As one of the few airshows to go ahead in 2020 it shouldn’t come as a surprise that yet another airshow moment this year comes from Headcorn. I’ll try to resist mentioning the horrendous weather as much in this one!
2019 was, amongst other things very much the year of the Dakota. The D-Day commemorations in France brought a huge number of examples of DC-3/C-47 and even one LI-2 to Duxford and then Normandy over the summer. One lesser told story of that time was the repaint and first outing from Aero Legends’ then new DC-3 G-ANAF (formerly with the Air Atlantique operation in a distinctive red/orange scheme) in it’s RAF D-Day markings.
Following that trip to France, aside from stopping for fuel on the way back at Headcorn, this new Dakota made no further appearances. 2020s Headcorn airshow provided a great opportunity for the new machine to debut it’s new colours and what a debut it was!
Arriving in gloomy conditions together with it’s stable mate Drag ‘Em ‘Oot for a dramatic run and break, just the sight of two Dakotas operating off the grass at Headcorn makes for a great day. Later in the afternoon both machines started up and got airborne again before quickly forming up into a two ship formation.
A series of close formation passes followed before breaking off into a wonderful, low level tailchase. It felt like they were almost flying these transports as fighters at times with impressive bank angles and wonderful sweeping passes. At the end of the routine each Dakota flew a short solo routine before landing back on to take their dramatic place back in the static line up. It has been wonderful to see so many great machines and displays at Headcorn these past few years but this particular routine will certainly live long in the memory.