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RNZAF Base Auckland gears up for Air Show

17 March 2009

Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Whenuapai is gearing up to host its biennial Air Show and Open Day on Saturday 21 March.

With both air and ground displays, the day gives the public the chance to interact directly with RNZAF personnel and gain a better understanding of the activities, roles, and benefits that the Air Force provides New Zealand.

Commanding Officer Base Auckland, Wing Commander Richard Marshall says the RNZAF is entering an exciting period. “In the space of a decade we will be introducing into service 30 new or significantly upgraded aircraft across six different fleets, while exploring innovative options that could better utilise RNZAF resources for New Zealand.

“The public will be able to see the newly upgraded Boeing 757 in an air display and have the chance to board the aircraft on the ground. In addition, the role demonstrations by various RNZAF aircraft will highlight the range of capabilities the Air Force has,” says WGCDR Marshall.

Flight Lieutenant Aaron Scanlan who is organising the flying programme says there will be an impressive line up of flying displays.

“The public will be entertained by the skill of RNZAF aircrew in a wide range of aircraft types such as the highly capable P3 Orion, newly upgraded Boeing 757, and Iroquois helicopters as well as precise formation flying by the Red Checkers aerobatics team.

“This year we are fortunate to have three overseas partners attending. There will be flying displays by a massive United States Air Force C-17 transporter all the way from Alaska; and the Royal Australian Air Force are sending two of their formidable F/A 18 Hornets.

“A French Air Force Casa CN-235, a RAAF C-130J and an Australian Border Protection Dash 8 Maritime Border Patrol aircraft will also feature in the static displays,” said FLTLT Scanlan.

On the ground will be displays by the various trades in the RNZAF including Fire Fighters, Air Security, Medics Avionics and Technical Support areas that enable air operations.

“Alongside the RNZAF ground displays we will have models of the new NH90 helicopter from NH Industries and Air New Zealand will be displaying their biofuel engine and the Rolls-Royce Trent engine from the Boeing 777,” said FLTLT Scanlan.

What: The Royal New Zealand Air Force Whenuapai Air Show

Where: RNZAF Base Whenuapai

When: Saturday 21 March, gates open 9.00am

Cost: $5 per head. Children under ten years are free and free parking available

For more information visit www.airforce.mil.nz or phone 09 417 7661

ENDS

Media wishing to attend on the day need to please register with Anna Sussmilch, Defence Communications Group on 04 496 0286, mobile 021 676 338.

Currently 718 New Zealand Defence Force personnel are deployed on 14 operations, UN missions and defence exercises around the world.

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