Aircraft confirmed

2024

A reminder that the Warbirds flying programme for both days may vary in content and sequence and will be subject to aircraft availability and serviceability.  As aircraft are announced they will be added here.

 

CONFIRMED AIRCRAFT FOR 2024 AIRSHOW

 
DE HAVILLAND DH.98 MOSQUITO 

The Mosquito (known affectionally as the 'the Wooden Wonder' and/or 'the Mossie') was one of the most versatile combat aircraft of WWII.  The aircraft was used as a light bomber, fighter-bomber, night fighter, maritime strike aircraft and for photo-reconnaissance.  Early on the Mossie was the fastest aircraft on either side of the conflict.  It also had the distinction of being able to carry as many bombs as the much bigger four-engined B-17 bomber used by the USAF.  The aircraft coming to Wanaka was built by de Havilland Australia in Sydney in 1946 but almost immediately went into storage.  It was purchased by the RNZAF and served with 75 Squadron until the 1950s before being declared surplus in 1955.  In more recent times the late Glyn Powell started restoring the aircraft and that early work has now been completed by Warren Denholm and his team at Avspecs for the new American owners of this beautiful aircraft.

Mosquito restored in 2018
F-16 FIGHTING FALCON 

The F-16 was first flown in 1974.  Fifty years on the aircraft is still being produced with total numbers built now nearing 5,000.  It was initially built by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force.  Some years later Genreal Dynamics sold their aircraft manufacturing division to Lockheed Martin which is still producing the aircraft 50 years after that first flight.  Capable of reaching speeds of Mach 2 the F-16 is considered one of the most successful fighter jets ever built.  

 

 

 

BG050 F 16 2109 31
BOEING C-17 GLOBEMASTER III

 

The C-17 Globemaster is a heavy lift, strategic transport aircraft capable of direct tactical delivery of all classes of military cargo. The aircraft is the US military’s core airlift asset and is capable of operating on small fields previously only available to the likes of the C-130 Hercules.   On small runways this big aircraft uses a 3-point star turn and backing ability to turn around.  The C-17’s four Pratt and Whitney engines produce 40,440 pounds of thrust each.  It has a crew of four and can carry more than 100 passengers or 54 passengers plus cargo.

C17G01.02
NORTH AMERICAN P51D - MUSTANG

 

Ex-RNZAF P-51D Mustang NZ 2423 has undergone a full restoration after spending the last 67 years in storage.  Until a few years ago the aircraft was part of the legendary John Smith's collection stored in sheds on his property at Mapua near Nelson. The aircraft is now owned by Brendon Deere and has been restored at his Biggin Hill facility at Ohakea over the past two and a half years.  The Wanaka airshow will be the first time airshow visitors will have the chance to see this beautiful aircraft flying in nearly seven decades.  Be there to share in the moment.

 

 AFTER
GOODYEAR FG-1D VOUGHT CORSAIR

 

One of the best Warbirds news stories of 2023 was confirmation a new owner had been found for New Zealand's only airworthy WWII Corsair and that the new owner wanted to see her once again be a regular on the airshow scene.  This aircraft last flew at Warbirds Over Wanaka in 2016 and will be welcomed back with open arms next Easter.  Designed as a carrier-based fighter-bomber, the Corsair has folding wings for space-saving on deck.

 

Corsair in new colour scheme 2023
SUPERMARINE MK IX SPITFIRE
 

One of the most famous aircraft of WWII, the Spitfire was designed in 1934/35.  By the outbreak of War in 1939, 400 Spitfires were in service.  The final Spitfire came off the production line in 1948.  An estimated 22,579 Spitfires served in all spheres of the War and afterwards.  No. 485 Squadron, based in England and Europe, was a specific Spitfire Squadron flown by New Zealanders.

