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My flight in Hawker Hurricane BE505


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Hi all

 

One of the positive outcomes of Covid-19 for me was to have the most incredible experience of being one of the first fare-paying passengers in the world's only two-seat Hurricane!

 

How come, you might ask? Well, due to the need to work from home, I agreed to clear out the "man-cave" and make it into a home-office. I had many, many kits and my enthusiasm for the hobby had diminished in recent years, so I made the big decision to sell my entire collection, bar a few "special" kits!

 

I contacted three well-known dealers in second-hand kits for quotes and accepted an offer from King Kit. The company was very easy to deal with and even collected the kits, saving me the trouble of boxing them and dispatching them by courier. I was paid on the day and felt surprisingly relieved at the amount of space recovered from the study, loft, wardrobe and garage! I am pleased to say that I have had no seller's remorse.

 

My wonderful wife suggested that I should do something aviation-related with the proceeds. I had seen a magazine article about BE505 being converted to a two-seater so I visited flyaspitfire.com to register my interest for one of the first flights that had been postponed due to Covid-19.

 

As soon as I received the email to say that the Hurricane was available for booking, I booked my flight!

 

My wife, Mum and two friends chartered the company's GippsAero GA8 Airvan 8 and my wife did an amazing job of using my Panasonic Lumix bridge camera for the first time even though the flight was quite bumpy and she was shooting into the sun.

 

After the Hurricane broke away from the Airvan, I took control and on the way back to Biggin Hill, the pilot performed a beautifully graceful victory roll.

 

This was, without doubt, one of the most amazing days of my life which was directly attributable to the pandemic.

 

I will start with a few photos from my collection of Peter Teichman flying the aircraft at Duxford and Old Warden in 2010. I never dreamed that 10 years later, I would fly in and even take control of this wonderful machine!

 

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The former RAF Biggin Hill

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Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar 

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Thanks for looking. (I'm still pinching myself....)

 

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Coolest thing I've seen all year! I'm not even remotely jealous............*

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Mark.

 

 

*I lied.

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13 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Very cool indeed! That's an amazing experience which I'm sure you'll treasure forever. I agree your wife has done a remarkable job on camera too!

Thanks Jamie. You are not wrong! The weather was perfect as well!

6 minutes ago, lasermonkey said:

Coolest thing I've seen all year! I'm not even remotely jealous............*

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Mark.

 

 

*I lied.

Hi Mark. It was so cool, and I have barely grounded myself 24 hours later!

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As Wallis might say " What a cracking day out Grommit!"

 

What a truly wonderful, once in a lifetime experience! Fabulous pictures! Thanks for sharing these. 

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7 minutes ago, Latinbear said:

As Wallis might say " What a cracking day out Grommit!"

 

What a truly wonderful, once in a lifetime experience! Fabulous pictures! Thanks for sharing these. 

It certainly was, Latinbear! A day that will remain with me forever! The great thing was that my friends and family could share the experience, thanks to my friend suggesting the Airvan charter!

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3 minutes ago, dnl42 said:

You so totally rock, dude! :worthy:

 

Yes, thanks for sharing those pictures!

Thanks very much, dnl42. Although, you might not have said that if you had seen me in a snug flying suit!🤣

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Not meaning to be rude, but: YOU LUCKY S.O.B.!!!!

 

That must have been awesone! Has the smile left your face yet?

 

 

 

Chris

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Do you mean to say you didn't sit on the pilot's lap, like Jean Wladon near the beginning of the Battle of Britain film?

Lucky man, you!

And some cracking photography to remember it all by.

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3 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Not meaning to be rude, but: YOU LUCKY S.O.B.!!!!

 

That must have been awesone! Has the smile left your face yet?

 

 

 

Chris

Not yet, Chris!

2 hours ago, Steve Coombs said:

Do you mean to say you didn't sit on the pilot's lap, like Jean Wladon near the beginning of the Battle of Britain film?

Lucky man, you!

And some cracking photography to remember it all by.

Thanks Steve. No room for lap-sitting!

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This all reminds me of two super birthday presents my wife gave me ... first an hour's  flight in a Tiger Moth from Duxford (her mum was with us and as I left them to walk out to the aeroplane I'm sure I heard mum-in-law saying "where do they keep the anti-aircraft guns?"  I *might* be wrong) ... but almost an hour of poodling around Duxford was a wow.   The second was what we call a 'significant birthday' when she treated me to a taxi ride in NX611 at East Kirkby.  On the way there we stopped at RAF Coningsby to visit the BBMF, then to the Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa (I paid for that) before going to East Kirkby for my taxi-ride.  What a day ... back to the Petwood (I paid again, well worth it) for anothe super dinner and B&B before coming home by way of the Newark Air museum.  Overall my best birthday present ever.

