Ranked on a scale of excitement there are a number of different types of joy flights in Melbourne:
1. Adventure Flight – conducted in an ex-military aircraft or ‘Warbirds’. These aircraft are generally high powered Air Force aircraft designed for combat or combat training. As such they are capable of sustained high G and rank on top of the joy flight scale, this is what flying is really about, twisting and diving through the sky at high speed at any attitude, upside down, straight up, straight down and more. As close as the average civilian will get to combat flight, happily there is no one else shooting at you!
2. Tigermoth Joy Flight – step back in time to when aircraft were made out of wood and fabric and you had to hand-start the engine. The venerable Tigermoth is very popular for joy flights as it is both a nostalgic trip back to a forgotten age and also capable of mild aerobatics such as barrel rolls, loops and spins. Due to its 1920s design the aerobatics are ‘gentlemanly’ so no violent or abrupt manoeuvres, an excellent way to dip your toes into the world of aerobatic flight.
3. Trial Introduction Flight – again commonly done in a training aircraft like a Cessna, or smaller ‘Light Sports Aircraft’ such as a Jabiru or even ultralights. You fly with a Flight Instructor who will generally allow you to take control of the aircraft, including take of and landing depending on your instructor. Good fun and a great way to experience the world of piloting first hand.
4. Scenic Flight in a general aviation aircraft such as a Cessna or helicopter – relatively inexpensive, comfortable. Sky stays on top, ground on bottom for the whole flight. Suits those who want to enjoy flight in its proper form, not in a pressurized aluminium tube about as far removed from the joy of flight as you can be! Joy flights in Melbourne take on many different guises, and with over 15 active airports within a 50km radius something can be found for all different adventure tastes.