• 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
What Can I Expect
Take an iconic fighter plane flying over Northamptonshire, add an historic military passenger plane and you’ve got yourself a Castle Ashby Spitfire Tour! Taking off from the lovely Art Deco-styled Sywell Aerodrome, these Spitfire experiences will see you fly alongside the great Spitfire - with an extra special treat once your back on the ground…
Yes, as if being an active part of these Spitfire flights from Sywell wasn’t enough, these wonderful Castle Ashby flight packages also include 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 WW2 fighter pilot ace going into aerial battle on another daring mission.
But 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 exRAF passenger plane. 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 breathe 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 Mk IX Supermarine Spitfire 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 amazing experience, you’ll be heading in a southerly direction right over the rather lovely 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, included a delightful walled garden, are open to the public - but nothing beats the view as you look down on them, Spitfire by your side. And as you return to Sywell, you’ll be thinking what a superb backdrop Castle Ashby is for these Spitfire tour flights!
• Selected weekend dates between April and October, subject to weather conditions
• 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
• Spectators are welcome, with excellent views of the aircraft
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• On site cafe, bar and Sywell Aviation Museum
• All flights are 'chock to chock' so include taxi time
• At no point do you fly in the Spitfire
• 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
• Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire