Where do I begin? There is so much to tell. We moved our Maintenance Organisation, which is responsible for keeping ML407 operational, to Sywell Aerodrome on the 10th January this year. We moved ourselves back in early November to live near to the Aerodrome which has cut down our travelling time enormously. So that is good but it was difficult in the extreme moving from a place one had been for 26 years and the shed/workshop alone was massive undertaking. We still have our hangars at Bentwaters and of course remain as a flying partner at Duxford both of which are very important places to the Grace Spitfire and our whole Team.
The Hangar at Sywell Aerodrome is a newly constructed hangar which we have on a long lease. The hangar needed fitting out with stores and offices plus a spray bake which we have done but saying it was a lot easier than the process involved however thanks to Richard’s design and forethought the whole block works really well. The hangar is a fine workplace for ML407 and ‘her friends’ which we now have quite a few of. However ML407 remains as the most important aeroplane in the hangar.
You may have seen a new ‘tab’ on the home page of “Flights” and that is because as of mid June we have had our SSA&C Approval issued to enable us to carry fare paying passengers in a viable manner in the Grace Spitfire. The Approval was a challenge to obtain but very worth while working hard to achieve this goal as we can now reduce greatly our waiting list for flights in ML407 which for the past month we have been doing with many being booked up for their long awaited flight in our genuinely historic and original Spitfire ML407. Go to our Flights page and have a look but if you just want to get the information then email flights@ML407.co.uk.
We have received many flight enquiries which is so uplifting, but do give us a little while to reply as we are a very small team of one (Daisy) and myself (Carolyn) helping. It is wonderful to be in a position to share with people the wonderful experience of flying in our Spitfire with all that it represents. On the day of a persons flight (five in a day only) it is like a real bonding experience as we all get to touch and sense the Spitfire with their friends and family. Sywell is ideal for this experience with excellent catering facilities and on site Hotel. We have the use of a Club Room in the Art Deco terminal building which works really well as a base for all our guests during their day with the Grace Spitfire. The guests get to see the excited anticipation of their loved one / friend getting into the cockpit and then upon their return they are all out at the aircraft when the engine has stopped to come up close and watch the expression of the passenger which is often one of complete wonderment at the experience they have just had.which always surpasses their expectations. Photos around the cockpit then take place and children get to sit on the steps with their father/mother and family to capture the moment. There is the option to buy an on board DVD of your flight which means the whole family can watch your flight and see the beauty of the countryside plus how you react during your flight when perhaps you actually had hands on experience taking control of the Spitfire (following the briefing of course) and then the aerobatics if you had wanted them and with a classic Spitfire Victory Roll. Superb!
This news update is a positive one for the Grace Spitfire ML407 and her continued successful operation.