At about 6,000 pounds, the Beech 18 that Matt Younkin twirls around the airshow circuit is one of the heavier civilian airplanes performing today. No wonder he chose for his musical accompaniment the song “Pink Elephants on Parade.” But in this video excerpt of Younkin’s routine, it’s easy to see why the historic Twin Beech established a reputation for elegance. In the 1940s and early 1950s, Beech 18s and their military counterpart C-45s squired corporate executives and generals to boardrooms and bases. The DC-3 of the corporate set, the Twin Beech is today a favorite among aviation history buffs.
Younkin’s father, airshow legend Bobby Younkin, flew performances in a Twin Beech beginning in 1990. (Younkin died in 2005 when he and show partner Jimmy Franklin collided during a “Masters of Disaster” routine.) With a paint scheme that emphasizes the 18’s graceful lines, Matt Younkin’s current Beech continues the tradition and is in heavy demand; Younkin performed at 23 shows last season with both daytime and nighttime routines.
Video: Julie Artz (0:59