The Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2014, despite bad weather around the country, was a huge success, just as the inaugural #GigatownWanaka Jet racing will likely see the event return to the next airshow in March 2016.
The high-speed racing thrilled crowds of around 48,239 people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as an invitational US team challenged three Kiwi pilots around a course marked by giant inflatable pylons. The winner was Paul Hughan, with fellow Kiwi Brett Emeny second and Peter Vause third, but the visiting Americans are determined to return and challenge the Kiwis again.
Other highlights included Lithuanian aerobatic pilot Jurgis Kairys flying a Sukhoi, racing against Kiwi Motorsport legend Greg Murphy in a Lamborghini and a special WWI Commemorative event which saw six WWI fighters dog fight over Lake Wanaka.
It was a first for the event to be taken into town and organisers were delighted at the 5000 plus people that crowded the foreshore and surrounding hillsides to witness the event which ended by six blasts from a 25 pound Howitzer field gun.
The event concluded on Sunday evening with organisers honouring 13 people who have been involved with the airshow since its inception 25 years ago. These included airshow founder and patron, Sir Tim Wallis and two warbird display pilots who have flown at every show, John Lamont and Keith Skilling.
Friday 18th April
Warbird, Civil and Military aircraft conduct practice displays in preparation for the following two days events. A race qualifying session for the #GigatownWanaka Jets will take place during one of these periods.
Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th April
Show Opening – Fighters sweep across the airfield
RNZAF Parachute Display Team – Kiwi Blue, Iroquois Helicopter Display, C130 Hercules Display
Civil Helicopter Display
Sport Aircraft Display
Spitfire Solo Aerobatics
Yak 52 Team Formation Aerobatic Display
High performance aerobatics from the Pitts Model 12
Commemoration of 100 years of military aviation- Fighters of The Great War demonstrate aerial warfare from that era.
RNZAF Seasprite Helicopter display
Harvard Display Team – Formation Aerobatics
The RNZAF NH90 makes its debut appearance at Wanaka.
RAAF Hawk127 - High performance Jet Fighter Trainers displaying at Warbirds Over Wanaka for the first time.
Jurgis Kairys in the Sukhoi 29 vs Greg Murphy in the Lamborghini
Unmanned Drones – Small spies in the sky.
Biplane Flypast – Classics of the 1930s.
Introducing the #GigatownWanaka Jet Race Pilots
Warhorse Display – Military Re-enactment
Main Warbird Display
#GigatownWanaka Jet Race
Jet Formation Aerobatics
Jurgis Kairys in stunning extreme aerobatics in the SU-29
DC3 handling display
Spitfire and P51 Mustang Display
Pacific Theatre Aircraft – P40s, Corsair and Avenger
Fighters formation tailchase – P40, Yak 3s.
Yak 3 Pairs display
Anson Handling display
The Grand Finale
The Airfield is defended by the fighters from an attack by enemy aircraft.
Massed Fighter Flypast to close the show in tribute to our Veterans past and present.