Aircraft

   

AERO L-39 ALBATROS

A subsonic jet trainer aircraft developed in the 1960s in Czechoslovakis by Aero Vodochody, chief designer Ing. Jan Vlcek.

In the 1950s, the need for jet trainer aircraft became more and more urgent. Concentrated efforts in developing an optimized airframe and indigenous jet engine within the Czechoslovak aircraft industry resulted in the maiden flight of the L-29 in 1959. The definitive step on Aero's way to mass production of jet trainers took place in 1961: the L-29 Delfin won comparative testing of three different prototypes and was declared the most suitable trainer in Eastern Bloc countries. Production and deliveries continued for ten following years, after which the second generation, a more powerful and more efficient L-39 had been developed. Production of the L-39 occupied Aero's workshops and assembly halls during 1970s and 1980s. A number of air forces around the world still utilize the excellent tutoring quality of this affordable airplane.

The L-39 Albatros family expanded considerably in the course of time, the 1990s brought incorporation of Western avionics and standards as well as the use of more powerful American engines and global equipment, and with it a start of a new chapter in the life of the company.

 

 

DC-3

The DC-3 served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was a favourite among pilots.

For more than 70 years, the aircraft known by a variety of nicknames - The Doug, the Dizzy, Old Methuselah, the Gooney Bird (US Air Force), the Grand Old Lacy - but which to most of us is simply the Dakota, has been the workhorse of the skies. With its distinctive nose up profile when on the ground and extraordinary capabilities in the air, it transformed passenger travel and served in just about every military conflict from WWII onwards.

Representing some truly unique Kiwi history, is a DC-3 that is the only surviving RNZAF World War II veteran aircraft still operating today in a front-line service.

ZK-AWP was built in 1945 at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The Oklahoma City factory was constructed to cope with wartime production in 1941, immediately post Pearl Harbour. With a wing span of 29m, length of 20m and height of almost 4.5m and powered by two Pratt and Whitney R-1830-92 engines with 1250 bhp each, it was ideally suited to military service. DC-3s operated comfortably into unpaved fields of 1000 metres or sometimes less, carrying a standard load of three tons and featuring a range of 1200 nautical miles.

With its delivery crew ZK-AWP left its "birthplace" at Oklahoma City, USA in April 1945 - on the day the Red Army overran the German High Command in Berlin - and flew to Hamilton, New Zealand. From May that year it became RNZAF Dakota NZ3543 and was assigned to 41 Squadron RNZAF until 1952. In 1952 it was handed over as NZ3543 at Whenuapai to New Zealand National Airways Corporation. It entered service on the 2nd of April 1953, clocking up 10 hours and 20 minutes on the first day. 

Now 69 years later, it remains in commercial service and represents a very important part of Kiwi history. 

RAAF Hawk 127 

The Royal Australian Air Force Hawk 127 is primarily used for initial or lead-in fighter training to prepare aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet fighter.

The Hawk 127 is a low-wing all-metal aircraft, fitted with an integrated navigation and attack system, and powered by a single Adour Mk 871 turbofan engine. The avionics system is integrated via a 1553 multiplex database. The principal components are two display and mission computers (DMCs), which coordinate, process and command the display of information from the communications, navigation and attack sub-systems. Each cockpit has hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls.

The head-up display (HUD) in the front cockpit and three colour multi-function displays (MFD) in each cockpit present a range of flight information, ranging from aircraft performance and attitude through to equipment status reports. Mission-specific data can be pre-programmed by the pilot and downloaded into the system. Equipment performance, aircraft fatigue and engine life data is monitored and recorded by a health and usage monitoring system (HUMS).

The Hawk 127 armament system provides for the carriage, aiming and release or firing of practice and Mk 82 bombs, AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and a 30mm cannon. The stores are carried on two wingtip missile stations or pylon-mounted on four underwing and one centreline hardpoints. A 30mm Aden cannon carried in a gunpod can be installed on the centreline station in place of the pylon. Stores are controlled by the integrated stores management system (SMS).

The Hawk has been designed with through-life support programs to allow for system upgrades to reflect evolving training requirements.

 

 

North American Harvard T-6

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.

