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Aerobatic Flight Experiences

Aerobatic Flights: Everything you need to know

Flying a helicopter and taking on the hover challenge is all well and good, but it’s a bit… horizontal.

So is flying a plane in a straight line. Dull as dishwater. If you want that little bit more from your flying experience, an aerobatic flight should be just the ticket. These fantastically nimble planes can pull off some seriously impressive moves! Pick up a voucher for an aerobatic flying experience, and you’ll enjoy swooping and looping through the air thanks to your qualified instructor and pilot. If he or she feels you’re ready to go one stage further, you’ll be given the chance to take the controls and fly it yourself.

Spectators are welcome to settle your nerves before you fly and take photos while you’re in the plane. Aerobatic flying is a brilliant way to treat yourself to fulfilling your ambition, and is an ideal gift for the extreme sports fan who thinks they have seen it all!

You can choose to fly at a whole range of locations including, Warwickshire, Surrey, Manchester, Blackpool, Dorset, Lancashire and Leicestershire. You don’t have to book a date today: just choose your voucher and it will ‘wing’ its way to you - totally free!

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Q: So this is for trained pilots who fancy throwing a few tricks in?
A: No you big banana, you don’t need any flying experience at all to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping adventure.
Q: When you say adrenaline-pumping, will my adrenaline actually be pumped?
A: It could well be, as this is the ultimate experience for thrill seekers and action junkies. You’ll encounter incredible g-forces, extreme manoeuvres and wild twists and turns, high in the air. You’ll need a strong nerve and a strong stomach.
Q: I have actually been diagnosed with strong nerves, will this hinder me?
A: You should be fine but this experience may not be suitable for anyone who is pregnant, suffers from epilepsy, fits, severe head injuries, recurrent fainting, giddiness or blackouts, high blood pressure, or heart conditions. And for their own safety diabetics may be required to produce a medical certificate. If you have any worries, just ask us or the supplier.
Q: So who is doing the driving?
A: A highly trained and qualified CAA-approved pilot will take you into the air in an extremely adaptable aircraft designed for stunt flying. With high speeds of up to 200mph, you’ll experience terrifying vertical climbs, exhilarating loops, thrilling rolls and various other aerobatic manoeuvres.
Q: Can I have a go?
A: Yes! With some of our experiences there is an option to take the controls and have a go yourself, under expert guidance of course. You’ll feel and the power, magnificence and floatiness of this feisty little aircraft.
Q: What about if there is a touch of bluster in the air?
A: The flight is weather dependent, so on the morning of your flight it is recommended that you call the flying centre to check that everything is chocks away and stuff.
Q: To be honest, I only like to do things that have an 80’s film theme, so I’ll just get my coat and leave…
A: Wait! Come back! We actually have an amazing Top Gun experience, where you’ll fly a Bulldog plane and learn all the stunts and tricks that Timmy Cruise and the lads did in the film from former or current RAF pilots. You can even tail chase another plane.
Q: I look, smell and have the memory of a goldfish, will this be a problem?
A: For most experiences, you can bring along spectators to take pictures of your gallivanting about in the sky. Or else there may be a chance to buy pictures or videos of your exploits. Just check with us or the supplier about specifics.
Q: I also have prominent cheekbones that get me in trouble...
A: There may be some weight and height restrictions connected to the experience, so check the small print before purchasing. The minimum age for some of these experiences is a youthful 12 years old, with no maximum age, though if you are an older person, you may need to provide a medical note confirming your suitability to fly.

Fun Facts

  • 1. Barnstorming was popular in 1920’s America, where stunt pilots would perform crazy aerial tricks with airplanes, either alone or in groups called a flying circus. The word ‘barnstormer’ is thought to derive from the pilot’s landing at local farms and using their fields as a runway, and not from a man called Barney Stormer who once owned a plane.
  • 2. The US military sold of many of their training planes, nicknamed Jennys, after World War I for incredibly low prices, allowing many of the flying circuses access to cheap aircraft. The planes were so plentiful and cheap that they replaced scooters and rollerskates for many young American children. Probably.
  • 3. Competition between barnstormers led to stunts becoming more and more dangerous until the government had to intervene and the Civil Aviation Authority was established. And just like every government agency, they spoiled everybody’s fun.
  • 4. One of the most famous ‘wing walkers’ was Ormer Locklear, a daredevil military pilot who, legend has it, would clamber onto the wing of his craft to fix mechanical issues. Which I could definitely do if I wanted to, but I just don’t want to, ok?
  • 5. In 1981, 19 skydivers set an unofficial wing-walking world record by standing on the wing of aircraft in flight, which I imagine really confused anyone who happened to look out of the window at that moment.
  • 6. In 2009, Tiger Brewer, an eight year old British boy, became the world's youngest Wing Walker after standing above the wings of his grandfather's plane, in an event that I hope was sponsored by Childline.
  • 7. Perhaps the most famous aerobatic team is the RAF’s Red Arrows. Formed in 1964, their motto is Éclat, meaning ‘excellence’ and not ‘my éclair has been eaten by a cat’.
  • 8. The smoke trail left by aerobatic planes is made by releasing diesel into the exhaust, which oxidises, leaving a white smoke trail. Adding dye produces different colours and makes everyone go ‘Oooooooooo!’’ with childlike wonder.
  • 9. The first team to use smoke during displays was at the Farnborough Air show in 1957 by the Fleet Air Arm 702 Squadron also known as ‘The Black Cats’ which is odd as cats don’t generally fly.
  • 10. In competition aerobatics, flyers are judged on variations of turns, stalls, loops, eights and something called Humpty Bumps, which is obviously my favourite.