Aircraft for WOW 2018

Announcing the RNZAF line up...


Negotiations continue with various aircraft owners both in New Zealand and overseas to bring you the very best line up of classic and Air Force aircraft possible.

Crowd favourites the Spitfire, P51-D Mustang and Catalina are all expected to be on the flightline along with some other very special aircraft. Sport aircraft will again delight the crowd showing off their unique handling abilities.

Air Forces from around the region are expected with the RNZAF’s new Black Falcons putting on a full aerobatic display for the first time at Wanaka. Aircraft invited include fighter jets, military transport and military helicopters.

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.

T6 Texan

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.


The Polikarpov I-16 Returns

One of the nine Polikarpov fighter aircraft restored by Sir Tim Wallis back in the 1990s is coming back to Wanaka from Germany for the 30th Anniversary Airshow.

First Polikarpov flight 30 December 1933.

Primary users were the Soviet Air Force, Spanish Republican Air Force and the Chinese Nationalist Air Force.

They were produced from 1934-1942 and 8,644 were built.

General specifications:

Crew: One
• Length: 6.13 m
• Wingspan: 9 m
• Height: 3.25 m
• Wing area: 14.5 m²
• Empty weight: 1,490 kg
• Powerplant: 1 × Shvetsov M-63 supercharged air-cooled radial engine, 1,100 hp driving a two-blade propeller

• Maximum speed: 525 km/h at 3,000 m
• Range: 700 km (with drop tanks)
• Service ceiling: 9,700 m
• Rate of climb: 14.7 m/s

Gavin Conroy 171

Makanna 4 polikarpovs 2008 jpeg


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