Yakovlev Yak 3-M - No. 2

When Aucklalnd-based aviator Greaeme Frew took on a damaged yet magnificent Russian Yak-3 fighter in 2004, he anticipated a bit of repair work, then a quick return to service. Closer inspections of the damage resulted in the launch of a "full top to bottom overhaul". A team of engineers from JEM Aviation worked for three years on the now syndicate-owned aircraft, before it was able to fly again.

Watch the pair of Yak 3-Ms display at WOW 2014.

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 rsponsible for downing 99 Japanese aircraft. Replaced by the Vought Corsair in 1944, the P-40 returned to New Zealand as an advanced fighter trainer.

 

Photo courtesy of Gavin Conroy

 

De Havilland Vampire

The Vampire was the first UK's single-engine jet fighter, the prototype first flying in 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.

German Pfalz D.III

This vintage aircraft will take part in a unique WWI centenary event over the Wanaka lakefront on Easter Friday.

The Pfalz D.III was a fighter aircraft used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) during the First World War.  Built in April 1917, using a plywood monocoque fuselage, two layers of thin plywood strips were placed over a mold to form one half of a fuselage shell. The fuselage halves were then glued together, covered with a layer of fabric, and doped. This method gave the fuselage great strength, light weight, and smooth contours compared to conventional construction techniques. 

The D.III slipped in turns, leading to crashes when unwary pilots turned at very low altitudes, also stalling sharply and spinning readily, which some pilots took advantage of to descend quickly or evade enemy aircraft. The Pfalz’s primary advantage was it could safely dive at high speeds due to its twin-spar lower wing and was well-suited to diving attacks on observation balloons.

Pfalz built approximately 260 D.III aircraft with the final batch completed in May 1918, Many serviceable aircraft were sent to advanced training schools, but approximately 100 aircraft remained in frontline use at the time of the Armistice.

Pitts Model 12

The Pitts Model 12, also called  "Bolshoi" and the  "Macho Stinker," is a high performance aerobatic biplane designed around the Vedeneyev M14P/PF engine and 3-bladed MT Propeller. The aircraft can be built from plans, kits, or can be bought factory completed. The Pitts Model 12 was designed by Curtis Pitts in1995. It is the ultimate design of the diminutive 90 horse power Pitts Special that was designed in the 1940’s and which has now morphed into the Russian radial powered 360 horse power supercharged aircraft.

This Pitts has a cruise speed of 148 kn; 274 km/h; a stall speed of 56 kn; 103 km/h (64 mph); and rate of climb of 2,900 ft/min (15 m/s) and was built by John Eaton from Auckland.

 

North American Aviation P51-D Mustang

The Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during WWII, the Korean War and other conflicts.

Built by North American Aviation in 1940 it was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber. It was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series two-stage two-speed supercharged engine, and armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns.

The P-51 was also in service with Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Italian theatres, and saw limited service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. During WWII, Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down.

At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations, it then became a specialized fighter-bomber. The Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.

 

Goodyear FG-1D 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 Corsair was the premier Navy and Marine fighter of World War II. Along with the Grumman Hellcat, it is credited with turning the tide of the Pacific air war by overwhelming the once-fearsome Japanese Zero fighter. Besides its role in air-to-air combat, Corsairs were used as fighter-bombers near the end of WWII and throughout the Korean War. 

The bent-wing design allowed for shorter, stronger gear for carrier landings. The unusual wing not only gave the Corsair its distinctive shape, but also reduced drag, allowing the "Bent Wing Bird" even greater speed.

The RNZAF operated over 400 Corsairs through out 1944/1945. Its size allowed the RNZAF to hang bombs from the wings and fuselage making the aircraft very capable in a ground attack role.

Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk

First flown in 1938, the Curtiss Kittyhawk operated in almost every theatre of war in WWII.

Some RNZAF pilots and New Zealanders in other air forces flew British P-40s while serving with DAF squadrons in North Africa and Italy.

A total of 301 P-40s were allocated to the RNZAF under Lend-Lease, for use in the Pacific Theater, although four of these were lost in transit. The aircraft equipped all 14-20 Squadrons.

