Want to learn some fancy aerobatics in Essex? Yearning to do a loop the loop in a plane? Well these aerobatics experiences out of Stapleford Aerodrome will get you off to a flying start as you make your foray into the world of aerial free styling using one of the best trainer aircraft designed for the job.
The Slingsby Firefly is actually a British-built aeroplane and a specially modified military version served as the basic aerobatics trainer in the RAF from 1995 to 2010 before it was replaced by the Grob. This little low-wing high performance plane has seen some serious action including a certain member of the Royal Family who earned his spinning wings in one – but we couldn’t possibly divulge who it was…
And although you’ll be treated like a VIP for your session there are no airs and graces here as it’s all very down to earth and friendly here in Stapleford with their Firefly. The team is highly experienced with a CV in flying and aerobatics that’s as long as your arm. All that means your accompanying pilot instructor is an expert when it comes to handling the Slingsby and will be only too pleased to show you the ropes.
It’s worth noting that the Slingsby you’ll be flying in is the T67M. This 160hp ‘M’ version is considered by aficionados as the best version of the Firefly there is as it is the modified military model. In aeronautical techno-geek speak that means it has a constant-speed propeller and an inverted fuel and oil system which for us mere mortals means that it can fly for quite a long time upside down!
So now you’ve got the right aeroplane for the job and a fully qualified instructor it’s time to get ready for some aerobatics above the Essex skies. Step out onto the apron and after a walk around this very pretty little Firefly it’s time to climb aboard the cockpit (admittedly a little snug!) get the harness on and get ready to fly
Once airborne and cruising happily you will be asked if you’d like to take control. They tell us the Slingsby is a ‘real stick and rudder plane’ that requires skill and precise gentle handling to get the best out of it so we’ll soon see if you’ve got what it takes. And of course your flight includes a spectacular run of aerobatics over Essex that’s bound to include a loop the loop and if you’re brave enough maybe a few slow stylish spins that the Slingsby is famous for.