2018 Aircraft

Aircraft that were at the 2018 Airshow


Yakovlev 3

The Yak 3, a formidable dog-fighter, was regarded as one of the finest interceptors of WWII.  Its high power-to-weight ratio allowed it excellent performance and it proved to be very robust and easily maintained.

The uncomplicated but much-feared aircraft first flew in 1943 but was not introduced to service by the Soviet Air Force until the following year.  Luftwaffe pilots became accustomed to shooting down poorly equiped, hastily trained Russians.  In 1944 however the German pilots were horrified to find they were being bested by a well-flown, simple little 1300 hp Russian fighter made of wood.  By late the same year the Yak-3 had played a major hand in wresting control of the skies over the Eastern Front from the Germans. 

Making it a pair of Yak-3s for Warbirds 2018.


 Yak 3M2

de Havilland DH83 Fox Moth

The Fox Moth was designed in 1932 to meet a need for a light transport aircraft with good performance, economical operation and low initial cost.  It is a small biplane passenger aircraft powered by a single de Havilland Gipsy Major I inline inverted engine and manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

Many components including the engine, tailplane, fin, rudder and wings were identical to those being used for the Tiger Moth then being built in large quantities as a military trainer. These were fitted to the purpose-built wooden, plywood-covered fuselage.  The pilot sat in a raised cockpit behind the small enclosed passenger cabin, which was usually fitted with three seats for short-range hops.

Gavin Conroy 395

de Havilland DH.9 Dragon Rapide/Dominie

The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a 1930s short-haul biplane airliner developed and produced by British aircraft company de Havilland. Capable of accommodating 6–8 passengers, it proved an economical and durable aircraft, despite its relatively primitive plywood construction.  It has tapered wings, streamlined fairings and Gipsy Six engines.  It proved to be a popular aircraft with airlines and private civil operators.

At the onset of WWII, many of the civil Rapides went into service with the RAF and Royal Navy.  It was employed for radio and navigation training, passenger transport and communications missions.  Postwar, many military aircraft were returned to civilian service.


de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth

The most famous of all de Havilland aircraft in New Zealand is the Tiger Moth.  Flown in its hundreds by the RNZAF, for topdressing, by Aero Clubs, Gliding Clubs and for private use it was once the primary trainer for New Zealand fighter pilots.

A 1930s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. In the Second World War the RAF Tiger Moth was operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance, defensive anti-invasion preparations and even some that had been outfitted to function as armed light bombers.

The Tiger Moth remains in widespread use as a recreational aircraft and is used as a training aircraft pilots wanting to gain tailwheel experience. Many Tiger Moths are now employed by companies offering trial lesson experiences.


Gavin Conroy 77

RNZAF's Boeing 757

'The Sports car of the sky,' the 757 was purchased by the RNZAF to replace the 727.  Their systems and design make them 'beautiful' to fly says Squadron Leader Tony Davies in 2004, the captain who flew the first 757 to New Zealand. "Its nice and effortless to fly and has a well harmonised feel to its controls.  "Its like a sports car" he says.  Tony is now the RNZAF's Chief of Air Force. 

It became part of the No.40 Squadron fleet and transported Defence Force personnel to and from operations in Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Solomon Islands.  They have provided transport for disaster relief, medical evacuation, civil defence support in New Zealand and VIP transport.


Beechcraft 17 Staggerwing

First flown during 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 these included a fully retractable undercarriage. A classic biplane, the Staggerwing also saw service with the RAAF and General Douglas MacArthur's American division based within Australia as well as the Royal Navy during WWII.

Australia's first Staggerwing was a C17B model, purchased by the Century Battery Company and registered as VH-UXP.  With a colourful history that included service

Post war UXP was used privately until brought to New Zealand for a 'ground up' restoration.  The Staggerwing was returned to the identical condition in which it left the Beechcraft factory in 1936.  It is a 1930's flying time capsule.  Based at Wanaka, it was advanced for its time and was considered to be 'the Lear jet of the 1930's.

Gavin Conroy Staggerwing Pitts A2A 5 smaller

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.

 de Havilland Devon

Frazer Brigg's Model Aircraft

Warbirds visitors will once again be treated to a top display of model aircraft aerobatics when Frazer Briggs of Hamilton takes to the air.
Frazer, nick-named Bogan, is one of New Zealand’s best model aerobatic pilots and has represented NZ at many overseas tournaments, consistently placing highly in IMAC events in the USA. 



 Frazer Briggs

Buchon Messerschmitt-109

The Buchon is essentially a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine Messerschmitt Bf109. The Luftwaffe-manned Condor Legion upon its return to Germany in 1939 and left around 40 Bf109B/E’s for the Spanish Air Force to use.

In 1943 the Spanish government agreed to licence production with Messerschmitt to produce 200 Bf109G’s. As the war worsened, Germany was unable to supply the remaining components for the airframes.

Improving relations between the Spanish government and the West from 1952, saw the powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engine sourced from Britain fitted to the airframe. The combination of ex-German airframe and British powerplant was successful and the first prototype flew in 1954. This particular aircraft was built by Hispano Aviacion in Saville in 1959.

Dunkirk 2 2 Bouchon ME109

USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon

The United States Air Force brings the world-renowned F-16 Fighting Falcon Jet Demonstration Team to Wanaka from the Misawa Air Force base in Japan.


• Role – Multirole fighter, air superiority fighter
• Crew – 1 pilot
• Length – 15.1m
• Wingspan – 9.4m
• Empty weight – 7,390kg
• Top speed – Mach 2.0
• First flight – January 1974
• Entered Service – August 1978
• Units built – 4,500+
• Cost in 1998 – up to $US18.8million
• Production – no longer being built for USAF but still being produced for export







F 16 June 2009

F 16 sideshot

USAF C-17 Globemaster III

From the United States Air Force, the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam, Hawaii and the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

The US Pacific Air Forces’ C-17 Globemaster demonstration team is returning from the joint Hickam-Pearl Harbour base in Hawaii.

The C-17 is a high wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft designed for multi-service. The aircraft can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.

The aircraft can take off and land on short runways and can turn on runways as narrow as 27 metres using its 3-point star turn and its backing ability.

Each of the four Pratt & Whitney engines produces an incredible 40,440 pounds of thrust while the aircraft has a cruise speed of 450 knots and has a maximum payload of 77,519 kilograms.

Fast Facts

Primary Function: Cargo and troop transport
Prime Contractor: Boeing Company
Power Plant: Four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines
Thrust: 40,440 pounds, each engine
Wingspan: 51.75 meters to winglet tips
Length: 53 metres
Height: 16.79 metres
Speed: 450 knots at 28,000 feet (8,534 meters) (Mach .74)
Service Ceiling: 45,000 feet at cruising speed (13,716 meters)
Range: Global with in-flight refuelling
Crew: Three (two pilots and one loadmaster)
Load: 102 troops/paratroops; 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and attendants; 77,519 kilograms of cargo (18 pallet positions)
First Deployed: June 1993




Douglas C-47 Dakota

The most versatile workhorse aviation has known.  Produced in the 1930s it became the standard pre-war airliner, went to war in uniform the world over and returned to civilian clothes afterwards.  This C-47 is painted in the livery used by the RNZAF until the fleet was replaced by ex-RAF Andovers in the late 1970s.  Note the NAC marking as a gesture to the National Airways Ltd who used them extensively on New Zealand's domestic routes. 


Cessna L-19 (0-1) Bird Dog

Cessna has a long had a proven name in the light aircraft business and it was this reliaibilty that won the US Army contract in 1950 to produce a light two-seat utility and observation aircraft, 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 the wide 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 position as at low altitude and pin pointing targets  before calling in strikes for the waiting bombers.



Helicopters have played a large part in aviation in Wanaka and the Region.  From the early days of deer recovery to recent fire fighting there are many types used for very diverse roles.  From Squirrels, Hughes 500s, Cabris, Robinsons, Hiller 12E, MD 520, Notar, BK 105, Westscout Sara P351 to MD 500s, this region has them all.

SZ Helicopter stack

Sport Aircraft

A great entry point into aviation for many, there are numerous types of sport aircraft.  RANS, VANs, Hornets, Progressive Aerodyne, Microlight Snark, Helicopter Rotorway, Gyrocopter, Skyleader, Cheetah Sierra and Zenith to name a few.

Some have tundra tyres to enable landings in riverbeds and on rough ground, others are strictly runway lovers.

Scale replicas, homebuilts and others are also found in this category.


Steve Jones VANS 2016


Gavin Conroy 42John Kokshoorn CVV

Supermarine Mk IX Spitfire

The Spitfire, one of the most famous aircraft of WWII was designed in 1934/35.  By the outbreak of war in 1939, 400 piston-engined Spitfires were in service.  Production of the many and varied marks of Spitfire lasted through and beyond the war years, with the final Spitfire coming off the production line in February 1948.  An estimated 22,579 Spitfires served in all spheres of the War and afterwards. No. 485 (NZ) Squadron based in England and Europe during WWII, was a specific Spitfire Squadron flown by New Zealanders. 

Owned by the Deere family of Marton, this fighter was restored by the family and decorated in honour of family member, Air Commodore Alan Deere, who served with the RAF for forty years.

The Bremont Spitfire Tribute



Designed by aircraft engineer Jurgis Kairys, especially for aerobatics, this lightweight Juka is unique. It is powered by a Russian M14PF engine developing 400hp to give a very impressive performance. 

