Learning to fly a spitfire is a journey in itself

As Matt and Steve prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime expedition, their training is already in full swing at the Boultbee Flight Academy, a business they founded together several years ago and which today remains the only training school for Spitfire pilots in the world.

We’ll follow their journey on the site as they undergo a comprehensive training programme that encompasses mastery of tail-wheel and high-powered warbird flying as well as extensive expedition preparation.

Seen below is the DeHavilland Chipmunk – mastery of this humble training aircraft is a must for every aspiring modern-day Spitfire pilot. When you have the requisite skill to land this 1950s training aircraft from the backseat (which offers an approximation of the poor visibility on landing a pilot will experience in the Spitfire), then it’s onto the Academy’s advanced trainer, the T6 Texan / Harvard, before you can even think about getting into the seat of one of history’s most famous and beautiful fighter aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire.