It’s very early for a Sunday, but I’ve received the call to confirm conditions are near perfect and “we are go”.

Reporting to a former RAF Bomber Command base, I’m briefed for my mission by ex-military man Chris Thompson, and as the morning mist is burned away by the rising sun the cockpit straps are firmly fixed into place on T7109…and it’s chocks away!

This year marks the centenary of powered military flight in Bicester and the town continues its close connection to the skies. Its War Department specification redbrick buildings are being lovingly restored and updated as Bicester Heritage becomes home to the UK’s premier centre for enthusiasts of historic motoring and aviation.

And, of all the wings and wheels on show at this record-breaking meeting, one iconic machine soars high above all others, literally.

Mass-produced in 1940 at Morris Motors in Cowley, the Tiger Moth is the quintessential Battle of Britain era English biplane.

Designed by de Havilland, its primarily role was to provide prospective wartime pilots with their first encounter of the skies above. I’m told, “it’s easy to fly, but difficult to fly well”….and as we took to the sky in traditional style I got to find out first-hand.

Cruising at just over 1,000ft affords a perfect panoramic view of our county with local landmarks like Blenheim Palace and Tusmore Park looking more like Monopoly pieces far below and the rolling countryside a patchwork of colour in every direction. It’s wonderful simply to immerse yourself in the here and now. But, my relationship with the horizon was about to fall into my own hands as the buttock-clenching moment when “I have control” began – and co-pilot Chris rested his hands briefly on my shoulders to prove my feat.

Just maintaining an even flight path takes all my attention, but puts a smile on my face from ear to ear. It’s like a 3D driving test multiplied by a thousand – and needless to say 100 per cent exhilarating.

With my ears ringing and adrenaline pumping, it takes a few moments and a cheeky puff of a Wills’s woodbine to come down to Earth after we’ve landed – such is the visceral assault on all the senses.

With my feet firmly back on terra firma, I have nothing but admiration for those magnificent men in their flying machines. This unforgettable escapade was certainly one of my finest hours.

Bicester Heritage's Sunday Scramble events are a great excuse for like-minded enthusiasts to enjoy a relaxed social gathering while viewing an ever-changing array of engineering excellence.

And, Chris’s team of consummate professionals are always on hand to take you above and beyond in Finest Hour’s vintage fleet.