A record four air forces will attend next Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
Organisers have confirmed the Royal New Zealand Airforce will be joined by aircraft and crews from the United States Airforce, Royal Australian Airforce and French Airforce.
Airshow General Manager Ed Taylor says over the years various regional airforces have supported the event but this is the first time there will be four taking part in the flying display at the one airshow.
It was confirmed recently that the US Air Force is bringing a C-17 Globemaster III to Wanaka next Easter. This will be the first time a USAF aircraft has been part of the flying display at Wanaka. They have now been joined by the Australians and French.
The French Air Force debuted at Wanaka at the 2014 airshow when they had a CASA transport aircraft on static display. “This time the CASA will put on a flying display on both days of the airshow showing off its capabilities – this is another first,” says Ed.
“The Australians have confirmed their participation next Easter and at this stage are looking to bring back their Hawk Jets to perform after a very popular debut at the 2014 airshow. Last time the Australians had three Hawks here but only two could perform after a mechanical fault kept the third one grounded. Hopefully they will get all three into the air this time.”
“These aircraft are fast and noisy and put on a great display of the pilot’s skills.”
Meanwhile, the RNZAF has announced the first visit to Warbirds Over Wanaka by the new Texan aircraft which make up the airforce’s new display team – the Black Falcons. “The RNZAF has yet to get the team up to full display status. But we will get a good look at these aircraft with one on static display and a second Texan part of the flying display.”
The RNZAF has also confirmed the Hercules will be involved in static and aerial displays, the Kiwi Blue skydive team will perform while the NH90 helicopters will be showing off capabilities and also be on static display. It’s also hoped the RNZAF will be part of the free lakeside event late on Good Friday afternoon.
Ed has acknowledged the assistance of the RNZAF in helping secure the other airforces for Wanaka.
The 2016 Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held at Wanaka Airport on March 25th to 27th with the Rides Day on the 28th. For more information see www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com
(Press Release from Warbirds over Wanaka)