As part of the strategy to further expand its vintage flight experience business, Aero Legends has acquired The Squadron at North Weald airfield, Essex. Until its closure in late 2018, North Weald’s The Squadron bar and NAAfihad been a popular venue for enthusiasts and families alike.
Since being set up in 2014, Aero Legends has offered flight experiences from Headcorn, Kent in Spitfire IXT NH341, T-6G Texan G-DDMV, Devon C2 VP981, Prentice T1 VR259 and three Tiger Moths. The organisation also operates Spitfire IX TD314 and D-Day veteran C-47A Skytrain 42-100882 Drag-’em-oot, which was ferried from Headcorn to North Weald in mid-March.
On 27 March, Aeroplane spoke to the owner of Aero Legends, Keith Perkins, to gain some insights into what plans he has for North Weald and how he sees the vintage flight experience market. “I am really excited about operating from a historic location like North Weald, which provides a perfect backdrop to our World War Two flight experiences”, Keith commented. “The Squadron has a strong following despite going through some difficult times recently, and I look forward to seeing it back to its best. We are planning a full refurbishment of the facilities plus improvements to the viewing area, restaurant and bar. Our Spitfire flight experiences will be offered from North Weald from June onwards and it will be fantastic to see warbirds flying regularly from there. The layout of the site makes viewing a very special experience.
“Having our own maintenance and hangarage on site means that the essential logistics of operating a flight experience business like ours will be so much easier. Also, the long, hard runway makes it much safer to operate our C-47, on which we hope to be offering taxi and flight experiences in due course. She is already parked next to The Squadron buildings and visible from across the airfield.
“2019 is going to be our busiest year to date and the demand for all types of vintage flight experiences continues to grow. We will fly more than 1,000 customers in two-seat Spitfires this year and a similar number will fly alongside a Spitfire and/or a Hurricane.
Aero Legends has earned a reputation for providing a first-class experience and The Squadron at North Weald gives us the potential to raise the bar further.”