 

 

 Spitfire2
YAKOVLEV 3 - 'STEADFAST'

 

In the early 2000s the decision was made to build brand new Yak-3s based on the original prototype, this time fitted with powerful Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radio engines.  Built in Romania, they were snapped up by Warbird owners around the world.  'Steadfast' is one of these aircraft and was exported to the United States in the mid-2000s, embarking on an illustrious career at the famous Reno Air Races, before ending up in Australia.  In 2019 'Steadfast' was brought into New Zealand and had been due to fly at the 2020 and 2022 Wanaka airshows before they were Covid cancelled.  We can't wait for this magnificent aircraft's debut performance at New Zealand's premier airshow.

 AC3Q9338 Steadfast in cloud 21
NORTH AMERICAN P-51D MUSTANG

 

The versatile Mustang is a fast WWII fighter.  It's extended range capacity made it ideal as an escort for bombers travelling long distances.  It was used by the RAF and Allied Forces in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Italian conflicts.  Post-WWII it remained in service during the Korean War and beyond.  Wanaka 2024 will be a special moment for Warbird fans with owner and pilot of Mustang NZ2415 Graham Bethall making this his final major aircraft display.  Also of significance is that this is the very first WWII fighter owned by airshow founder Sir Tim Wallis and the start of his world-famous Alpine Fighter Collection.

 

 

Bethall P 51D Mustang
LOCKHEED HERCULES C-130H

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2024 will farewell one of the Royal New Zealand Air Force's longest-serving aircraft types - the Lockheed C-130H tactical transport aircraft.  The first three of the aircraft arrived in 1965 and had the distinction of being the first C-130H models off the Lockheed production line.  Another two Hercs arrived four years later.  Over the past nearly 60 years the 'Hercs' have flown missions around the world.  It's expected Wanaka will be the final major airshow display for the H which is being replaced by five bigger C-130J Hercules.  The first of the new fleet is expected to arrive in the months following the 2024 Wanaka airshow.  The Hercules are operated by 40 Squadron based at Whenuapai Air Base in Auckland.

 

 Herc5
BOEING P-8A POSEIDON

The RNZAF took delivery of the first of its fleet of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft in late 2022.  They have replaced the P-3K2 Orions which served our air force for 57 years conducting surveillance and reconnaissance missions over every continent.  The new Poseidon's are operated by 5 Squadron out of Ohakea Air Base.

P 8A Poseidon aircraft
AVRO ANSON MK 1

This is the only flying example of the Anson Mk 1 in the world and was brought back to life by owners Bill and the late Robyn Reid debuting at Warbirds Over Wanaka in 2014.  The aircraft is decorated in the scheme of 206 Squadron RAF, in honour of a young Kiwi pilot Laurie Edwards, who was shot down in 1939.   Badly burnt, Edwards was the sole survivor of a crew of four and became a POW for five years.  The Anson's initial primary role was as a coastal reconnaissance bomber.

 

 Avro Anson
 
GRUMMAN TBM AVENGER
 

First flown in 1941, the Avenger was designed in an intensive five week period.  Used mainly in the carrier-borne bombing role, it went on to become one of the great war winners of WWII  After the war an Avenger was used to assist the Government in top dressing trials.  "Plonky" is named after, and painted in the colour scheme of, the Avenger flown by New Zealand Aviator, Fred Ladd, in the Pacific during the War. 

 622 Grumman Avenger Conroy 30 1
NORTH AMERICAN T-6 HARVARD

After service with the RNZAF during and after WWII, Harvard NZ1044 went into storage until the early 1970s when it was bought by National Airways Corporation (NAC) to be used as an instructional airframe for trainee engineers.  The aircraft then spent more time in storage before being bought by regular Warbirds Over Wanaka display pilot Bevan Dewes in early 2020.  The aircraft underwent a thorough restoration at Wanaka over the next almost three years.  NZ1044 will be on display at Wanaka for the first time. 

 

Harvard NZ1044 flying
 
NORTH AMERICAN T-28 TROJAN

 

The Trojan was produced during the 1950s and was first used as a military trainer aircraft by the United States Air Force and United States Navy.  During the 1960s the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.   Warbirds Over Wanaka 2024 will feature a pairs display from T-28B #793 flown by Peter Vause and T-28C #563 flown by Doug Batten.  Along with the pairs display these two aircraft will team up with Brian Hall's T-28 (pictured below) in NZ's first-ever Trojan 3-ship display.

