2020 Aircraft

There are still aircraft to be announced for 2020.



The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. A comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck and other systems.

Differences include new Rolls Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391, composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics (including head-up displays for each pilot) and reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed and 41% shorter takeoff distance. 

The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 60 years of service, the family has participated in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid operations. 

USAF C 130J Hercules


The SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite's eight strong fleet is operated by No. 6 Squadron based at Whenuapai.  From there the aircraft are deployed aboard Royal New Zealand Navy vessels to operate as a multi-mission maritime weapon system, designed to fulfil anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, over the horizon targeting, surveillance, troop transport, vertical replenishment, search and rescue and utility missions.

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Based on the Russian Yak-18, over 2,500 Nanchangs were built in China from 1950-1994 to be used as a basic military trainer.  Powered by a 285hp radial engine, the CJ-6 is wonderful to fly - being very light on the controls. Stressed to +6/-3G and with a 2.5 hour endurance, there are now a number of them in New Zealand

Nanchang Grant Murdoch 2


In the Soviet Union, the I-16 was one of the most famous and loved aeroplanes.  First flown in December 1933, it was the first fighter in the world to go into service combining cantilever monoplane wings with retractable landing gear.  Blooded in the Spanish Civil War, the I-16 also saw service with the Chinese as well as becoming the mainstay of the Russian Air Force.  Operated by them against the Japanese and in the Winter War against Finland, by 1941 the I-16 was still the most numerous Russian fighter.  The German attack on Russia was to be the swan song for this nimble aircraft and many were destroyed on the ground.  A total of 7,005 single-seat and 1,639 two-seaters were produced.  Six wrecks were restored in Russia for Sir Tim Wallis.

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The most versatile workhorse aviation has known.  Manufactured in the 1930s it became the standard pre-war airliner, went to war in uniform the world over and returned to civilian clothes afterwards.  The fleet was replaced by ex-RAF Andovers in the late 1960s. 

Air Chathams DC 3


Operated by No. 40 Squadron based at Whenuapai, Auckland, this Hercules provides strategic and tactical air transport capability for the RNZAF.  With the latest glass cockpit and communications and navigation equipment the fleet operates around the globe from Afghanistan to the Antarctic.


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Replacing the Mirage jet to fill the RAAF Tactical Fighter Force requirement, the Hornet is a multi-role fighter designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.  Capable of air interception, air combat, close air support of ground troops and interdiction of enemy supply lines including shipping.  The Hornet is capable of air-to-air refuelling from the Boeing B-707 and the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transports.  It was originally developed for the US Navy and Marine Corps.

To be replaced by the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter over the next few years, the Hornet is capable of Mach 1.8 (2,200km/h).  They are powered by two low-bypass F404-GE-400 turbofans with 7.258kg of thrust each.

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An advanced medium utility helicopter, able to carry out a wide variety of roles, the NH90 provides the NZDF with a highly capable platform that can be used for frontline military and civil operations.  The RNZAF has a fleet of eight NH90s operated by No. 3 Squadron, each able to carry up to 12 fully equipped soldiers, or 9 stretchers and medical staff, or palletised cargo.



The A109 is a light utility helicopter operated by No.3 Squadron at RNZAF Base Ohakea.  It carries out a variety of roles that include training for pilots and helicopter loadmasters.  It also provides the NZDF with a light utility platform which has been used throughout New Zealand.

They carry up to six passengers, fly at a speed of over 200kph and have a Mag.58 machine gun mounted on the side.

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The Beechcraft Model 18 ("Twin Beech") is a 6-11 seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel light aircraft manufactured by Beech Aircraft Corporation of Kansas. Produced from 1937 to 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), over 9,000 were built, making it one of the world's most widely used light aircraft. Sold as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, skis, or floats, it was also used as a military aircraft.

During WWII, Beech 18s were used in military service as light transport, light bomber, aircrew trainer (for bombing, navigation, and gunnery), photo-reconnaissance and a "mother ship" for target drones. 

