2004 Aircraft

Chance Vought Corsair

The Corsair was the first American aircraft to exceed 400 mph in straight and level flight in 1940. Of durable design, the type was in service in various parts of the world from 1942 until the late 1960's. The RNZAF operated over 400 Corsairs throughout 1944/1945. The bent wing of the Corsair lifted the huge airframe higher off the ground and its size allowed the RNZAF to hang bombs from the wings and fuselage making the aircraft very capable in a ground attack role.



L39 Albatros

The Czechoslovakian L-39 was built as the successor to their earlier trainer, the L-29 Delfin. Design work began in 1966, and the first prototype made its initial flight on 4 November 1968. The idea of the design was to marry an efficient, powerful turbofan engine to a sleek, streamlined fuselage, resulting in a strong, economical performer which would become the next standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact. Full-scale production was delayed until late 1972 due to apparent problems with the design of the air intakes, but these difficulties were overcome and the type went on to be a great success with the Soviet, Czech and East German air forces, among others.

Three main variants were produced. The L-39C was built as a pure trainer and was used by numerous air forces throughout Eastern Europe beginning in 1974 and continuing through today. The armed weapons-trainer variant is called the L-39ZA, and a close-support and ground-attack version is called the L-39ZO. In addition to those mentioned above, the L-39 has been exported to numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Iraq, Libya, Estonia, and Kyrghyzstan. A modernized derivative of the Albatros, the L-59, is still being built in the Czech Republic.

A locally owned L-39 (pictured here) will be making its Warbirds Over Wanaka debut in 2004.


de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth

The most famous of all de Havilland aircraft in this country is the Tiger Moth. Flown in its hundreds in the Air Force,topdressing, aero club, gliding club and private use it was once the primary trainer for NZ fighter pilots. It is being seen in increasing numbers as more long term rebuilds take to the air.

 Tiger Moth

Cessna L-19 (O-1) Bird Dog

Cessna has long had a proven name in the light aircraft business and it was this reliability that won the US Army contract in 1950 to produce a light two-seat utility and observation aeroplane, with an initial order for 418 examples. Designated the L-19 and based upon the Cessna Model 170, the Bird Dog provided good visibility and a wider access door gave room to load a standard stretcher. A total of 3431 examples were produced and initially saw service during the Korean War. During the Vietnam conflict they were used by forward air controllers, circling known enemy positions at low altitude and pinpointing targets before calling in strikes for the waiting bombers.

 Cessna Bird Dog2

Douglas C47 Dakota

The most versatile workhorse aviation has known. Born in the 1930's it became the standard pre-war airliner, went to war in uniform the world over, and returned to civilian clothes afterwards. This C-47 was built in 1943 and served with the RAF. It is painted to represent a C-47 flown by New Zealander Sq. Leader Rex Daniels over the D-Day beaches on 6 June 1944. The WB on the nose stands for Warbird.

 Dakota C47

de Havilland Devon

Designed in 1944, the Devon was the first British transport aircraft to use reversible-pitch propellers for braking assistance. Powered by two 400hp Gypsy Queen 70-3 inline piston engines it was used after the war as trainer, communications and navigation aircraft. A total of 30 were operated by the RNZAF, and three are still currently airworthy in New Zealand.

 de Havilland Devon

Supermarine Mk XVI Spitfire

The Spitfire, one of the most famous aircraft of WWII, was designed in 1934/35. By the 3rd September 1939 when England declared war on Germany, 400 Spitfires were in service. Production of the many and varied marks of Spitfires lasted through and beyond the war years, with the final Spitfire coming off the production line in February 1948. This particular aircraft was purchased by the AFC in 1987. It saw active service with 453 Squadron (RAAF) and later featured in the film "Reach for the Sky" about Douglas Bader, before its subsequent restoration.

 Spit Mk16

North American Harvard

In RNZAF service as a pilot trainer for more than three decades the Harvard was first flown in 1937. Know as the Harvard in the British Commonwealth, T-6 Texan in the USAF and SNJ by the US Navy, over 21,000 examples were built. The Harvard was used as the primary trainer for most Commonwealth aircrew during WWII, after they had flown solo in the Tiger Moth. Fully aerobatic, it was a delight to fly, but not too easy for the novice who one day would move onto single seat fighter aircraft.


