What can I expect on the day
Meet the little big aircraft with a funny name - the Thruxton Jackaroo! One of only a handful still airworthy and flying in the whole wide world, this is an extra special way to get airborne for anyone who loves their vintage aviation.
You'd be forgiven for having never heard of this aeroplane, as only 19 were ever built. Officially known as the DH82A (Mod) Jackaroo, the clue is in the name, as they are all actually converted DeHavilland Tiger Moths.
The story goes that after the Second World War there was a ban on lots of imported goods, including planes, so with a surplus of Moths around, the idea of converting them into four seater cabin tourers came up. And so the Jackaroo came into being
Conversions were done by Thruxton and Rollason and these DH82As were enlarged very simply, yet cleverly, by inserting new cross frames, making the undercarriage wider and adding extra fairings to make the bigger cockpit. Even the engine was moved forward a crucial few inches on the Jackaroo to give it that increased cabin space.
The Thruxton Jackaroos gave these biplanes a new lease of life ferrying passengers, working as crops sprayers, or being used to take parachutists up to the dizzy heights for their jump training. Some were even used as training aircraft and were, by all accounts, a delight to fly.
That same heyday of British aviation feel is very much present on these experiences. As the Jackaroo is pushed out of the hangar onto the tarmac, that lovely silver and blue livery is very classy and classic too. What's more, you don't just have to imagine what it was like when used as a four seater touring plane, as you can invite someone to ride in the biplane with you. As the student on this lesson you'll be sitting in tandem with your pilot (so you can use the dual controls) and your passenger sits beside either you or the pilot.
A four seater aircraft like the Thruxton Jackaroo is a rare thing indeed and we think this is a fabulous opportunity to ride in a biplane with a difference. Charming, surprisingly nimble in the air and having the benefit of a being a closed cockpit after the conversion from the open cockpit that the Moth's originally had, this is a four seater that's great fun to fly.
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