Postwar, the Beech 18 was the "business aircraft" and "feeder airliner". Its civilian uses included aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish stocking, dry-ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air-mail delivery, ambulance service, movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon and drug-smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing and stunt aircraft. Many are now privately owned.

Gavin Conroy 117blue yellow beech 18 


The Waco company, established in 1920, produced reliable, rugged planes that were popular with travelling businessmen, postal services and explorers, especially after closed-cabin biplane models, were produced after 1930.

The Waco was well represented in the U.S. civil aircraft registry between the wars.   During WWII, Waco produced large numbers of military gliders for the RAF and US Army Air Forces for airborne operations, especially during the Normandy Invasion and Operation Market Garden.  Privately owned models  were impressed into service as light transports and utility aircraft with the USAAF.

Waco ceased operations in 1947, having suffered the fate of a number of general aviation companies, when an anticipated boom in aviation following WWII, failed to develop. 

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de Havilland CHIPMUNK

The 'Chippie' was designed by de Havilland Canada to succeed the iconic Tiger Moth as a primary trainer for the RAF.  The all metal, low wing, tandem-seat stressed skin monoplane's prototype was powered by a 145 hp Gipsy Major IC.  After WWII it became a popular civilian aircraft for training, aerobatics and crop spraying.  In 1999, a kitset version was built for a growing home building market.  Today the Chipmunk remains a popular private aircraft, used for sport and aerobatics, as well as pilot training and tail-wheel endorsements.

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de Havilland DH82 TIGER MOTH

In the 1930s this British biplane was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. Operated by the RAF and many other operators as a primary trainer aircraft.  WWII saw RAF Tiger Moths operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations; some aircraft were even outfitted to function as armed light bombers.

Flown by the RNZAF as a trainer aircraft, the Tiger Moth is the most famous of the de Havilland aircraft in New Zealand.  Used for topdressing, as an Aero Club trainer, glider tow and for private passenger use it is seen more and more as rebuilds take to the air.  

The Tiger Moth remains in widespread use as a recreational aircraft in several countries. It is still used as a primary training aircraft, particularly for those pilots wanting to gain experience before moving on to other tailwheel aircraft. 

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The MXS is a single-seat carbon fibre aerobatic aircraft produced by the MX Aircraft company based in North Carolina. Only 12 MXS aircraft have been built. The aircraft is 6.5m long with a wingspan of 7.3m while the engine is a Lycoming AE10-540 EXP. The aircraft is capable of a top speed of 426 kph and boasts a roll speed of 420 degrees per second. A variant of the MXS – the MXS-R was favoured by many pilots competing in the now-defunct Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

MXS on takeoff 

de Havilland DRAGONFLY

The Dragonfly was the last in the de Havilland series of biplanes and was designed as a twin-engined luxury aircraft with 66 built between 1936 and 1938.

Commonwealth countries had 23 Dragonflies in service at the start of WWII but by the end of 1945 only six of that number survived. The only other Dragonfly still airworthy today is in a private collection in the United Kingdom.

The Croydon Aircraft Company is also bringing the DH-89 Dragon Rapide Dominie which has the distinction of having been at every Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow since the very first event in 1988 (see below).

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A brand new Yak-3 built in the 2000s, but based on the original prototype, this time it is fitted with powerful Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radial engines. The new aircraft were built in Romania and were snapped up by eager Warbird aircraft owners around the world.

‘Steadfast’ was exported to the United States in the mid-2000s, embarking on an illustrious career at the famous Reno Air Races. During that time the aircraft picked up nine world speed and climbing records, including reaching 655km/h over a 3km course in Utah. In 2013 the aircraft moved to Australia where it has been operating until this latest move across the Tasman.

AC3Q9338 Steadfast in cloud 20 


A Mosquito fighter bomber, a 1/5th model of the real thing, was built by Mike Briggs after witnessing the test flight of the first Mosquito aircraft completed by Avspecs, at Ardmore Airport in 2012.

The model is an all composite construction of 50 moulds to make the parts. It has a 3.2m wingspan, weighs 25kgs and is powered by two 60cc 2-stroke engines.”

The 'Mossie' also features a bomb bay which can be remotely opened releasing a ‘bomb’.   

