Cambridge Edition February 2019

Aerial Collective INDEPENDENT OF THE MONTH a “When our passengers come back down to earth, they have ‘the Spitfire grin’ on their faces” SIOBHAN GODWOOD FINDS OUT ABOUT A NEW VENTURE HELPING VINTAGE AIRCRAFT FANS TAKE TO THE SKIES AND MAKE THEIR DREAMS COME TRUE erial Collective has only been around for a few months, but it’s already causing a stir in the skies above Cambridgeshire. “We launched in December 2018,” explains Hannah Juggins, who looks after marketing at Aerial Collective, “although we are supported by the Aircraft Restoration Company (ARC), which has been around since 1994.” ARC restores and maintains aircraft, and the new company has been set up to offer experiences using the aircraft that they look after, operating out of ARC’s hangars at the iconic WWII site in Duxford, home of the Imperial War Museum. ARC had been offering some flights in their two Spitfires, however this was limited. “We set up Aerial Collective as a new brand with its own team and its own designated website,” explains Hannah, “to ensure that people who are passionate about vintage aircraft know where to come to find out about the experiences we offer and the merchandise that we sell, all in one place.” The two Spitfires that Aerial Collective use are owned by ARC, while the Mustangs are owned by clients, who kindly loan them to the company so that enthusiasts can experience what it’s like to be a passenger in one of these amazing aircraft. “We also have a Westland Lysander, called Lizzie, and a Bristol Blenheim, both of which have been personally restored by the owner of ARC, John Romain,” says Hannah. “The Blenheim is the only air-worthy plane of its kind in the world, while last year the Lysander flew for the first time since 1944, so they’re both incredibly special. They are all ready to go, and have been flying in air shows; we are just waiting for everything to be cleared with the Civil Aviation Authority, so passenger flights will be available in both aircraft very soon.” Aerial Collective has a fantastic pool of pilots that they draw on to run their passenger flights. “We have ex-RAF pilots who have retired but still love flying,” explains Hannah, “ as well as pilots who fly


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