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1950s Military Trainer Air Experience

When it comes to vintage flights Compton Abbas is a great choice of airfield. A family-run affair with great facilities and lovely views this private airfield just south of Shaftesbury is offering you the chance to get airborne in an absolute favourite aircraft – the De Havilland Chipmunk.The Chippy as it is lovingly known certainly has staying power. It was developed by the Canadian arm of the aviation company in the post-war years as a replacement to the equally legendary Tiger Moth. Once it went into full production the likes of the Royal Canadian and Royal Air Forces both put in large orders for the Chipmunk.The Compton Abbas Chipmunk is a DHC-1 Chipmunk T-10 which means it was built in the UK. Coming off the production line in early 1952 she went into military service in April of the same year. As the standard primary trainer for the RAF Chipmunks were everywhere giving young trainee pilots their first taste of flying – and if you hear ex RAF pilots talk it’s a taste that was never forgotten. Indeed the Chipmunk is just so elegant in flight and was a lively aircraft to learn to fly in. This Chipmunk donned the serial number W585 and was resident at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland for a good chunk of her RAF career. And she was still flying Air Cadets throughout the 1970s. We’ve even found a photo of her flying on Air Experience Flights for Air Cadets out of Edinburgh Airport in 1975 – and surprise surprise she still sports those authentic RAF colours today.After all those hours showing young pilots the skies on military trainer flights from the 1950s right through to the latest 80s W585 was then shipped to Cranwell to a rather less salubrious role as a gate guard. Luckily she was auctioned and in 2000 was fully restored with love and care by the Duxford team taking a civil registration in the process.She now flies as G-BZGA proudly operating vintage flights out of Compton Abbas airfield. We are offering 20 30 45 and 60-minute experience flights in this very fine tandem trainer. What’s more the whole thing is filmed from inside the cockpit.  This is available to purchase on the day so you can watch you flying in 1950s style over and over again!

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