Jurgis has been at WOW for many airshows since 2004 and he has dominated the highly competitive world of unlimited aerobatics for years. 



SH-2G(l) Kaman Seasprite Helicopter

Seasprites are deployed to Royal New Zealand Navy ships Te Kaha, Te Mana, Canterbury, Otago and Wellington. When onboard Te Kaha and Te Mana the aircraft fulfil a combat and surveillance role as well as providing transport and vertical replenishment capabilities.

When deployed onboard Canterbury, Otago and Wellington the aircraft are primarily tasked to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, transport and vertical replenishment capabilities. 

The Seasprite can be armed with a combination of:

   Homing torpedoes
   Penguin air-to-ship missiles
   MAG58 Machine gun.

The helicopters usually fly with one pilot, one observer and one loadmaster.

The SH-2G(I) is used for:
   Anti-surface warfare
   Underwater warfare
   Surveillance and reconnaissance
   Search and Rescue (day and night)
   Vertical and cross-deck replenishment
   Casualty evacuation
   Interception and boarding
   Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR)
   Support for other government agencies including Police, Primary Industries,        Customs and Department of Conservation
   Pilot, observer and loadmaster training for the Navy.

good aircraft pics 2006 014

Aero L-39 Albatros


The Czechoslovakian L-39 was built as a successor to their earlier trainer, the L-29 Delfin.  Design work began in 1966 and the type first flew in November 1968.  The idea of the design was to marry an efficient powerful turbofan engine to a sleek streamlined fuselage.  This resulted in a strong economical performer which would become the next standard jet trainer of the Warsaw pact.  Full scale production commenced in 1972 and the type went on to become a great success with the Soviet, Czech and Eastern German air forces.



L39 Mossman 1

Avro Anson Mk1

Originally coastal maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the RAF in the mid 1930s, the twin-engined Avro Anson was also a bomber, anti-submarine and convoy protection as the war progressed.  This aircraft is the only remaining wartime Avro Anson MK1 in the world that is airworthy.  Used in combat it became the main aircraft for training multi-engine pilots for Lancasters as well as navigators, bomb-aimers, wireless operators and air gunners.  The RNZAF used 23 of these aircraft as navigation trainers during WWII.


Avro Anson 2013

RAAF C-27J Spartan

Operated by 35 Squadron based at RAAF Richmond, outside Sydney, ten Spartans have been purchased by the RAAF.  Produced in Italy by Leonardo S.p.A the Spartan can access locations where they can't send larger transport aircraft.  It can carry up to five tonnes of cargo or 34 passengers or it can be fitted for aero-medical evacuation missions. 

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RAAF Hawk 127


This fighter trainer jet has thrilled crowds at WOW. It is an initial or lead-in fighter trainer to prepare aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet fighters which are engaged in active operations in the Middle East. 

Manufactured by BAE Systems and featuring a single Rolls Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk 871 engine it is around 12 m long has a range of over 1200 kms.  A flight ceiling of 50,0000 feet and it can reach speeds of more than 1200kp/h.  It can carry Mk 82 bombs, Sidewinder missiles and a 30mm cannon.



SZ RAAF jets

North American Mustang P51-D


The British inspired, American built Mustang was one of the most potent and versatile fights of WWII, operated as a long range escort and in the close air support role.  The first fighter capably 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 provide it with considerable extra power at higher altitude.

Both Mustangs will be displaying at WOW 2018.

P51 Mustang


North American Harvard

In RNZAF service as a pilot trainer for more than three decades, the Harvard was first flown in 1937.  Known 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.

The Harvard Marsh Salute.





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 the type also saw service in the counter-insurgency role in Vietnam and the Congo. During the 1960s the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War.

The Trojan has Wright R-1820 radial engine and packs a noisy punch.  A delight to fly, it can outclimb a Mustang to 10,000 feet.



Trojan 1

Catalina - Consolidated PBY Catalina Flying Boat

A touchdown on Lake Wanaka from the amphibious Catalina will once again thrill WOW visitors. The aircraft has a flying range of over 3000 miles and was the most widely used seaplane of WWII. The Catalina was used in the Pacific for rescue, reconnaissance and anti-submarine missions. THE RNZAF had 56 Catalina aircraft between 1943 and 1953, initially operated out of Fiji and later, Guadalcanal.                

Catalina 2018

Yakolev 52 - Formation Aerobatic Team

The Yak52 is a tandem two-seater Russian air trainer with a 360 HP Vedeneyev M14P radial engine. It has a top speed of 220 knots (420 km/hr) and can withstand extreme G Forces, from -5 to +7. Rumour has it that the fuel tank was small to prevent Russian pilots from defecting to the West.

