Aircraft confirmed


A reminder that the Warbirds flying programme for both days may vary in content and sequence and will be subject to aircraft availability and serviceability.  As aircraft are announced they will be added here.



The C-130J 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.

By July 2021, 450 had been delivered to 26 operators in 22 countries.

Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These 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 over its predecessors ie 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed and 41% shorter takeoff distance. 

The RNZAF have ordered the C-130J.


RAAF C 130J 2


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an American single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that is intended to perform both air superiority and strike missions. It is also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. 

This aircraft is the conventional takeoff and landing version F-35A.

Australia has committed to 72 F-35A aircraft for three operational squadrons at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal and a training squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown.

The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018, with the first F-35A No. 3 squadron, operational in 2021. All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023.


F 35A

Operated by the No. 6 RNZAF Squadron, the Seasprite is a multi-purpose helicopter which conducts a variety of tasks, including surface and sub-surface warfare missions, surveillance operations, search and rescue, aero-medical evacuations and VIP flights. 

 YTYB9834 NZ3614 SeaSprite NZWF PBH lvls10 1 255 R3M0Y3 B0C15 2048 A20R1


Operated by No. 40 Squadron, the Boeing 757 also provides strategic air transport and tactical air transport capability.  Also used in disaster relief and humanitarian operations, aero-medical evacuation and civil defence support in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

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In the early 2000s the decision was made to build brand new Yak-3s based on the original prototype, this time fitted with powerful Pratt and Whitney R-2000 radio engines.  Built in Romania, they were snapped up by Warbird owners around the world.  'Steadfast' is one of these aircraft and was exported to the United States in the mid-2000s, embarking on an illustrious career at the famous Reno Air Races, before ending up in Australia.  In 2019 'Steadfast' was brought into New Zealand.


 AC3Q9338 Steadfast in cloud 21


The NZ Warbirds Association's Roaring Forties aerobatic display team were at the first Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in 1988 and have been regular performers ever since.  The Pratt and Whitney R 1340 radial engines create a great sound, going into new Harvards in 1937, with around 18,000 thereafter built. The RNZAF flew Harvards from the 1940s until the 1970s.

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Nicknamed 'Dogfighter Supreme' the Yak 3 was the ultimate refinement in Soviet wartime fighter development.  The smallest and lightest combat fighter of WWII, 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 ft with any Yak fighter lacking an oil cooler under the nose."  This aircraft is locally owned, is called 'Full Noise' and has raced at the Reno Air races.

Hosking Yak3 cropped Sat2


A high-performance Czechoslovakian-built jet, it was a popular trainer aircraft around the world.  The L-39 first flew in 1968 and went into production in 1972 as a replacement for the Aero L-29 Delfin.  Some 2,900 of the aircraft were produced between 1972 and 1996.  Much more powerful than the L-29, the L-39 is capable of speeds of up to 750kph.

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North American T28G Trojan BuNo 138218 (Red pictured below) was constructed in 1953 entering service with the US Navy in 1954, spending 29 years in service at Pensacola and Texas, logging just over 15000hrs TT.  She was then sent to the boneyard at Tuscon, Arizona where she sat for over two years.Eventually the Trojan was sold to a retired naval aviator, made airworthy and flown to New York to undertake a 16,000-hour restoration. The owner insisted he wanted “the best T-28 in the world”. A major modification was the change of power plant from a 9-cylinder Curtiss Wright 1425 hp engine to a custom-built Pratt & Whitney R2000 14-cylinder radial rated at 1450 hp. This engine drives a modified Grumman Tracker 3 bladed propeller through an 1830 gearbox reducing engine rpm by 200 rpm with a cruise speed of around 190 knots (352 kph). The Trojan was produced during the 1950s and was first used as a military trainer aircraft by the United States Air Force and United States Navy.  During the 1960s the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. 

Two Trojans 2021Brian Hall T 28 x 30



Produced by The British Aircraft Company Ltd in England, the Strikemaster was exported to Saudi Arabia, South Yemen, Kuwait, Oman, Singapore, Kenya, Ecuador and New Zealand.

Its main use was as a trainee aircraft although it was used in a combat role by some. 16 were acquired for the RNZAF, the first batch being delivered in 1972 and the remainder in 1975.

All the aircraft were operated by Number 14 Squadron based in Ohakea and were used for Jet conversion and advance pilot training. The Strikemaster was affectionally known as the 'Blunty' because of its nose shape. Three aircraft were lost in accidents and the fleets were withdrawn from service in 1991 and were replaced by the Aermacchi. Most of the ex RNZAF Strikemasters form part of the Australian Warbirds community. The Strikemaster pictured is based in Christchurch, New Zealand. 


 Brian Hall Strikemaster 40



The Vampire has a strong affiliation with New Zealand, being the first jet fighter purchased by the RNZAF with an order placed in the 1950s.  The aircraft remained in service in New Zealand until 1972.  The Vampire was also the UK's first single engine jet fighter, entering service at the end of WWII and was considered highly experimental during its development stages.  

Gavin Conroy 202Emeny vampire landing



The Catalina was the most used seaplane of WWII because of its amphibious qualities and a flying range of over 3000 miles.  The RNZAF had 56 Catalina aircraft between 1943 and 1953 initially operated out of Fiji and later Guadalcanal.  This aircraft is operated by the Catalina Preservation Society.  First registered in New Zealand in 1995, the 'Cat' has been repainted in a wartime scheme to represent NZ4017 XX-T of No. 6 SQN RNZAF.  

PHIL HOSKING Catalina landing in wanaka3



The Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 operated in almost every theatre of war in WWII.  The RNZAF operated 297 Kittyhawks in the Pacific during WWII and were responsible for destroying 99 Japanese aircraft.  Replaced by the Corsair in 1944, the P-40 returned to New Zealand as an advanced fighter trainer. 

Parker P 40 Conroy smaller2



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.

 YTYB0425 ZK RRA Anson NZWF PBH lvls5 1 250 R4M0Y4 B5C15 2048 A20R2



Designed in Russia and manufactured in Romania, the Yak-52 was not used as a military aircraft but by para-military and sport flying groups throughout the Soviet Union.  Stressed to +7/-5G's and powered by a 360-hp Vendeneyev M-14 P nine cylinder radial engine, the aircraft makes an ideal trainer and aerobatic performer.  It has rapidly become the 'warbird' of choice for many New Zealand pilots. 

G C 193



Polikarpov #9 is a single-wing aircraft from Russia, designed by Nikolai Polikarpov in 1932 and the first prototype was built a year later.  This Polikarpov was operated by the Russian Air Force 155 Fighter Squadron before being lost near Lake Kokkayaro in Karelia, Russia, where it stayed until it was recovered in 1991 to be restored by Sir Tim Wallis.In the Soviet Union, the I-16 was one of the most famous and loved aircraft.  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 Russian 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.  

Gavin Conroy 172



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. 




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

 G C 184 40


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 operates 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. 

 G C 192