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Spitfires over the NeedlesThis Christmas are you wondering what you might buy an avation nut, someone who has everything you can think of already?

Well how about the Holy Grail of aviation - a flight in a Spitfire!

In 2014 the CAA changed the rules regarding fee paying 'passenger' flights in ex-military aircraft (warbirds) which, up intil now, has meant only qualified pilots could fly in such an aircraft. Today this has all changed and now anyone can enjoy a flight!

Spitfires over the Needles

(Picture by artist Phil West

The Boultbee Flight Academy in Goodwood, near Chichester, is the first to be given the green-light by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) bosses to allow non-pilots to experience the iconic Spitfire TR9 in flight.

Matt Jones, managing director at Boultbee said: "Flying one of these iconic warbirds is an exceptional experience that everyone should have the opportunity to try. Trust me when I say that it is the most emotional, historical and exhilarating experience available in aviation today, and we very much look forward to sharing the aircraft with everyone who comes to visit. Their involvement will contribute significantly to ensuring Spitfires keep flying well into the future as a living memorial to the wartime designers, pilots and engineers of World War Two."

The Spitfire was the most famous warplane in the Second World War and was the only British fighter plane to be in continuous production throughout the conflict. It is commonly attributed as the catalyst for the Allies' victory in the Battle of Britain, where just 700 aircraft proved victorious against more than 2,000 German planes. Tony Rapson, of the CAA, said he is delighted that Boultbee is offering the experience. He said: "We hope this change will lead to similar opportunities, allowing Boultbee and others to grow their business and increase the numbers enjoying flying."

The Boultbee academy is based at Goodwood Aerodrome – the former home of RAF Westhampnett, a Hurricane and Spitfire base during the Battle of Britain and the Second World War.

For information on flights in the Spitfire, visit 

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