1. Where do I fly from?
All flights take place (unless otherwise stated) at Headcorn Aerodrome, Headcorn, Ashford. Kent. TN27 9HX and are hosted by Aero Legends Ltd.
Aero Legends have been operating flight experiences in and with the training and combat aircraft that the RAF used during WWII from Headcorn Aerodrome since 2014. You will be flying in the very airspace in which the Battle of Britain was fought – you’ll experience the sights and sounds of the time – minus the gunnery of course!
2. Where do you fly to?
Headcorn’s close proximity to the coast allows for tours of the White Cliffs of Dover in these vintage aircraft and subsequently the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, which pays tribute to the Few. Other popular landmarks include Leeds Castle, as well as Dover Castle and Dover Harbour, which served as a key feature on the frontline of the Battle of Britain being relentlessly attacked by the Luftwaffe.
3. How far are you from London?
We are within 1 hours drive from Central London, and by train you can travel by train to Headcorn (@ 1 hour) and take a taxi to Headcorn Aerodrome (5 minutes).
4. Are there any health associated restrictions?
Your flight with a Spitfire is truly uplifting and exhilarating, and whilst flying at relatively low altitude, you will experience emotions and excitement probably unlike anything else that you have been through before – therefore it is important that you are in a state of mind and health to be prepared for that.
For your safety and well-being, and that of our other customers, we make the following restrictions – we cannot fly people with epilepsy, vertigo, panic attacks or other conditions which could cause the individual or the group being flown with, some distress. In addition, people with a severe heart condition will need a letter from their GP clearing them to fly.
If you are in any doubt about your health before you fly, please consult your doctor.
We do not recommend flying in the 1st or 3rd trimester.
We also don’t recommend that you fly with us whilst heavily pregnant – just for your own comfort. The rule of thumb is if you can sit comfortably in a car with the seat belt on, you should be fine.
If you decide that you want to fly and your doctor agrees to it, we’ll need this in writing.
If it doesn’t work out we can always fly you on a future date, and we’re very willing to listen to your needs and decide on the best time for you. So don’t put yourself under pressure to fly unless you are 100% certain that it’s the best choice for you.
There is weight is a limit of 18 stone per person for Fly Alongside Tours. However if a passenger is heavier than this, they still can fly but we need to make necessary provisions. You will be asked to inform us of weight when booking.
We also reserve the right to check passenger weights before boarding, if there is clearly a discrepancy between the stated weight and the apparent weight of the passenger. This will be done if in the opinion of the ground crew there is a possibility that this discrepancy might endanger the safety of the flight.
Lower Age Limit. We recommend children are aged over 8 years and ideally at an age at which they will really appreciate the spectacle of the aircraft in flight, and appreciate its’ significance. We think parents are the best judge of their own children, but typically 8yrs + children seem to get a buzz from our flights!
Upper Age Limit -There isn’t one – we would love to fly everyone if possible. The older the person, the more likely they are to pass insights and observations that we ‘youngsters’ would love to share, to further the story of the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire and our aviation heritage.
If the so called ‘elderly ‘person has a ‘can do’ spirit, then we’ll fly them. The criteria must be health and mobility – if your doctor is comfortable with you flying, and has ‘signed you off’, then please join us!
You must be able to walk at least 50 metres / yards to and from the aircraft on your own – this is for safety reasons if you have to evacuate the aircraft in an emergency. Of course, under normal conditions we are there to help you board and disembark the aircraft!
5. How do I make a booking?
Bookings are made over the phone or online. If you would like to purchase a ticket with a date to fly, this must be done over the phone (please call 01622 812830).
We can take 4 forms of payment, which can be arranged over the phone when booking – again this is the most secure method of us taking payment details.
Bank Transfer – we give you our account details, and you then arrange the payment via your bank online. This can be the fastest form of payment, and once the funds are on our account your ticket will be issued, sent first class post – with it often being received within 2 – 3 days.
Debit / Credit card – by phone. We take your details and process them online through Barclaycard EPDQ, one of the world’s leading merchant services providers, which we have been using for over 5 years. Payments normally clear within 3 days, and tickets should arrive @ 2 days later.
Debit / Credit card – on line. You can make a secure payment through our website, which is linked to Barclaycard EPDQ. You can buy ‘open tickets ‘online and then fix a date to fly afterwards. This is a good option for buying that special gift at the last minute!
Cheque – you post your cheque payment, and once the cheque is cleared we issue you with your ticket. This process normally takes at least ten days from order to tickets being received.
Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, we offer a Deposit payment plan for our Fly In A Spitfire / Spitfire Passenger Flights. A deposit is needed when booking to secure the place. The full balance payment must be received 30 days before the flight.
Please ask about the ‘Buy to Fly’ option when booking.
7. When do the flights take place?
Our flying season is between April and November. Flights are on set dates throughout the year, see our flying dates here
8. What happens if I need to cancel my flight?
Bookings are non-refundable and non-redeemable – except for SSAC Fly In A Spitfire/Spitfire Passenger Flights. Change of date notice must be given at least 1 month before your flight which allows us to re-allocate your seat, otherwise cost penalties apply. Cancellation due to sickness or ill-health will be dealt with on an individual basis. If you do not turn up for your flight or you are late and miss it, you are not entitled to re-schedule or to a refund.