RNZAF P-40 squadrons were successful in air combat against the Japanese between 1942 and 1944. Their pilots claimed 100 aerial victories in P-40s, whilst losing 20 aircraft in combat. The overwhelming majority of RNZAF P-40 victories were scored against Japanese fighters, mostly Zeroes.

From late 1943 and 1944, RNZAF P-40s were increasingly used against ground targets, including the innovative use of naval depth charges as improvised high-capacity bombs. The last front line RNZAF P-40s were replaced by Vought F4U Corsairs in 1944. The P-40s were relegated to use as advanced pilot fighter trainers.

The remaining RNZAF P-40s, excluding the 20 shot down and 154 written off, were mostly scrapped in 1948.

Avro 652A Anson Mk 1 Series II

The only remaining airworthy Avro Anson Mk1 from WWII, the twin-engine aircraft were a popular coastal reconnaissance bomber that performed anti-submarine, convoy protection and crew training duties. Around eleven thousand were produced between 1935 and 1952 and it may have been one of the first aircraft flown in combat by a New Zealander in the second World War.

Avro MH-120 operated post-war in Australia as a passenger and freight hauler and also appeared in a film about a famous air race, called “Half a World Away”.

Once in New Zealand it was restored to its former military configuration from nearly 70 years ago. The Avro has a wingspan of nearly 17m and is over 13m long.

The turret and military equipment had been re-installed and the aircraft had been painted to represent a machine that flew with 206 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. MH-120 had seating for two pilots, a navigator and a radio operaton.

Yakovlev Yak 3-M

The Yak 3 was regarded as one of the finest interceptors of WWII and was nicknamed "Dogfighter Supreme." Luftwaffe pilots became accustomed to shooting down poorly equiped, hastily trained Russians. 

The Yak-3 entered service in 1944, constructed in plywood instead of fabric covering the rear fuselage, mastless radio antenna, reflector gunsight and improved armor and engine cooling. Armed with a single 20 mm ShVAK cannon and one 12.7 mm UBS machine gun, it was  a forgiving, easy-to-handle aircraft loved by both rookie and veteran pilots and ground crew as well. It was robust, easy to maintain and was used mostly as a tactical fighter, flying low over battlefields and engaging in dogfights below 13,000 ft.

The German pilots were horrified to find they were being bested by a well-flown, simple little 1300hp Russian fighter made of wood. It was found to be so much superior to the Focke-Wulf 190 and the ME-109 that consequently, the Luftwaffe issued an order to all squadrons saying, "avoid combat below ten thousand feet with Yakovlev fighters lacking an oil cooler intake beneath the nose!"

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 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. 

This piston-engined aircarft is owned by the Deere family of Marton. The 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.

Grumman Avenger TBM-3E

This historically significant torpedo bomber aircraft, the high powered WWII-era Grumman Avenger, was the largest single engine aircraft of its time. An important RNZAF type from the Pacific campaign, this particular aircraft has a Kiwi connection from being owned by New Zealander Ray Hanna in the UK, before Sir Tim Wallis imported it to New Zealand in the 1990s. It was later sold to an Australian owner.

Built in 1945 it was allocated to the US Navy at San Diego. Later used for crop spraying, it was retired, then eventually restored for the Old Flying Machine Company in the UK. The high-powered, rugged machines were designed as carrier-borne torpedo bombers and have folding wings. 

In 2011 Brendon Deere purchased the aircraft and brought it back to New Zealand. Its home base is at Ohakea where it has recently undergone a full strip and paint job which has returned it to the markings of a former RNZAF Avenger.

 

 
The Yak 52 Team

We are delighted The Royal New Zealand Airforce has committed all available resources to Warbirds Over Wanaka 2014 as operations permit. Participation always depends on serviceability, other tasking, possible Search and Rescues and Disaster relief. The RNZAF will bring as many of these aircraft below as possibe.

Today’s Air Force is a modern and dynamic part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). They're small but well equipped. Their primary roles are to provide Naval combat support, surveillance, strategic airlift and tactical airlift.

RNZAF personnel have the opportunity to experience the world in a way few other people can. No matter what role they are in, it’s a unique profession and one that can offer a range of exciting and challenging careers from pilots, engineers, and logisticians, to communications, security, aircrew and other skilled trades.