Frazer, nick-named Bogan, is one of New Zealand’s best model aerobatic pilots,  flying since the age of seven and representing 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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Helicopters are an essential part of life in the Upper Clutha.  They perform a myriad of tasks from deer shooting and live recovery, to taking tourists aloft, carrying musterers and their dogs onto the tops, allowing shooters to control feral goat and tahr populations in remote areas and targeting pests like rabbits and noxious weeds such as gorse and broom by aerial spraying.

Spraying and frost fighting for vineyards and orchards and scenic flights, heli-skiing, fishing and jet boating adventures are additional uses.  Essential for Rescue operations, now many machines based in the area are serviced by engineering and maintenance firms at Wanaka Airport. 


Paul Spinoglio


The T-6C Texan II is used to train RNZAF pilots on their Wings course and is operated by No. 14 Squadron and the Central Flying School based at Ohakea.  A purpose-built military training aircraft, it is equipped with a glass cockpit, ejection seats, a full suite of comm-nav equipment and a pressurised cockpit.  It can withstand up to +7.0 G's and -3.5 G's, making it an ideal aircraft for flying formation aerobatics.

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This second Spitfire is owned by Auckland businessman and aerobatic champion Doug Brooker. The aircraft saw much combat action in WW11 and was converted into a two-seater after the war for training purposes.

It was imported to New Zealand in 2008 and was repainted in the colour scheme and markings of the Mark IX Spitfire flown in the North Africa campaign by Squadron Leader Colin Gray, New Zealand’s highest scoring Ace.

Spitfire Doug Brooker smaller3


"The Lear jet of the 1930s" describes the Art Deco design of the Staggerwing which was advanced for its time.  Smart design, luxury fittings and retractable landing gear, Staggerwings arrived in Australia from America in the 1930s.

Australia's first C17B model was registered VH-UXP.  It had been in service with the RAF and General Douglas MacArthur's American division based within Australia during WWII.

After many years of private use it was brought to New Zealand for a 'ground-up' restoration.


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The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was built as a short distance commercial passenger aircraft in 1934.  In British military service they were typically used for passenger transporting and radio navigation training.  By the end of the war, 731 examples were built.  The RAF flew 81 of them as late as 1958, while many more were in service with commercial entities for recreational rides.


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The ASH 25 is a two-seater, high performance, Open Class glider, manufactured by Alexander Schleicher until September 2008.  Originally with a 25-metre wingspan, it has one of the biggest wing spans of any glider in the world.  The glider's top speed is 280 km/h.

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First flown in 1941, the Avenger was designed in an intensive five-week period.  Used mainly in the carrier-borne torpedo bomber, it went on to become one of the great war winners of WWII.  One of the largest single engine bombers of its time, built by General Motors initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps.  After the war an Avenger was used to assist the Government in top dressing trials.  'Plonky' is named after and painted in the colour scheme of the Avenger flown by New Zealand aviator, Fred Ladd, in the Pacific during the War and was built in 1945. 

622 Grumman Avenger Conroy 31


A high-wing four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft designed for multi-service, the C-17 can carry  large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world.  It can take off and land on short runways with the four Pratt & Whitney engines producing 40,440 pounds of thrust.  The C-17 has a cruise speed of 450 knots and a maximum payload of 77,519 kilograms.

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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.

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Developed by the British as a high-performance fighter aircraft, the Rolls Royce Merlin-powered Spitfire is one of the world’s most recognisable – and loved – classics at airshows around the globe.

The Spitfire had similar performance characteristics to the Messerschmitt 109 and its role during WWII saw it become the backbone of the RAF by the war’s end.

This particular model has a strong New Zealand connection with the aircraft restored by its owners, the Deere family in Marton, to honour the memory of Air Commodore Al Deere.  Air Commodore Deere served with the RAF for over forty years, signing up aged 19 at the start of the WWII to take part in the Battle of Britain.

His service was recognised with the awarding of a DSO, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, Croix de Guerre (France), Distinguished Flying Cross (US) and he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.



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. 



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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

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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.


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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.


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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.