The aircraft can land with the landing gear in the up position. Although this isn't too healthy for the propeller, taking about 15-16 centimetres off it, the YAK 52 can still fly in this condition. The engine start, flaps, brakes and landing gear are all pneumatically or air operated, helping the Yak52 operate in the cold Russian climate. To start, it is a blast of air that pushes the piston down to get the engine rotating. 


 Yak 52s2

Hawker Beechcraft T-6C Texan II -RNZAF           

T-6C Texan II, complete with ejector seats, advanced    avionics and aerobatic capabilities, are built by the Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company, in Kansas, USA.

The aircraft are used to train pilots, navigators and weapons system officers from more than 20 different countries around the world. It is the primary flight trainer for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, as well as the primary trainer for NATO Flying Training Canada, the Hellenic Air Force, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Mexican Air Force.

The Texan has a top speed of 316 knots, G limits of +7g to -3.5, hard-point wings, an integrated glass cockpit and an advanced avionics suite. It is equally adept at teaching the most advanced aerobatic manoeuvres and simulated combat training tasks that could previously only be accomplished in far more expensive aircraft.

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Kiwi Blue Parachute Team - RNZAF

One of the most visual aspects of the Air Force's Parachute Training and Support Unit (PRSU) is the parachute display team "Kiwi Blue". The team, made up from members of PRSU, regularly perform at air shows and open days here in New Zealand and overseas. The use of Áir Force' emblazoned parachutes and coloured smoke by the descending team provides spectacular viewing.

Kiwi Blue

NH-90 Helicopters - RNZAF

The NH-90 is an advanced medium utility helicopter providing the Royal New Zealand Air Force with a highly capable and deployable helicopter that can be used for frontline military and civil operations. The NH-90 can carry up to 12 fully equipped soldiers and up to 9 stretchers plus medical staff or palletised cargo. It can also lift the army's light operational vehicle.


Agusta 109 Helicopter - RNZAF

Eight aircraft were purchased by the RNZAF in 2010 to replace the Sioux. The service name for these aircraft is Mako. The Agusta was developed for light attack, close support or for naval operations.


Hercules C-130H- RNZAF

No. 40 Squadron, RNZAF, operates five C130H Hercules provides strategic air transport and tactical air transport capability. The Hercules is used to support the NZ Antarctic Programme, and in disaster relief and humanitarian operations, aero-medical evacuation and civil defence support in New Zealand and the South Pacific.


Yakovlev Yak 3-M

Nicknamed "Dogfighter Supreme", the Yak 3 was the ultimate refinement in Soviet wartime fighter development. The smallest and lightest combat fighter of WW11, upon entering combat with the Luftwaffe. It was found to be so much superior to the Focke-Wulf 190 and the ME-109 that a signal was sent to all squadrons saying, "avoid all combat below 10,000 feet with any Yak fighter lacking an oil cooler under the nose".

Yak3 2

Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk

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


P40 Kittyhawk

de Havilland Vampires

The Vampire was the first UK's single-engined jet fighter, the prototype first flying in September 1943. Entering service with the RAF in 1946, the type also became the first operational jet aircraft with the RNZAF. The first examples arrived in 1951 and equiped No's 14 and 15 Squadrons at Ohakea. The Vampire remained in service until 1972 when replaced by the BAC Strikemaster. It was flown by 21 countries including Australia, where 109 were built under licence.



Armee de L'Aire (French Air Force)

The CASA CN-235-300 aircraft is a medium-range twin-turbo prop aircraft. Its main military roles are troop transport, maritime patrol and surveillance work. This CASA is based at Tontouta in New Caledonia.


Gavin Conroy 36CASA in air4


Glider Act ASH25

Warbirds Over Wanaka organisers have announced one of the most popular displays from the 2012 airshow will be returning as part of the line-up for the 30th anniversary airshow.

Wellington-based glider pilot, Doug Hamilton, will be reprising his stunning display set to classical music. Doug flies an ASH25 which has one of the biggest wing spans of any glider in the world.

Doug’s performance in 2012 took the crowd by surprise, the performance, coupled with the soaring music mesmerised many in the crowd and Doug was given a huge ovation at the completion of the act when he brought the glider to a stop with the wing tip resting in the hand of a child on the runway.

Doug Hamilton has been flying gliders for more than 30 years. He enjoys performing at airshows which he says calls on all his skills as a pilot. Doug has numerous achievements in gliding including a non-stop 1000 km flight and has spent time gliding in the USA and Argentina.

Gavin Conroy 20 Glider 2014



"Five stars is not enough, again a brilliant show. Warbird enthusiasts would appreciate the significance of the Buchon & it's presence, and the amount of work & logistics involved in getting the bird to Wanaka. We also attended the lake front on Friday afternoon, it was great. Well done. Congratulations on a great success yet again. Makes it more than worth travelling from Australia for the show." Luke, Australia