Top Gear

Christmas gift ideas for all!

Spitfire Sim session

£200 |

With 30 minutes in the one of Boultbee Flight Academy’s two-seat Spitfires running to £2,750, a slightly more wallet-friendly way to get some Spitfire thrills is in their Spitfire simulator. It is based around a section of Spitfire fuselage built from roughly 50% wartime parts from an actual combat veteran aircraft. With motion and force feedback systems, Boultbee promise it’s the closest you’ll get to flying the real thing. 

During your session you’ll start in the air and learn the basics of Spitfire flying, then how about a victory roll before making a landing? If time permits there’s a chance to try a take-off too, and maybe recreate the famous Ray Hanna pass down Goodwood’s start/finish straight as well…

Garmin D2 Air watch 

£474 |

Over the last few years Garmin’s developed a name for itself in the utility pilot watch market. The recently launched D2 Air brings a touch screen, heart rate and pulse oxygen levels, as well as the normal Garmin aviation functions, to market for under £500, less than half the near £1,000 of its range topping D2 PX. The D2 Air has a lighter and slimmer look, and providing you aren’t  running the GPS, or biometric functions continually a battery that will manage up to five days. There’s a more detailed review on the way…

Shuttle, Houston 

£20 |

As the last Mission Controller for NASA on the Space Shuttle Program, Paul Dye learned a huge amount about mitigating risks. An accomplished pilot himself, Dye’s stories from inside Mission Control bring famous missions alive and explain some of the mysteries of flying the Shuttle.


Living the Goode Life 

£40 |

Some people go through life having  ticked the no-risks box… not  Richard Goode, whose name you’ve probably seen in connection with the import of Yaks and Sukhois to the UK, or for (just) surviving a structural failure in his aerobatic aircraft during an air display at a friend’s wedding. Read it, and you’ll wonder how he’s still around to write this book.

Gee Bee Model Z 

$195 | [email protected]

A true labour of love, illustrator Tom Johnson spent over four years and thousands of hours creating this sensational cutaway drawing of the famous 1931 Gee Bee Model Z Super Sportster, designed by Bob Hall and built by the Granville Brothers of Granville Bros Aircraft in Springfield, Mass. The real aircraft, remarkably, was built in just over five weeks with the sole intent of winning the Thompson Trophy Races, which it did in 1931.

There’s a limited edition run of 500 giclee prints measuring 30in wide x 24in high. Printed on high quality archival acid-free matte paper, they are signed and numbered by Tom, and each one has a certificate of authenticity.

747 Window clock  

£795 |

This has been the year that we’ve watched the rapid demise of the Boeing 747, as airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have been retiring their fleets. With many aircraft destined never to fly again, and heading to be recycled, Aerotiques have been saving small sections of fuselage from the scrapman to produce these remarkable fuselage section clocks. We’d bet most private pilots have flown on a 747 at least once in their lives, so why not give the Queen of the Skies a place on your wall?


£20 |

A former Apache helicopter pilot, Tim Peake became the first British ESA astronaut to work on board the International Space Station and to conduct a spacewalk. His six month mission on the ISS inspired a nation and his autobiography is fun story of how a ‘short, ginger lad with a passion for flight’ made it into space.


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