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 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.
Our vision is to go on from 1918 into other eras of aviation history, including the pioneering days of New Zealand’s civil aviation; the Second World War and beyond. Land for future expansion has been set aside.
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.