 

 Two Trojans 2022
NORTH AMERICAN T-28 TROJAN

 

The T-28G Trojan pictured will be making its debut at Wanaka.  This aircraft was built in 1953 entering service with the US Navy in 1954.  The aircraft spent 29 years in service at Pensacola and Texas logging just over 15,000hrs TT.  She was then sent to the boneyard at Tuscon, Arizona where she sat for two years.  Ownership later moved to a retired naval aviator who wanted "the best T-28 in the world".  So began a 16,000 hour restoration including having the wings and fuselage strengthened and re-covered with thicker skins.  A major modification was the change of power plant from a 9-cylinder Curtiss Wright 1425hp engine to a custom built Pratt and R2000 14-cylinder radial rate at 1450hp.

Brian Hall Trojan

 

AERO VODOCHODY L-39 ALBATROS

 

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer developed in Czechoslovakia by Aero Vodochody. It was the first trainer aircraft to be equipped with a turbofan powerplant. The type was exported to a wide range of countries as a military trainer. The L-39 Albatros was designed to be a cost-effective jet-powered trainer aircraft, which is also capable of performing ground attack missions. Now the plane has found wide popularity all over the world, both among private owners and aerobatic jet teams. 

 

 L 30 Albatros
 
BAC 167 STRIKEMASTER

The Strikemaster is a British designed and built jet training and light attack aircraft.  The type first flew in 1967 with production continuing until 1984.  Affectionately known as "The Blunty" the Strikemaster was used by a number of air forces around the world including the RNZAF.

Brian Hall Strikemaster
DE HAVILLAND VAMPIRE

 

The Vampire was the second jet fighter to be operated by the RAF after the Gloster Meteor and the first to be powered by a single engine.  It came into service in the UK in 1945.  The RNZAF purchased a number of Vampires which were in service from the early 1950s until 1972.

 

Vampire cropped
NH-90 HELICOPTER

The RNZAF operates a fleet of eight NH90 Helicopters operated by No. 3 Squadron.  They have been in full service since 2015.  The NH90 is a twin-engine, medium utility helicopter featuring a fly-by-wire control system, full ice protection sysem and a fibre-glass composite structure.  The central role is to provide tactical air mobility operations for the New Zealand Defence Force.

Gavin Conroy 57 NH 90 high res
AUGUSTAWESTLAND A109

Operated by No. 3 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force the A-109 is a training and light utility helicopter.  The twin-engine aircraft has a modern glass cockpit and a treactable wheeled undercarriage.  This A-109 has seating for two pilots and four passengers. a maximum cruising speed of 285 km/h and a normal ferry range of 650km.

 

 

 

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SH-2G(1) SEASPRITE HELICOPTER

 

The Seasprite helicopter is operated by a three-person crew: a pilot, an observer who specialises in warfare and mission command, and a helicopter loadmaster who directs utility operations. Delivered in 2015 to replace the previous SH-2G(NZ) model, these helicopters have an important role in enhancing the capabilities of the NZ naval fleet and fulfil a range of roles.  They can embark in HMNZ Ships Te Kaha, Te Mana, Aotearoa, Canterbury, Wellington and Otago.The SH-2G(I) can be equipped with Penguin anti-ship missiles, Mk 46 torpedoes and the Mag 58 General Purpose Machine Gun. 

 

 Seasprite 2
BEECHCRAFT T6-C TEXAN RNZAF DISPLAY TEAM

 

The Royal New Zealand Airforce Black Falcons aerobatic display team are a crowd favourite at Warbirds Over Wanaka.  They fly the Beechcraft T6-C Texan II which is a purpose-built military trainer aircraft.  The two-pilot Texans are powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine and are capable of reaching speeds of almost 600kmh up to an altitude of 31,000 feet.

