Sorry for the second Real World Post, but this is a sad day for Army Aviation.
The US Army Golden Knights, home to the parachute team aircraft the C-31 is finally retiring. Bearing the name “Excalibur” but more commonly known as “Golden Knight 608” after her tail number, the aircraft wrapped up performances this fall before returning to the team’s home base at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Her sister retired in 2018.
The C-31 is better known to civilians as the Fokker F-27 Friendship, a Dutch-manufactured twin turbo-prop airliner that first flew in 1955 and saw wide success with airlines. Both C-31s entered service with the Golden Knights in 1985 and have been mainstays of the show circuit ever since. GK608 alone has flown over 17,000 flight hours with the team in support of an estimated 600,000 freefall jumps during her career.
The C-31s are being replaced by more modern Dash 8-300s, which is known as the C-147As. Following retirement, GK608 was put up for sale by the Army. While she retires from her career from the US Army she will operate in Europe.
Thank you for your service to America Golden Knight 608