2017 CLASSIC FIGHTERS AIRSHOW
Well as we're now a year out from the next epic Classic Fighters Airshow, what can you expect to see at the 2017 event? Well it's early days yet so we're not ready to release our entire aircraft line-up for next year's show, but to give you a taste of what we're all about, here is a bit of an outline of what we have in mind, along with some photos of aircraft we have featured over the last two CF events!
Huge thanks to resident aviation photographer and CF Airshow sponsor Gavin Conroy of Classic Aircraft Photography for supplying the bulk of these images.
THE PIONEER RACE
Classic Fighters was proud to be the first event in the Southern Hemisphere to host a dedicated WW-I battle sequence involving multiple aeroplanes, military vehicles and sets back in 2001. We have taken great delight in growing this aspect of the show ever since. Classic Fighters takes place here at Omaka Airfield, Blenheim, New Zealand, which is also home to the internationally renowned Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Stage One of the museum display, entitled 'Knights of the Sky' opened in 2006 and is a dedicated tribute to the Great War in the air, displaying over 20 WW-I aircraft in a wonderful environment, beautifully created by the talented artists from Wingnut Fiolms and Weta Workshops, and supported by the most amazing display of genuine WW-I artefacts. This display is open every day providing a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the most engaging human stories about flying in WW-I and is a must-see display during your visit (you may wish to plan an extra day outside airshow days to see this properly).
The Second World War segment of Classic Fighters 2017 will be supported as always by a great variety of combat aircraft from the era, and in fact we suspect we may well be able to boast the broadest range of different warbirds yet seen at a New Zealand airshow. We are hoping to be able to present the public debut of the rebuilt Focke-Wulf Fw190 of the Chariots of Fire Fighter Collection which has attended all CF airshows since its arrival in 2011, but which has been out of sight and under repair since a ground-damage incident at our last event. We're really looking forward to displaying this impressive aeroplane once again. Likewise its stable-mate, the awesome award-winning Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered Spitfire Mk.XIVe, also of the CFFC, which made its remarkable '11th hour' debut at Classic Fighters 2015 after a mammoth round the clock effort by the team from AVSpecs at Ardmore. Both of these aircraft are resident at Omaka as is the world's sole airworthy Avro Anson Mk.I, immaculately restored by Bill and Robyn Reid and their team not to far away in Wakefield. Another locally operated machine is the beautiful Yakovlev Yak-3 of the Frew syndicate, restored right here at Omaka by the crew at JEM Aviation who have another WW-II Yak V-12 fighter well along with its restoration. In addition, we look forward to welcoming a range of other WW-II aircraft including at least one debut for a NZ airshow. We'll release more about these plans as the months pass.
Royal New Zealand Air Force
We've had some wonderfully memorable displays by the RNZAF over the years, not the least of which was the farewell Skyhawk display at our Easter 2001 show but perhaps what is best remembered was the remarkable twilight display by the Red Checkers at our very first 'Twilight Extreme' show, that performance under a stunning sunset glow is still talked about today. This year we are hoping for a broad range of aircraft from the RNZAF including helicopters, transport aircraft and hopefully, the T-6 Texan formation display team. It's always a bit of a lottery with the air force as tasking could call their manpower and machines away at any time, but we're confident they'll do their best to have a strong presence at this event!
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.....
Not all of our show revolves around the world wars and we're planning to display some significant aircraft from other eras as we always do. These will include some precision formation displays, some heart-stopping aerobatics performances, and the STOL flying demonstration that we ran in 2013 and again in 2015 which proved so popular it has been picked up by other shows. And then you're going to see some very classy vintage machines that have not been seen at any other shows once again giving credence to that catch-phrase, 'Only at Omaka'!
Come back an visit this site from time to time to see the updates!