 

Black Falcons2
LEONARDO C27J SPARTAN

 

The RAAF C-27J Spartan complements the Australian Defence Force's existing air mobility fleet. The first Spartan arrived in Australia in 2015. The fleet of 10 aircraft are operated by No. 35 Squadron and based at RAAF Base Amberley.  The capabilities of the C-27J bridge the gap between Army helicopters and larger Air Force aircraft.  The Spartan can operate from unsurfaced airstrips, and support humanitarian missions in remote locations.

Spartan 2
NZ RED STARS YAK-52  12-SHIP DISPLAY   
                         
 

Designed in Russia and manufactured in Romania, the Yak-52 was not used as a military aircraft but by para-military and sport flying groups throughout the Soviet Union.  Stressed to +7/-5G's and powered by a 360-hp Vendeneyev M-14 P nine cylinder radial engine, the aircraft makes an ideal trainer and aerobatic performer.  It has rapidly become the 'warbird' of choice for many New Zealand pilots including the NZ Red Stars Aerobatic Display Team.

The Red Stars debuted its 9-ship loop in a world-first at Warbirds Over Wanaka in 2018.   To celebrate the return of Warbirds Over Wanaka after a six-year break, the team has been working on another world-first 12-ship display for Easter 2024.                                                                                                                                                                                                 NZ Red Stars5

Yak Attack5
NORTH AMERICAN T-6 HARVARD

 

The NZ Warbirds Association's Roaring Forties aerobatic display team were at the first Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in 1988 and have been regular performers ever since.  The Pratt and Whitney R 1340 radial engines create a great sound, going into new Harvards in 1937, with around 18,000 thereafter built. The RNZAF flew Harvards from the 1940s until the 1970s.

 Roaring 40s logo

 SZ 019 20180329 DSC9096 Edit
YAKOVLEV YAK-52

This aircraft will be flying in a couple of displays at Wanaka next Easter.  It will be flown by owner Rob Fry as part of the NZ Red Stars Yak-52 formation aerobatics team and will also be up in the air with one of the world's top aerobatic pilots, Jurgis Kairys, at the controls.  Known as the 'Lithuanian Maniac' Jurgis has been performing aerobatics for an incredible 50 years and shows no sign of slowing down.  The term jaw-dropping is pretty apt to describe what this man can do in a small aircraft.  Jurgis formally owned this Yak-52 before selling it to his 'Air Bandits' team mate Rob Fry from Auckland.

 

 

 

Rob Fry Yak 53
PITTS SPECIAL S-1C

 

This highly modified Pitts Special was hand built by Ray Philpot of Rotorua in 1988.  It features a 160hp fuel injected 10-320 Lycoming engine, 377KG’s rated +6 and -6 G’s.  Maximum speed of 184 knots and cruise at 145 knots.  The Pitts will be flown at Wanaka 2024 by Te Anau-based advanced aerobatic pilot Ivan ‘Krazzy’ Krippner.

 Ivan Krippner 3
DH DOMINIE DH.89 DRAGON RAPIDE

 

This twin-engine bi-plane is made from spruce and plywood covered with doped fabric, making it a very strong and stable structure.  Domine ZK-AKY was built in 1943 and used by the RNZAF for communications and navigation training duties.  After WWII the aircraft embarked on a long commercial flying career with the likes of NAC and Mt Cook Airlines.  Today the aircraft is part of a permanent collection at the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre near Gore in Southland.

 

Dominie
HELICOPTER DISPLAY

 

Warbirds Over Wanaka is world famous for its helicopter displays.  Helicopters are a big part of the story of the Southern Lakes regon.  From the early days of live deer recovery through to their multi-use today they are an integral part of the local landscape.  Warbirds Over Wanaka is proud to salute helicopters with our mass display at next Easter's airshow.

 

Helicopter Display 2016
GRUMMAN WIDGEON

 

This aircraft was built in New York in 1946 and was brought to New Zealand in 1963 by NZ Tourist Air Travel Ltd with the registration ZK-CFA.  Over the years Mt Cook Airlines and Sea Bee Air operated the aircraft until it came into the ownership of Grant Harnish of Salt Air.  The aircraft was taken out of service in 1996 for an overhaul which was never completed.  Some years later Grant embarked on a restoration which resulted in a return to flying condition in 2022.

