The Spitfire Scholarship

Veterans take to the skies in this amazing aircraft

Prince Harry fires up the mighty Spitfire engine. Credit John Dibbs.

Working in close partnership with Boultbee Flight Academy and with support from Aerobility and Flying For Freedom, the Endeavour Fund is proud to be associated with this inspirational flying scholarship.  In the Summer of 2014 a small team of 7 candidates were selected to begin a flight training programme that will culminate with two pilots taking solo flights in a Spitfire, to help mark the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain in Sept 2015.

The candidates were drawn from present day wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans, many of whom have received initial flying training with Aerobility and Flying For Freedom.  Both organisations were instrumental in ensuring the chosen pilots have the essential skills to begin this demanding course throughout the summer of 2014.  Flying For Freedom was supported by the Endeavour Fund in 2013.

Prince Harry joined veterans from the Battle of Britain at the launch of this scholarship at Boultbee Flight Academy, the same airfield from which the famous WW2 flying ace and double leg amputee, Douglas Bader flew his final sortie. This scholarship draws inspiration from this historic figure who flew throughout the Second World War with 20 individual aerial victories despite losing both his legs in 1931.  The programme will be familiar to the Battle of Britain veterans as it will mirror their own training; in the summer of 2015 the remaining 2 candidates will progress from a Tiger Moth, then a Harvard and finally the Spitfire itself gaining skills and experience that they will hopefully carry forward into careers within the aviation industry.

Not only will this course fulfil the aims of the Endeavour Fund in terms of amplifying inspirational actions undertaken by our wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to promote sport and adventurous challenge as part of their recovery pathway, it also hopes to connect a new generation to the Spitfire, the emotions that the machine evokes and the actions of The Few who defended Britain in the summer of 1940.

The final candidate will fly this evocative and much loved aircraft. Credit John Dibbs.
The final candidate will fly this evocative and much loved aircraft. Credit John Dibbs.
The Scholarship Candidates are introduced to the Spitfire along with Aerobility founder Mike Miller-Smith MBE.
The Scholarship Candidates are introduced to the Spitfire along with Aerobility founder Mike Miller-Smith MBE.
Prince Harry shares a joke with veterans from The Battle of Britain during the launch of The Spitfire Scholarship.
Prince Harry shares a joke with veterans from The Battle of Britain during the launch of The Spitfire Scholarship.

Prince Harry flies a Spitfire in support of the start of scholarship training.

“We believe that through The Spitfire Scholarship, we will help continue to raise the profile of the charities that support wounded ex-servicemen, both inspiring those involved and those who follow the progress of the trainees on their exciting journey. It will also play a part in connecting a new generation to the Spitfire, highlighting the actions of The Few who defended UK shores during the Battle of Britain and throughout World War Two.…”

- Matt Jones, Spitfire Instructor, Boultbee Flight Academy