Following on from a disappointing (especially given the incredible summer we had) washout in 2018, it was great to see Little Gransden return with arguably the events best ever line up. There were some great warbird highlights without question, many of which have been covered on this site as part of other highlight posts/features so I wanted to focus on one specific sequence that really was unique.
After many years sitting in the hangars at Duxford, North American NA64 Yale G-BNYF returned to the air under new ownership and finally made its UK airshow debut at Abingdon back in May. I missed that event and as a result had to wait until Gransden to see the Yale moving under its own power. Fittingly, given the general perception that it is nothing more than a T6 with the gear stuck down, the Yale was paired up with its younger brother. T6 Harvard “Wacky Wabbit” has been a regular at UK events in recent years and is one of the best looking examples currently flying.
The pair flew a few passes in formation before taking it in turns to perform solo displays. The Yale really does sound great and surprisingly different to the Harvard and put on a graceful, close display, while the Harvard showed off its more sprightly performance with an aerobatic sequence.
A similar routine would follow later in the year at Duxford featuring the Aircraft restoration company Harvard (pictured), but watching these two old trainers together at Little Gransden was a great moment.
I hope that with the recent announcement of the Yale going back on the market, that we still get a chance to see this machine perform at more UK shows in the future. While it may not have the performance appeal of some of the heavier warbirds, its unique in Europe and that should never be downplayed!