 

Sadly there won't be any more - my wife died early in August (NOT thanks to Covid-19).  But I treasure the memory of those presents.  I can fully understand Alpha Delta 210's joy and his remaining smile ... mine took ages to wear off!

 

Well done, lovely photos and thanks for sharing them. 

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I've had stick time in two aircraft. First a North American SNJ. Second was a 1931 Travelaire. Both were over the California coast, north of San Diego.

 

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Chris

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Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic experience. Your wife did a great job and you can re visit the with some wonderful images. Having had the pleasure of MJ627 when I retired a scheme may be needed to follow your lead!

 

Keith

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11 hours ago, Jonny said:

This all reminds me of two super birthday presents my wife gave me ... first an hour's  flight in a Tiger Moth from Duxford (her mum was with us and as I left them to walk out to the aeroplane I'm sure I heard mum-in-law saying "where do they keep the anti-aircraft guns?"  I *might* be wrong) ... but almost an hour of poodling around Duxford was a wow.   The second was what we call a 'significant birthday' when she treated me to a taxi ride in NX611 at East Kirkby.  On the way there we stopped at RAF Coningsby to visit the BBMF, then to the Petwood Hotel at Woodhall Spa (I paid for that) before going to East Kirkby for my taxi-ride.  What a day ... back to the Petwood (I paid again, well worth it) for anothe super dinner and B&B before coming home by way of the Newark Air museum.  Overall my best birthday present ever.

 

Sadly there won't be any more - my wife died early in August (NOT thanks to Covid-19).  But I treasure the memory of those presents.  I can fully understand Alpha Delta 210's joy and his remaining smile ... mine took ages to wear off!

 

Well done, lovely photos and thanks for sharing them. 

So sorry to hear of your loss, Jonny. My wife bought me both of the experiences that your wife bought you, and like you, I will cherish those memories forever.

 

Thanks for the kind words. My wife is very pleased with the comments about her photographic prowess!

 

1 hour ago, Britman said:

Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic experience. Your wife did a great job and you can re visit the with some wonderful images. Having had the pleasure of MJ627 when I retired a scheme may be needed to follow your lead!

 

Keith

Thanks for the kind words, Keith. I plan a Spitfire flight as a retirement gift to myself! There are so many choices of operator and venue these days. Who would have thought it?

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What an awesome. jaw dropping  experience! In my naivety I hadn't even realised it was possible to fly in a two seat Hurricane.  You were so lucky with the conditions, and yes, your wife takes a good photo too.

 

Not remotely jealous...! 😜  

 

Mark

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3 hours ago, canberraman said:

What an awesome. jaw dropping  experience! In my naivety I hadn't even realised it was possible to fly in a two seat Hurricane.  You were so lucky with the conditions, and yes, your wife takes a good photo too.

 

Not remotely jealous...! 😜  

 

Mark

Thanks Mark. Im still pinching myself! Without doubt, a perfect day in every respect!

2 hours ago, paul bardell said:

Wow!

 

What a great day you had -  and great photos as well.

 

 

:poppy:

Thanks Paul. It was an awesome day! The smile hasn't left my lips yet!

1 hour ago, Parabat said:

Outstanding story and outstanding pics, what an experience! Superb day, and the weather was perfect too. Nice one.

Thanks Parabat. It certainly was an outstanding day in every respect!

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On 9/19/2020 at 1:38 AM, lasermonkey said:

I'm not even remotely jealous............*

I am. Stuck on the far side of the world, 12,000 miles from this sort of action jealous. That looks like a fabulous day out, I'm impressed at how good this machine looks & at risk of being banned, I think I might prefer this to a Spitfire flight. Easy to say 'cause I don't think I'll ever need to make the choice. :)

Steve.

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7 hours ago, stevehnz said:

I am. Stuck on the far side of the world, 12,000 miles from this sort of action jealous. That looks like a fabulous day out, I'm impressed at how good this machine looks & at risk of being banned, I think I might prefer this to a Spitfire flight. Easy to say 'cause I don't think I'll ever need to make the choice. :)

Steve.

Hi Steve. It was indeed a fabulous day out. I certainly wouldn't ban you your for preferring a Hurricane flight!

 

We really are fortunate to have these opportunities in the UK.

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Well done. I had my 'dream flight' in a Hunter almost 20 years ago and my heart is still in the air of Gloucestershire...

John

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34 minutes ago, John R said:

Well done. I had my 'dream flight' in a Hunter almost 20 years ago and my heart is still in the air of Gloucestershire...

John

Thanks John. I'm not surprised! That must have been an equally amazing experience!

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