How can you get to fly a vintage WWII plane?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Soundbreaker Welch?, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    #1 Soundbreaker Welch?, Sep 2, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
    First of all, learn to fly. Really well.

    Well, I don't know how to fly. Probably the toughest obstacle to overcome, and not likely in the near future.

    But after that, how do you still get to fly one? Ask an owner of a vintage warbird to let you take it out and zip around in the clouds? I think that would take getting the owners trust first.

    Secondly, would an owner of a vintage warbird be happier if you had joined the Air Force and flown jets, or would flying modern propeller planes be enough training? I know in the Air Force they teach you all kinds of things such as formation flying, flying under high G's, advanced instrument flying, ect. Most major airliners like Air Force pilots, because they have a lot of experience.

    Any schools in the US that would teach you to fly a hot rod fighter like the WWII fighters were? It's a lot harder than most of the civillian aircraft out there I think.


    Anyway, just some dreams I have, but learning to fly is the first part. :|
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Nothing beats hard work and perseverance. There are many routes you can take to get there, and how you do it is up to you. You can start by getting your PPL (private pilot's license) and get a lot of flying hours. Many organizations also require you to carry heavy insurance and provide sponsorship of the aircraft.

    If you are looking to get a ride in one, look into a local CAF chapter. Many of them have warbird ride programs where you can ride in one for a fixed donation. Joining the CAF and volunteering to help out can help you soak up a ton of knowledge and be around like-minded people.

    One of the other routes you can take is to go to a local airport and find a warbird owner/operator and volunteer to help out. Likely you will be sweeping floors or polishing the plane, or other menial tasks. But it shows you have a genuine interest and if you keep at it long enough, you can be rewarded. Just make sure you pick one that has more than one seat. ;)

    Going the military route is an option, but getting into a pilot's seat in any branch of the service is not an easy route and there are many applicants for a small number of slots. Obviously, some people get through, but you need to be an officer, which requires at least a bachelors degree. You also need 20/20 vision and a squeaky clean record.

    I know out here, there is a group called the Condor Squadron, who have a unique setup. They fly T-6s and have put up formations as big as 14 (that I have seen). The pilot come from a variety of backgrounds. Most of the older guys have military backgrounds, but weren't necessarily pilots in their military service. The younger guys may or may not, but some are charter service pilots or have other aviation related jobs.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    In the states it is pretty simple. There are plenty of T-6 Texans flying around and most of the time you can pay to go up in them. There are several organizations that also have B-17s that you can pay to fly in.

    At the airshow I am going to this weekend they are offering flights in the Junkers Ju 52s and the Dornier Do 24. I am not sure if the B-17 is going to used for joy rides as well.
     
  4. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Down here in Charleston this comming weekend the Liberty Belle will be in town. They are offering 30 minute flights around the local area. The price is $450 dollars. But afterwards, if you want to view it, its free. They have a donation box. I want to do it, but im going to save the money to pay for my PPL.
     
  5. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Beaupower, I was lucky enough to be aboard Liberty Belle last year in Duxford. What an experience! Do your best and try to get in as well. It will get you back in 40´s...
    And...good luck with your PPL! It was my long time dream but I gave it up since I got a family.
     
  6. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Collings Foundation P-51C

    $2,200.00 for a 30 minute ride

    $3,200.00 for an hour

    TO
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    If the goal is to FLY one, compared to ride, the Eric has summarized approaches pretty well. Even if you win the lottery (big one) and can buy what you want the approach is pretty linear. Learn to fly. Practice and qualify in progressively more powerful birds.

    when you have the time and the skill (somebody else's judgment) work the network to see if you could 'get' a mentor who knows your bird inside-out and has all the tribal knowledge regarding the 100 ways to kill yourself w/o tring very hard.. if a two seat version available - get some serious time and instruction in That airplane..
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    That may be the most important quality.. building trust and networking with the right people is tough to do via e-mail. Even if some one is a great pilot with a lot of experience, i bet they still need to be part salesman...

    .
     
  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    #9 Soundbreaker Welch?, Sep 2, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
    Thanks guys for the advice. I would like to take flying lessons and get a license, but at the moment it's not so good. Mainly dough and availability. :oops:

    I don't think I should put too much hope in winning the lottery to solve that problem! :lol:

    3,000 dollars for an hour ride is a bit pricey, but I can understand why, the risk to the aircraft and pilot is always great, even for a shorter flight.

    Like you say, sticking around and getting a job at a small airport and getting to know the owners of some old vintage planes is probably a good idea. They might let you sit in the cockpit on the tarmac at least!
     
  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    In Canada, at the CWH Museum, it's $2000 for a one hour flight in the Lancaster. You can also go up in the Firefly, DC-3, B-25, Sea Fury, Harvard and others. There's a list of fixed donations, but I don't remember the exact prices or which planes corresponds to which price besides the Lanc.
     
  11. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    I have thought about this kind of thing myself and have come to a few personal conclusions...

    One, is that (at this point) flying anything, including and ulta-light, would be a blast...

    Two, flying WW1 technology is much more possible then flying WW2 era aeroplanes...this includes the "so-called" cutting edge of Fokker Sopwith, but only if you are willing to compromise a bit. Their are lots of reasonable replicas around that will satisfy and dreams.

    Three, is the above mentioned "donation rides" already mentioned.

    Four, is those aircombat classes/rides you can find at some aerodromes. I'm talking about the ones where they teach you a few maneuvers and you shoot at your buddy with lasers...

    These are the only solutions I have found for the dream of "living the experience" of these old warbirds...8)
     
  12. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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