2020 Aircraft

Aircraft will be added here for 2020 as they are announced.



Nicknamed “Dogfighter Supreme”, the Yak 3 V-12 powered aircraft 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."

This aircraft, “Full Noise,” became the first New Zealand team to reach the Gold Unlimited final at the National Championship Air Races at Reno in the United States in 2017.  

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The American-built Mustang was a formidable game-changer in the latter stages of WWII for Allied air superiority.  Armed with six .50 calibre Browning machine guns, fitted with long range fuel tanks and modified to perform at high altitude, it was often used as a bomber escort.  In 1944 military strategists changed tactics and instructed P-51 pilots to become more aggressive, leaving the bomber formations to fly ahead forward and engage the Luftwaffe.

Powered by a licenced version of a Rolls Royce engine made by Packard, the P-51D was a popular choice for air races following the war. 



G C 150 10


The P-40 was one of the most controversial fighters of WWII, deemed too slow, lacking in maneuverability and having too low a climbing rate. However, along with the P-39 Airacobra, it was the only American fighter available in quantity to confront the Japanese at the beginning of the Pacific War. The P-40 had no serious vices and when flown by an experienced pilot, performed well in aerial combat.

Developed as a low altitude, close support fighter, by 1943, the P-40N version was introduced. A 360 hp Allison V-1710-81 engine, a new lightweight structure, two of the six wing-mounted guns were removed, smaller and lighter undercarriage wheels were installed, head armour was reintroduced and aluminium radiators and oil coolers were installed.  The retractable rear wheel was a unique feature.

Many P-40Ns were shipped to Allied air forces under Lend-Lease and their operational flying was in the Pacific in fighter-bomber or escort roles, most of them flown by RAF, RAAF, and RNZAF pilots.

172 P-40Ns were supplied to New Zealand and were deployed to the Pacific in 1943, where they carried out offensive and defensive fighter operations, dive bombing duties and bomber escort.  RNZAF P-40's accounted for 99 Japanese aircraft destroyed and 14 probables, for the loss of 20 to enemy action. A further 152 were written off in crashes. The P-40 was replaced in front line duties by Corsairs from 1944 and most of the surviving RNZAF P-40s were sold for scrap in 1948.

In 1974 a team of Australians and New Zealanders went to Tadji to locate and ship aircraft remains to the United States. A29-448 ended up in New Zealand where it went into storage while parts were sourced. In 1997 restoration began and a second seat was installed behind the pilot, with removable rear panels so that when the seat is not in use the aircraft reverts to stock standard condition. P-40E wings (which were fitted with six guns) were installed and in 2000 (after final assembly and testing at RNZAF Hobsonville) A29-448, now registered as ZK-CAG, flew for the first time in almost 56 years.

Taken from Joe Baugher’s background on the NZ Warbirds Association website.


Parker P 40 Conroy smaller

G C 101


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 for 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.



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The Vampire was the UK's first single-jet fighter, manufactured by de Havilland Aircraft Company, the prototype flying in 1943.  A single-engine, twin-boom aircraft, powered by the Halford H. 1turbojet engine, it entered service as an interceptor for the RAF in 1946.  The type also became the RNZAF's first operational jet aircraft. The Vampire was adopted as a replacement for many wartime piston-engined fighter aircraft. During its early service, it was recognised for accomplishing several aviation firsts and various records, such as being the first jet aircraft to traverse the Atlantic Ocean.

The Vampire was exported to a wide variety of nations and was operated worldwide in numerous theatres and climates. These included the Suez Crisis, the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian Bush War. After 1953 the Vampire was progressively reassigned to secondary roles, such as ground attack missions and pilot training operations, for which specialist variants of the type were produced.  By the end of production, almost 3,300 Vampires had been manufactured.During 1966, the Vampire was officially retired by the RAF. 

The first Vampires arrived in New Zealand 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 licence.


BG118 VMPR 1387


Warbirds visitors will once again be treated to a top display of model aircraft aerobatics when Frazer Briggs and his son, of Hamilton, take to the air.

Frazer, nick-named Bogan, is one of New Zealand’s best model aerobatic pilots.  Frazer has been flying since the age of seven and has and has represented NZ at overseas tournaments, winning many radio controlled aerobatic model competitions and consistently placing highly in IMAC events in the USA.




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The Consolidated PBY Catalina is an American flying boat and later an amphibious aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II.  The RNZAF operated 56 Catalinas in the Pacific during WWII.  Stablilising floats which, when retracted in flight, formed streamlines wing tips, were unique innovations which made this aircraft ideal for use in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escort, search and rescue missions and cargo transport.

ZK-PBY was flown by the Canadians in WWII and purchased by the Catalina Group and arrived in New Zealand in 1994.

GS Catalina and flotilla 10


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 SNU by the US Navy, over 21 thousand 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 fast for the novice who one day would move onto single seat fighter aircraft.


YTYB0028 2 ZK TVI Harvard NZWF PBH lvls5 1 245 B7C15 2048 A18Rpt9 Cp2


Highly-skilled pilots will perform precision aerobatics in the New Zealand YAK Formation Aerobatic Team display.

The Yak-52 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 Yak-52 operate in the cold Russian climate. To start, it is a blast of air that pushes the piston down to get the engine rotating.

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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 a Wright R-1820 radial engine and packs a noisy punch.  A delight to fly, it can out climb a Mustang to 10,000 feet.  In 2020 a Trojan pair will be flying in a formation display, a first for New Zealand.