They work closely with other military organisations here and overseas to advance New Zealand's defence and security interests.

C-130 Hercules

The C-130 Hercules element of the Fixed Wing Transport Forces (FWTF) is provided by No. 40 Squadron RNZAF. The Squadron is equipped with a total fleet of five C-130 Hercules aircraft, currently operating upgraded aircraft designated C-130H (NZ) with remaining aircraft undergoing the Life Extension Programme (LEP).

The C-130 aircraft conducts strategic and tactical air transport tasks including the deployment and transportation of personnel and equipment, support to NZDF exercises, aeromedical evacuation, to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. They also provide a range of support services to Government and the community, including the United States Antarctic Programme.

No. 40 Squadron provides six C-130 crews, usually of six personnel being a pilot captain, co-pilot, air warfare officer, air engineer and two air loadmasters to conduct directed tasks and to conduct testing and evaluation activities to safely introduce the new C-130H (NZ) aircraft into service.

 

 

NH90

The NH90 is an advanced medium utility helicopter, capable of undertaking a wide variety of roles. It incorporates new and sustainable technologies and represents a substantial improvement on the Iroquois that will provide the NZDF with a contemporary, highly capable and deployable helicopter. The NH90 will be used for frontline military and civil operations.

The RNZAF will take have eight NH90 helicopters in its fleet. Four have already been delivered, two more helicopters are expected to be delivered late 2013 and the last two early 2014.

The NH90 can carry up to 12 fully equipped soldiers or up to 18 lightly equipped troops (allowing for door gunners). It can carry up to 9 stretchers plus medical staff or palletised cargo; it can also lift the Army’s Light Operational Vehicle.

It has the capability to support ground operations, disaster relief, search and rescue counter-drug operations and counter terrorism. Police, Customs, Maritime NZ, Civil Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade and NZAID and the Department of Conservation all will be able to make effective use of the NH90.

Seasprite Helicopters

Naval Helicopter Forces (NHF) is provided by No. 6 Squadron RNZAF. The Squadron is equipped with a fleet of five Seasprite helicopters operated by the RNZN and maintained by the RNZAF.

The Seasprites are primarily used as integrated air assets from the two ANZAC Frigates and, when ordered, the Multi Role Vessel HMNZS Canterbury in order to provide a range of capabilities from logistic support to combat operations.

No. 6 Squadron exercises with the Australian Defence Force and Five Power Defence Agreement nations in Southeast Asia and also with Government departments such as the Department of Conservation to maintain expertise in its core tasks.

No. 6 Squadron currently provides four fully operational and one shore-based RNZN crews, comprised of a pilot, observer and crewman. The crews are supported whilst embarked on the RNZN vessels by RNZAF avionics and aircraft engineering technicians.

In April 2013, Government approved the purchase of eight Seasprite SH-2G(I) to replace the current fleet of five SH-2G(NZ) helicopters.

Iroquois

The Air Force's popular Iroquois helicopters are operated by No. 3 Squadron, RNZAF. These versatile helicopters are used by the Air Force for a range of tasks including operational support and training for the NZ Army, specifically in tactical air transport, special operations and aero-medical evacuation. No. 3 Squadron also maintains a 24/7 standby for search and rescue and provide support to NZ Police and other government agencies. On occasion the Squadron also undertakes VIP transport.

A109

The Helicopter Transition Unit is responsible for the operational testing and introduction of the new A109 training and light utility and NH90 medium utility helicopters which will gradually replace the Iroquois over the forthcoming years.

The RNZAF has five new state-of-the-art Agusta Westland A109 Light Utility Helicopters (A109LUH). They are a lightweight, twin-engine aircraft with a modern glass cockpit and a retractable wheeled undercarriage.

The A109LUH is part of the Defence Force helicopter training system that includes computer based training, a virtual interactive procedural trainer, a simulator and helicopter. This provides the Defence Force with a cost effective means of training aircrew prior to operational conversion onto the NH90 or SH-2G helicopters. In addition to its training role, the A109LUH will be used in various operational role.

 

Kiwi Blue

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.