If you’re simply looking to saunter around the skies and see the world from a new perspective, then you may be content with a flight in a classic Cessna 172 or Piper PA-28. Whilst these are superb types in their own respect, Wingly is a treasure trove of interesting and rare aircraft types which can be sampled on a cost-shared basis. Have a look at some of our highlights below!
First taking into the skies in the late 1940s, for many years, the twin seater Nord NC.850 was commonplace at airfields across France. A forgiving and straight forward aircraft, the type long played a faithful role at many clubs and schools, providing many with their first taste of flight. However, today, having been replaced by more up to date types, the aircraft has become somewhat of a rarity and only a relatively small number remain in the skies today. Fortunately, there is currently one on the platform, this currently based at Enghien-Moiselles Airfield, located around 20 kilometres to the north of Paris. Easily recognisable thanks to its bubble-like canopy and distinctive twin tail arrangement, this Nord NC.854-S is owned by a dedicated group of local aviators. Interestingly, this exact airframe was once flown by French mountain flying pioneer Henri Giraud!
If you wish to follow in Giraud’s footsteps, a one hour cost-shared local flight in this historic aircraft costs only 53 Euros!
When thinking of Boeing, most people think of iconic airliners such as the 737 or 747, however you may be surprised to hear that the number of Boeing Stearman produced far exceeds the number of Boeing 747s ever constructed by over 9000! Having made its introduction during the 1930s, this biplane played a crucial role as a military trainer during the Second World War before going on to prove itself as a rather captable multi-role civilian aircraft during the postwar period. With well over ten thousand Stearmans produced, thankfully there are a reasonable number left flying however only a small number are available for the general public to sample the excitement of open cockpit flying.
Whilst the Baroque architecture and historic cathedral may prove reason enough to visit the German spa-town of Aachen, being home to the only Stearman on Wingly – Aachen is a must visit location!
Armed with a 360 horsepower 9 cylinder radial engine, in its prime, the Yak-52 provided an introduction to high performance flying to countless fighter pilots to be in the Soviet military. Today, whilst still in service with several militaries across the world, the type’s interesting nature and impressive performance ensures its status as a popular type amongst general aviation pilots across the world. Whilst well-loved amongst many pilots and enthusiasts, the type is somewhat rare in the GA world, however we are lucky enough to have one on the platform! If you wish to sample a flight in this classic aircraft then head to Fehrbellin Airfield just to the north west of Berlin. Here you can sample the delights of flying in a historic Yak without breaking the bank!
If you happen to fly on a Cessna light aircraft in Europe, there is a good chance that the airframe was not constructed at the manufacturing giant’s Kansas plant. Whilst many may associated the French city of Reims with champagne, amongst those more au fait with general aviation, it is widely known as the birthplace of many of Europe’s Cessnas. Here, eight different models were produced under licence by the appropriately named Reims Aviation. However the company’s history is most certainly not limited to their partnership with Cessna, having been producing aircraft since 1931! Powered by the rumbling Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior engine, the MH1521 Broussard was designed as a light military transport aircraft and made its first flight in 1952. Bearing a slight resemblance to the deHavilland Beaver, the aircraft’s primary role was as a light military transport aircraft, serving with forces across the world. Today, of the 396 constructed, only a miniscule number remains flyable making this an incredibly rare aircraft.
If you would like the fantastic experience of flying in a classic piston aircraft, then you can for only 60 Euros per person for a 75 minute flight around the Burgundy countryside! Whatsmore, with five spare seats, a flight in this unique aircraft would make an ideal family (or aviation enthusiasts’) outing.
Calling Stans, a small town in the heart of the scenic Swiss Alps their home, Pilatus Aircraft is renowned for their diverse models – rugged STOL-capable aircraft, luxurious corporate turboprops and jets and high performance military training aircraft. Whilst this may result in the belief that you either need to be hopping between remote Himalayan villages, parting with thousands to get from A to B or be a budding military pilot to sample a flight in one of these formidable designs, this isn’t the case! Instead all you need to do is have a Wingly profile and be willing to travel to Locarno in southern Switzerland.
Here, two pilots offer cost shared flights in the Pilatus P-3 and high performance PC-7 – both highly capable former military training aircraft.
If you haven’t heard of the SIAI Marchetti, you may be forgiven. This venerable twin seat Italian light aircraft is not exactly commonplace in the world of general aviation, especially in the UK. Instead, the aircraft can be found across the world in training and light attack roles by various militaries. The type is even the aircraft of choice for the Red Devils, the Belgian Air Component aerobatic display team! Highly powerful and fully aerobatic, no matter whether it be your first time in a light aircraft or you are an experienced pilot, the aircraft makes for an exhilarating flight.
If you wish to experience an hour’s flight in the F260WL, then head to the Bavarian city of Augsburg where you can whisk around the skies in a 1979 model formerly used for military training.
Operating a vintage warbird is an astronomically expensive feat, and it is for this reason that such aircraft would be perfect for cost sharing – allowing the pilot to halve their flight costs. Sadly there are not currently any Hurricanes, Mustangs or Spitfires on Wingly, we do however have the next best this, the ‘Poor Man’s Spitfire’, officially known as the deHavilland Chipmunk. Designed as a replacement for militaries’ biplane trainers, the Chipmunk first took to the skies in 1946 and proved popular with militaries across the world. Over seventy years later, the type still remains in active service as an elementary training aircraft with the Portuguese Air Force! It is thus fair to say that the type has enjoyed a long and successful career. Having retired from military service in the UK in 1996, today there are a fair few darting around Britain’s skies in a civilian guise, albeit often retaining the military colours of their previous lives.
If you wish to follow in the footsteps of many of Britain’s military pilots past and present, then have an hour’s flight in a cost shared ex-Royal Navy Chipmunk around the Midlands.