9. What happens if the flight is cancelled due to bad weather or another reason which is not your fault?
Confirmation that the flight is planned to go ahead is given 3 days prior to the flight date. Please do not travel until this confirmation has been received at that time – you will be emailed with this confirmation
If we do have to cancel due to unforeseen weather changes or mechanical breakdown, or other reasons outside of our control, we will contact you as soon possible so that you avoid unnecessary travel and costs.
We cannot be held liable for these last minute changes and all travel, hotel bookings or any other associated arrangements are made at your risk, and you should ensure that there is flexibility on behalf of the carrier and/or hotel or accommodate last minute changes. If the flight is cancelled at short notice we will try and re-schedule it on the same day, the following day, or at the earliest date possible based on people’s ability to re-schedule. You can also re-schedule to a convenient date later in the season if you wish – depending on availability. See Cancellation Policy.
10. What time should I arrive for Check In?
You must check-in by the time stated on the final flight arrangements given to you a week prior to the flight. Any late comers risk the chance of missing their flight.
11. Can I just turn up and fly?
No, all flights must be pre-booked. See our flying dates
12. Insurance – do I need additional cover?
Aero Legends is the event organiser – who carry specific public liability insurance to the value of £1m. Policy copies of which can be provided on request.
Action Stations does not accept any liability for loss to or death of participants, and therefore they (participants) should familiarise themselves with their own insurance provisions and ensure that they have the appropriate cover in place. If there is any doubt always consult your insurance broker.
13. Which Spitfire do you fly with?
Single cockpit TD314 was built at Castle Bromwich in late 1944 and fitted with a Merlin 70 as a High Level Fighter (HFIXE). She was one of the last high back Spitfires built as the production line switched to low back aircraft in February of 1945.
14. How long is my ticket valid for?
Once purchased it is valid until the end of the current flying season – once received you should book your flight. Our flying season runs from April to September each year, and we fly every 4 – 6 weeks.
So although we have plenty of places, it is best to call us sooner than later. If you receive your ticket as a gift for Christmas for example, it is valid throughout the following season. It is possible to purchase a ticket for future flying seasons.
15. What type of aircraft do I fly in?
We fly our guests in an ex-RAF 1946 de Havilland Devon, famously used by Air Chief Marshall Sir Basil Embry as his personal transport during his time as Commander Of Allied Forces, Central Europe. In 1985 the aircraft joined the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) at RAF Coningsby, where the aircraft was used as a crew transport in support of the BBMF Lancaster, Spitfires and Hurricanes. The Devon and its non-military sister the Dove were exceptionally successful, proving reliable and economical in service. They became one of the best selling British aircraft of the 1950’s. The Devon is a comfortable aircraft inside, with roomy seats and large panoramic windows. There are excellent photo opportunities.
16. Can I take a camera on board?
Taking photographs s is something we definitely encourage. You wouldn’t want you to miss out on showing family and friends this once in a lifetime experience. Send us your photos afterwards and we will even make a gallery in your name on our website!
Please see our Photographer’s Notes to help you prepare to take those superb shots of the Spitfire!
17. Professional photography
Professionals normally carry a lot of sophisticated and bulky equipment which we cannot accommodate on a flight with other passengers on board.
If you are a professional with the need for air to air photography of the Spitfire or Hurricane then tell us, and we can arrange for additional aircraft, which will be chartered to you at the normal commercial rates. Please inform us of your requirements and we can make the arrangements for you.
We enjoy working with serious professionals – please just be open and tell us that you are professional!
18. Ownership of Images / not to be used or sold for Gain.
We want all our customers to take magnificent photographs and enjoy them, share them with friends and family – this is part of the intent of our Fly with a Spitfire / Hurricane Experiences.
We don’t even mind them being shared on Facebook!
And for those of you generous enough to share some of your shots, we will make a gallery in your name on our website – so that we can remember you – and you can share the images easily with all your network of friends and family around the world
What we do not allow is the taking of photographs which are then sold for financial gain.
19. Other definitions of Financial Gain.
Plagiarism leading to financial gain.
We are the originators of the Fly with a Spitfire Experience. This unique and uplifting experience has been carefully developed over four years, with considerable investment on behalf of the aircraft operators and ourselves. Being first to market does have its benefits and also drawbacks, not least to say is the threat of copying. Whilst we welcome honest competition, we will not tolerate theft of our operational model and rigorously pursue all parties that attempt to do so.
20. I would like to work for you / I have a good idea that I’d like to discuss
We are always looking for bright, dynamic individuals and organisations to develop and grow our business with – we have an ‘open door’ policy, and welcome your approach. We do ask however that you really have a ‘thought’ through’ proposition – you would be amazed at the ‘half – baked’ ideas that people come up with!
We’re passionate about our venture and the many wonderful threads of interest that it has created. If you want to share an idea, it’s best to email us first or write and then we can do some homework before taking the idea further. Please also protect your idea first if it has any intellectual property value.
We are constantly updating this feature, so if you have any comments or suggestions please drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org