was so surprising that only slight movements are needed to manoeuvre, Tim’s method of teaching just put me at ease and I was able to easily fly the aircraft along the coast all the way to Portsmouth, “what a great Pilot and teacher!!”.
We climbed above the clouds, they were so close I felt that I could have reached out and touched them, we then descended and tried a Victory Roll, Awesome!! Then a Barrel Roll…. Tim was asking me if I was happy throughput, I was extremely happy and at ease so we then did a loop, half Cuban, loads of Victory Rolls while following the coastline in land with loads of tight turns, before heading back to Goodwood.
I have not stopped smiling ever since, the experience is absolutely amazing, made special by a great very professional team, it is an expensive thing to do but worth every penny, as they say you can’t take it with you so a must do and I highly recommend it!!
Written 22 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian F
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed a 45 minute flight from Goodwood to the Needles and back in the Mk9 dual seat Spitfire. The whole experience - from booking to flight and post-flight - was truly excellent. I congratulate Spitfires.com on their professionalism and attention to detail: The booking was easy and managed by cheerful, efficient staff, the videos sent before the day were very helpful, the briefing before the flight was comprehensive and unrushed. The flight itself was a delight.
Throughout the flight, my pilot, Neil, made sure that I was comfortable with manoeuvres, and I never felt pressured to do anything that made me anxious.
I heartily recommend supporting the superb efforts that Spitfires.com are making to keep these wonderful aircraft in the air.
Written 12 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mel E
Huddersfield, UK8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
I bought the experience for my husband’s birthday. It was a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience and Boultbee Flight Academy were keen to make sure that it was the best it could possibly be.

When we arrived, the conditions weren’t favourable for flying, but those booked in after us had cancelled, so we were asked if we could wait an hour or so, as the conditions may (may) improve. Having driven over 7 hours to get there, we were happy to ‘wait and see’. There is, as you would expect, a clear focus on safety for all concerned and if the flight wasn’t meant to be that day – it wasn’t meant to be.

My thanks go to Simon (who greeted us), Jack (who took us into the hangar to have a look at the Silver Spitfire and the Harvard). It’s lovely when you are greeted with people who clearly have such a passion and enthusiasm for what they do. And then of course, thanks to Andy the pilot who was so down to earth and approachable… it goes without saying that the whole thing couldn’t have happened without him! You all made the experience so enjoyable.

About an hour later, we were so very lucky because the clouds cleared and the ‘all clear’ was given to begin the safety briefing… with a caveat that the weather could of course turn against us…. it didn’t.

My hubby got suited and booted and made his way to the plane. The huge smile on his face as realised his dream after so long was something that will be ingrained on my mind forever.

They flew out over Portsmouth Harbour and acrobatics included the infamous Barrel Roll, a Victory roll and half-Cuban (I thnk!)… and others. I watched the Spitfire come into land. I can’t wait to see the video of his experience.

The smile was still on my husband’s face who, when asked how he found the experience simply had one word – ‘Fantastic!!’ Believe me that’s a huge testament to the experience as usually his response to any experience doesn’t edge beyond ‘that was OK’… so ‘Fantastic!!’ is off the scale for him.

The experience was just brilliant – whether you’re a spectator or of course lucky enough to fly in that beautiful iconic plane. If you’re pondering – just do it – you won’t regret it.
Written 13 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

simonleve
Orkney Islands, UK74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Solo
My wife bought me the simulator experience for my 50th birthday, and although it was a great experience I don’t feel I got what was sold to us. The experience description said that I would have a 30 minute flight including a take off from Goodwood, escort bombers and then have a dog fight to use up my ammunition before returning for the landing. At the pre flight briefing the first question I was asked was “have you flown before?” When I said that I hadn’t I was told that I wouldn’t be attempting the take off. I can appreciate that it might be difficult for a novice, but why not point this out in the activity description at the point of purchase?
My flight started in the sky above Goodwood where I was talked through the controls, told how to do a loop and a victory roll, then told to just fly about for a while before being talked in to the landing (the instructor commented about how my landing was as good as it gets, which made the lack of a take off attempt even more frustrating). After the landing I asked what had happened to the dogfight experience and was told that due to the fact that the screen is only 180 degrees, if the enemy went behind me I wouldn’t be able to see them so they don’t do dog fights! Again, this should have been pointed out before our money was taken.
My wife sat in with me during my flight and timed my experience, my time flying in the simulator was only 17 minutes. Again, this was not what was promised!
Having said all this, the experience was great and very realistic. I would recommend doing it, but make sure you clarify what you are getting before handing over your money. I left with a mixed feeling of joy and disappointment, hence my average review.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Simon, Thank you for your review of our Spitfire Simulator. We are disheartened to hear that your experience was not as you expected, and wish we had the opportunity to rectify this on the day. The experience description on our website has since been rectified to clearly define what you will be able to achieve in your first lesson with us. Our Simulator is one-of-a-kind with a genuine Spitfire fuselage and fully functioning gauges, pedals and levers. The reason we asked you 'have you flown before?' was to tailor your experience in the Simulator to incorporate any flying experience you may have. As you rightly stated, if we were to incorporate dog fighting in your first session, the majority of your time would be spent trying to locate other aircraft in the 220 degree dome, not least before learning how to take off, manoeuvre the Spitfire, read the gauges and finally land the aircraft all in a 20 minute session. Your experience with us was at the very first stages of us operating the Simulator and we can only apologise for the disappointment this caused you. We will also be in contact with you directly. Many Thanks and Best Regards, Rhianne
Written 19 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

William D
London, UK70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
This is an affordable and unique way to enjoy and experience something as close as you can get to flying a real spitfire whilst staying on the ground. The simulator cockpit is genuine with many original and refurbished parts all working . The response by instrumentation and controls in flight and the scenery projection closely represent the real situation...but the main advantage for anyone with a bit of flying training already under their belt is that you can try out landings circuits and take offs yourself (with expert guidance if needed), and make mistakes as part of the learning.

Enjoy! PS I recommend booking the longer option to maximise flying time for just a single briefing.
Written 27 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Balalor
Basingstoke, UK11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Words really can't capture this experience effectively. It is one of the most thrilling and exhilarating things that I have done in my life and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who has a love of the Spitfire. The team at Lee-on-the-Solent are highly professional and go out of their way to make your time with them rememberable. Attention is paid to every detail so that you feel safe and comfortable at all times. I just loved every minute. Thank you Steve and pilot Andy for making it such a memorable experience.
Written 22 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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