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Air Force on display at Warbirds Air Show

The new RNZAF A109 in Wanaka

The Wanaka Air Show began in 1988 and the RNZAF has participated in the biennial show since its inception.


“We are delighted this year to help celebrate the RNZAF’s 75th Anniversary”, said Murray Cleverley, Chairman, Warbirds over Wanaka Community Trust.


The event attracted visitors from all around the world and this weekend organizers estimated around 60,000 to 70,000 visitors came to see it. Flying displays included vintage, civil and military displays such as the TBM Avenger, Spitfires, Corsair, Kittyhawks, Yak 3, Mustang, Hawker Hunter, DH Vampire, BAC Strikemaster, DHC-2 Beaver, T-6C Texan II and the MX2.


Current RNZAF aircraft on display were the P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, UH-1 Iroquois, AgustaWestland A109 and SH-2G Seasprite, the Red Checkers aerobatic display team and the Kiwi Blue Parachute display team.


The C-130 Hercules attracted as much attention on the ground as it did in the air with long queues of people waiting patiently for a chance to see inside the aircraft. The new A109 helicopter made its Wanaka debut and on the ground it also attracted a large crowd of curious onlookers.


The Grande Finale which included a massed fighter fly-past to honour past and present RNZAF service men and women.


Special guest commentators at the show included All Black Captain Ritchie McCaw and TV personality Jim Hickey. FLTLT Kate Bint did a great job with her knowledgeable commentating.


“Warbirds over Wanaka was a perfect way to continue the celebration of our Air Force’s birthday,” said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, Chief of Air Force.

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