2012 Airshow


The Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2012 was declared “a resounding success” by organisers following a post-airshow financial and operational analysis.

This is positive news for Wanaka and the surrounding area, that our airshow is in good shape and is in fact growing in its demographic base of attendees.

The event, the third run by a Charitable Community Trust, was held over three days at Easter weekend. The event was expected to have economic impact of around $20m on the area.

Many factors contributed to the event’s success, including strong community support, over 300 dedicated volunteers, fantastic weather and the hosting of the RNZAF’s 75th Anniversary celebrations. The Trust had set out to attract a wider range of people and had achieved this over the last two airshows.

Since 2010 over $120,000 had been paid to community groups who helped with the running of the event and organisers hoped to continue involving local clubs and societies as much as possible.

Media coverage had been extensive with television crews attending the entire show and numerous stories and photographs appearing in print media all over New Zealand and overseas.




Friday 6th April: - Practice Day

Warbird, Civil and Military aircraft conducted practice displays in preparation for the following two days events. To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow displayed many aircraft types operated by servicemen of the RNZAF in earlier times and conflicts.

Saturday 7th April and Sunday 8th April: Airshow days

Morning Programme 

Fighters sweep across the airfield.
Tiger Moth Aerobatics
Topdressers and Helicopters from Rural NZ
Thunder Mustang – Aerobatic Master Chef
High performance aerobatics from the MX2
Beechcraft T-C6 military trainer from the USA
Harvard T-6 Display Team – Formation Aerobatics
T-6 Trainers old and new flypast
Spitfire solo display

RNZAF Display:  The Kiwi Blue parachute team, the mighty P3 Orion sub hunter and C130 Transport. Helicopters displays by the Iroquois, Sea Sprite and a brand new A109. The Red Checkers Aerobatic Team display.

Lunchtime Entertainment 

Sunday Only - B777 flyover from Air New Zealand.
Model Aircraft display with Frazer Briggs
Flypast by De Havilland flight
Graceful Aerobatic Glider Display
Warhorse Display – Military Re-enactment

Main Warbird Display 

WW I fighters battle it out
Two Russian Yak 3 fighters
The Pacific Theatre: Two P40 Kittyhawks and the FG-1D Corsair with the TBM Avenger re-enacted their WW11 capabilities.
The Hawker Hunter blasted the Wanaka air.
European Theatre – Two Spitfires, two Mustangs and the DC 3 Dakota.
Moving into the Jet Era– Vampire and Strikemaster – with the P51 introducing them!
The Vampire and Strikemaster were joined by the L39 for a jet routine of formation and solo displays.

The Grand Finale

The Airfield was attacked by enemy aircraft and the fighters scramble in defence.
Massed Fighter Flypast to honour past and present RNZAF Servicemen and Women.