RNZAF 757 joins our 30th celebrations
Wanaka: The first time the Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 displayed at Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow the pilot was Wing Commander Tony Davies who was then Commanding Officer of 40 Squadron. These days Tony Davies has the rank of Air Vice-Marshal and is now the Chief of the RNZAF.
The air force has confirmed that, operational requirements permitting, the B757 will be returning to Wanaka as part of a big RNZAF commitment to the 30th Anniversary Wanaka Airshow. This means Wanaka will have the biggest turnout of modern military aircraft ever displayed at the Airshow.
AVM Davies still has great memories of displaying the B757 at Wanaka. “The B757 is a great aircraft to fly and it was always interesting to talk to people afterwards who had never seen an aircraft type like that put on such a display. I’m looking forward to today’s pilots getting the same reaction at Wanaka,” says AVM Davies.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says the B757 display will be special. “The 757 may be regarded by some as ‘just’ an airliner. But it is the impressive RNZAF display that brings the crowd to their feet. The high speed pass of something so big, so low, is a real show stopper along with seeing the aircraft perform steep turns in the confines of the mountain valley. Having the B757 back after a 12 year absence is going to be one of the highlights of 2018 for me,” says Ed.
The RNZAF is making a significant contribution to Wanaka for this Easter’s Airshow with at least one example of each of their aircraft type on display except the P-3K Orion. The air force will also bring down its Harvard T-6 which will join with 12 other Harvards in the Marsh Harvard Salute.
In terms of other regional air forces, the USAF have created a huge buzz confirming they are bringing the F-16 Fighting Falcon Jets for the first time along with their C-17 Globemaster III demonstration team. The RAAF’s Spartan transport aircraft will make its Wanaka debut along with the Australian Hawk jets and the French are coming back with the CASA.