Congratulations to Brian Treanor for winning the flight of a lifetime with Full Noise! If you ,missed out on winning the ride in Full Noise and you are looking for an awesome warbird experience, Fighter Flights do have joyrides available over airshow week, check out for more info or ring Graeme 021 992890 to book your ride now!

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P-51D Mustang
NZ2423 Flies Again!

Restored John Smith treasure to make its Classic Fighters debut in 2025

The P-51 Mustang was considered one of the best fighters of WWII. Known for its long-range escort capability, the New Zealand Government decided the P-51 was an ideal replacement for its Corsairs. The future NZ2423 arrived by ship in July 1945, but with the war in its final stages, all Mustangs were placed into long-term storage.

Image: P-51D Mustang - Photo by Gavin Conroy

Reactivated upon establishing the Territorial Air Force (TAF) Squadrons in 1951, NZ2423 was allocated to No.2 TAF based at Ohakea. However, the Mustang's service with the RNZAF was short-lived with most withdrawn in 1955.  NZ2423 remained operational for another three years and was used for target towing. It was the last of the type flown to Woodbourne, where it joined the P-51 fleet awaiting disposal. 

Most Mustangs were purchased by an orchard company near Nelson and had their wings gas-axed off for easy transport. This was also the fate of NZ2423, but it was bought by the owners of the racing hydroplane Tru-Jen and moved just down the road to Blenheim. They intended to use the Mustang's Merlin engine and cockpit area on the boat; however, inspection showed this would be too difficult. 

John Smith stepped up, and secured the Mustang and moved it to his property at Mapua. It remained in storage until the collection was dismantled after John's passing. Purchased by Brendon Deere, the P-51 was moved to its old base at Ohakea, where it underwent a three-year rebuild to fly. Appropriately finished in its No.2 TAF colours, the fighter made its first flight in over 66 years on Armistice Day 2023.

Book your tickets now before 30 September to catch the early bird pricing!


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About Marlborough Lines Classic Fighters Omaka:
The airshow is the main fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Museum, located in Blenheim, Marlborough NZ.


Please read the Conditions of Purchase before buying your tickets