North American P51D Mustang

The British inspired, American built Mustang was one of the most potent and versatile fighters of WWII, operated as a long range escort and in the close air support role. The first fighter capable of accompanying American bombers all the way to Berlin and back, when first flown in 1940 it was powered with an Allison engine. Later models were powered by a Packard Merlin which provided it with considerable extra power at higher altitude.

 P51D Mustang

Fouga CM170 Magister

The Fouga CM170 Magister was designed and built in the 1950s as a Jet trainer to NATO specifications. Due to its low cost and efficiency it was adopted by many European nations as a standard training aircraft. Later it was adapted for carrying weapons as a light attack aircraft and used by such countries as Israel where it is still in service. Powered by two Turbomeca Marbore II turbojets of 880lbs static thrust each, the CM170 operates out of 800 metres of prepared surface and has a speed of 400Kts or 0:8 Mach and a still air range of some 400 nautical miles. It is ideal for an introduction to twin turbine operation for the average private pilot.

 Fouga Magister

Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk

First flown in 1938, the Curtiss Kittyhawk operated in almost every theatre of war in WWII. The RNZAF operated 297 of these fighters in the Pacific during WWII and were responsible for destroying 99 Japanese aircraft. Replaced by the Corsair in 1944 the P-40 returned to New Zealand as an advanced fighter trainer.

 P40 Kittyhawk

Yakovlev Yak-52

Emerging from the Yak-18 design, the Russian Yak-52 was not used as a military trainer. Differing in many ways from the Nanchang, the '52' is powered by a 360 hp radial engine, has a shorter straighter wing and different landing gear. The type is still in production.

 Yak 52

Beech Model 17 Staggerwing

First flown during November 1932 the most conspicuous feature of the Beech 17 was the backward stagger of its biplane wings. This had been selected to provide the pilot with a good field of view, to help structural integration and because this particular layout offered a good combination of speed and stability. The excellent performance of the Staggerwing allowed the Beech Company to concentrate on other improvements and the Model B17L incorporated many of these including a fully retractable undercarriage. A classic biplane, the Staggerwing also saw service with the USAF and Royal Navy during WWII. This model features seating for five and has a top speed in excess of 180mph.

 Beech Staggerwing

Consolidated PBY Catalina

The RNZAF operated 56 Catalinas in the Pacific during WWII. Stabilizing floats which, when retracted in flight formed streamlined wing tips, were unique innovations which made this aircraft ideal for use in the surveillance, anti submarine, air/sea rescue and convoy patrol roles. ZK-PBY, flown by the Canadians in WWII, was purchased by the Catalina Group and arrived in New Zealand in 1994.


Edge 540

If you want unlimited aerobatics there is nothing better than the amazing Edge 540. Manufactured by Ziuko Aeronautics in America, it is a purpose designed and built state of the art aerobatic aircraft. The wing is built entirely of composite materials and has been statically tested to plus/minus 23g without breaking. Powered by a Lycoming IO-540 engine of 8.75 litre capacity that has been modified to 350hp, the propeller is made of foam, carbon fibre and titanium. Most aerobatics are performed at speeds of between 180 and 220 knots. Weighing in at 1200lbs, the Edge features an amazing roll rate of 420 ft/second. Aerobatics in the Edge is only limited by the pilots ability.  Steve Taylor with the Edge.

 Edge 540

North American T-28 Trojan

First flown in 1949 the Trojan was designed as a replacement trainer to the venerable Harvard. Used by both the USAF and US Navy they type also saw service in the counter-insurgency role in Vietnam and the Congo. This aircraft was purchased by the late John Greenstreet in 1989 and is painted to represent an aircraft of VAS122 of the Pacific Training Fleet. A delight to fly, the Trojan can outclimb a Mustang to 10,000 feet.


Lockheed 12 Electra Junior

First flown in June 1936, the Electra Junior was designed as a feederline aircraft with capacity for six passengers. A total of 130 were built and the type also saw service with the US Army Air Corps and US Navy. One of the most unusual applications of the Lockheed 12A was by Australian Sidney Cotton who, under the cover of his position as an executive of the Dufaycolour Company, used his specially modified camera carrying version to take clandestine reconnaissance photographs of German military installations in the three months leading up to the beginning of World War II. This particular example was delivered to the Conoco Oil Company in Las Vegas in 1938. After WWII she was sold to a property developer and slowly deteriorated until ending her days dropping skydivers in 1978. She had been out of service for ten years when her current owner, Pat Donovan, found her in the back of a hangar in San Marcos, Texas. Immaculately restored, the aircraft is now named Ilsa in honour of the actress Ingrid Bergman who starred alongside the famed Humphrey Bogart in the classic film ‘Casablanca,’ which featured a Lockheed 12A.

