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Gnat fighter at ’Weald PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 13:41

Folland Gnat F.1 E296 emerges from its packaging container at North Weald. The aircraft will be unveiled during a special event at the airfield on October 25. Darren HarbarFolland Gnat F.1 E296 emerges from its packaging container at North Weald. The aircraft will be unveiled during a special event at the airfield on October 25. Darren Harbar Folland Gnat F.1 is now under restoration with the Heritage Aircraft Trust/Gnat Display Team at North Weald and is set to become the first single-seat example of ‘Teddy’ Petter’s graceful design to fly in the UK for more than half a century. The former Indian Air Force fighter, E296, is a genuine British-built machine, not a Hindustan Ajeet, the Indian development of the Gnat.

The aircraft has been acquired by the Trust from Sonoma, California-based George Perez. It will be registered G-SLYR, an abbreviation of ‘Sabre Slayer’ – the nickname the Gnat gained in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistan wars when the type is thought to have been responsible for seven Canadair Sabre kills. It is hoped that E296 will be airworthy in about two years.

The Gnat team has had a very busy 2014 season, including display appearances with the Red Arrows at RAF Waddington in July, and alongside Avro Vulcan XH558 at Dunsfold in August and at Duxford on September 14.