Grumman Widgeon air shot
DE HAVILLAND DHC-1 MK 22-A CHIPMUNK

 

The Chipmunk is the longest serving trainer in the RAF. Both Prince Phillip and Prince Charles learnt to fly in Chipmunks. The aircraft on display at Wanaka 2024, “Chippie 1-7”, was manufactured in 1950 and started life in the RAF registered as WB623, in 1951 attached to RAF Fairoaks in Hampshire UK to 18 RFS as number 17.  The aircraft was later sold to Australia before being shipped to NZ, eventually ending up in Wanaka owned by Simon Spencer Bower.  The aircraft is now owned by Richard Fraser and flown by his nephew Grant Stewart.  

 Chippy cropped
LOCKHEED ELECTRA 12A

 

The Lockheed Electra 12A is an eight-seat six passenger all-metal twin-engine transport aircraft designed in the 1930s for use by small airlines, companies and wealthy private individuals.  Just 130 of these aircraft were built.  The Electra on display at Wanaka 2024 was built in 1937 and is based locally.  

Electra and Staggerwing2
SCHIEICHER ASH 25

The AFH 25 Glider has one ofthe largest wingspans of any glider in the world at 25m.  The two-seater Open Class glider has an empty weight of 478kgs and is capable of a top speed of 280kp/h.  The glider will be flown this weekend by Doug Hamilton, a veteran of Wanaka Airshows and a leading New Zealand glider pilot.

 Glider ASH 25
C-17B BEECH STAGGERWING

One of the more beautiful aircraft on the display line at Wanaka next Easter will be Cam and Tracey Hawley's 1936 Beech Staggerwing.  Built in Wichita, Kansas VH-UXP was shipped new to Australia where it was impressed into the RAAF from 1942 to 1952.  Cam and Tracey bought the aircraft in 2005 and shipped it to NZ for a full restoration.  The aircraft calls Wanaka home these days.  Cam and Tracey are pictured left getting into the 30's theme with their aircraft.

 

Staggerwing 2
CABIN WACO

 

Another classic aircraft from the 1930s is the Cabin Waco.  This aircraft proved popular with private owners who appreciated the extra cabin comfort.  Early on in WWII a number of these aircraft were impressed into the air forces of many allied nations including the US, UK, Australia and here in New Zealand.  Most were used as utility aircraft but a small number were operated by the US Civil Air Patrol, conducting anti-submarine patrols off the US coast armed with up to 100lb bombs.  

 Waco smaller
DE HAVILLAND DH.60 GIPSY MOTH

 

The Gipsy Moth is one of around a dozen different 'moth' aircraft manufacutured by de Havilland.  The DH.60 was the first to be built and had wings that could fold backwards against the fuselage, hence the name 'moth'.  

Gipsy Moth 2
DE HAVILLAND DH.82 TIGER MOTH

 

The Tiger Moth featured here was a Hatfield build and was taken on charge by the RAF in March 1940 serving with many training units, mainly for ab-initio (initial) training.  The aircraft first came to New Zealand a few years after the end of WWII.  In the recent past the aircraft spent time at Wanaka Airport where it underwent some restoration work including a new paint job (which led to the nick-name 'Queenie').  Owner Lucy Newell will fly 'Queenie' at Warbirds Over Wanaka

How it looks now
MODEL WARBIRDS
 

Warbirds Over Wanaka is pleased to confirm the return of one of New Zealand’s best model aircraft display pilots Frazer Briggs.  Hamilton-based Frazer has been a regular at the airshow over many years and for 2024 he’s bringing a one-eighth scale model of a Mosquito built by his dad Mike. Frazer has been flying models since the age of 12 and over the years has taken out numerous New Zealand and Australian championships and also performed with distinction at big model aircraft events in the USA.

 Frazer Briggs and is father Mike Briggs with Mosquito model2