 Lockheed Electra

Hawker Hurricane

The first RAF monoplane fighter, and the first capable of more than 300mph, the Hurricane proved throughout the war to be a highly adaptable and versatile fighter. After serving valiantly in the Battle of France in 1940 it equipped more than 60% of Fighter Command squadrons during the Battle of Britain. The type shot down nearly half the total of enemy aircraft destroyed in the first year of the war; in the Western Desert it was an effective light bomber and tank buster; at sea it was a valuable convoy protector; in the Far East it served as a night fighter; and in Russia it did sterling work with the Soviet Forces. Over 14,000 examples were built during WWII and now Hawker Hurricane P3351/DR393 is one of only ten airworthy examples in the world. It is a survivor of the Battle of France, Battle of Britain and Battle for Russia.

 Hawker Hurricane


Ryan Aircraft became famous with Lindberg’s 1927 Atlantic crossing in ‘Spirit of St Louis’. Many high-wing Ryan monoplanes were subsequently sold before the racy, low-wing Ryan ST boasting spats and in-line Menasco engine appeared in 1934. This STM (Military) flew as a trainer in the Dutch East Indies. Evacuated to Australia in 1942 it came to New Zealand in the 1950s. The radial PT-22 was a purpose-built trainer and replaced the ST in production. One example of each resides in New Zealand.


Hawker Hunter

The UK's most successful post war military aircraft, a total of 1,972 were built, including 445 manufactured under licence in Belgium and the Netherlands. First flown in July 1951 the Hunter was not only an extremely capable warplane, but an absolute delight to fly. It has served with 19 air arms and only recently been retired from service. Powered by a 10,150lb thrust Rolls Royce Avon turbojet the Hunter is capable of speeds up to 700mph (1127 km/h) at sea level.

 Hawker Hunter3

Polikarpov I-16

In the Soviet Union, the I-16 was one of the most famous and loved aeroplanes. First flown in December 1933, it was the first fighter in the world to go into service combining cantilever monoplane wings with retractable landing gear. Blooded in the Spanish Civil War, the I-16 also saw service with the Chinese as well as becoming the mainstay of the Russian Air Force. Operated by them against the Japanese and in the Winter War against Finland, by 1941 the I-16 was still the most numerous Russian fighter. The German attack on Russia was to be the swan song for this nimble aircraft and many were destroyed on the ground. A total of 7,005 single-seat and 1,639 two-seaters were produced.

 Poly I16

Polikarpov I-153

One of the fastest biplanes ever produced, the Polikarpov I-153 first flew in 1938. Developed from the I-15, production began in early 1939 and continued until late 1940 with 3437 examples being built. The type first saw action in the Far East in the summer of 1939 against the Japanese Army Air Arm on the Manchurian border at Nomonhan. The I-153 also saw service in the Finnish War of 1939-40 and in early 1940 was supplied to the Chinese Nationalist Government for use against the invading Japanese. When the Germans invaded Russia in June 1941 the type still represented a significant portion of the Russian fighter force. Suffering heavy losses the type was then utilised in the ground attack role and remained in service until late 1943. Three examples were rebuilt in Russia for Sir Tim Wallis during the 1990’s.

 Poly I153

Nanchang CJ6

Based on the Russian Yak-18, over 2,500 Nanchang’s were built in China from 1950-1994 to be used as a basic military trainer. Powered by a 285hp radial engine, the CJ-6 is wonderful to fly - being very light on the controls. Stressed to +6/-3G and with a 2.5 hour endurance this aircraft is now being seen in increasing numbers in New Zealand.

 Nanchang CJ6

de Havilland Vampire

The Vampire was the UK's first single-jet fighter, the prototype flying in September 1943. Entering service with the RAF in 1946 the type also became the RNZAF's first operational jet aircraft. The first Vampires arrived in 1951-52 and went to form No.14 and No.75 Squadron at Ohakea. Remaining in service until 1972 when replaced by the Strikemaster the type was flown by 21 countries including Australia - where 109 were built under license.

 de Havilland Vampire