Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre Exhibition

About Classic Fighters

Classic Fighters Omaka air show is held over three days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday every alternate year, as a major fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

The main show days are Saturday and Sunday, with the programme running from approx.10am – 4.00pm. Friday has traditionally been a Practice and Trade Day, but in 2009 we held the inaugural Marlborough Lines Twilight Extreme, to an enthusiastic response from the audience, which will see this addition continued for future airshows.

Classic Fighters is designed to be more than an airshow, our philosophy being to provide visitors with a weekend of family entertainment in an event that is distinctly different and with a unique Marlborough flavour. Certainly the aviation theme dominates, but the flying is combined with ground theatre, vehicles, pyrotechnics and set pieces to create a spectacle that all will enjoy.

Back from the display line, visitors can take a break from the action and seek out a bargain in the trade stalls or be tempted with a glass of Marlborough wine and sample the delicious food on offer, while the children explore the playground attractions.

Throughout the show there is a strong sense of fun and humour. To that end, each show is themed to not only give direction and meaning to the air show scenarios, but also to include the public and connect with them across a broad range of interests. Past airshows have included 'locating' the action in North Africa, France and Italy, as well as one year's 'Aviation and the Movies' theme which offered a broad spectrum of entertaining options. This always keep the props team busy, as they have cheerfully taken on such ambitious projects as a pyramid and sphinx, Eiffel Tower, Arc de 'Triumphe, a section of the Forum, gondolas and even the monastry at Monte Cassino on a nearby hilltop! 2011's show was possibly the most dramatic of all, with a full-scale V2 rocket! What will they get up to next?

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The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre currently houses a remarkable collection of aircraft and memorabilia from the Great War. These icons of early aviation have been brought to life in an exhibition that is amongst the best in the world.

In 2016 we created the Dangerous Skies WW2 exhibition and plan to continue expanding into other erea of aviation history.

As well as aircraft, there are the smaller items; letters, logbooks, clothing, photographs that help convey the human stories and give the machines their relevance to history. All need to be conserved, documented and made accessible.

2009 DVD Screenshot: Plane Engines
2009 DVD: Biplane & Triplane Formation
Classic Fighters DVD: Howitzer in action
2009 Airshow Crowd
Red Checkers Formation
Red Checkers Formation
Omaka Museum Installation by Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop

The legal entity behind the air show is Classic Fighters Airshow Charitable Trust, registration No. CC43478.

The purpose of the Trust is to organise and promote the Classic Fighters biennial air show for the benefit of The New Zealand Aviation Museum Trust, which trades as the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

The Trust manages the air show through a committee structure comprised of volunteers, with administrative assistance from the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

Omaka Aviation Heritage CentreThe Trustees are:


  • Brian John Greenall
  • Graham Michael Orphan
  • Stephen Terence Petersen
  • Jay McIntyre
  • Aaron Marshall

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