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Warbirds over Wanaka 2000 
Continued from Page 1 of Warbirds over Wanaka 2000

Auckland Car dealer Steve Taylor flew his Edge 540 in a spectacular display of aerobatics. Steve is a member of the famed 'Roaring 40's' Harvard team, and flew an I-16 during Warbirds over Wanaka 1998.



The Nanchangs and the Yaks were back in force this year, somehow I managed to miss most photo opportunities for either. Ah well, here's a Nanchang on short finals



On Easter Saturday the weather really closed in. It was quite ratty when the Vampire T11 pair took off, it was raining and there was a lot of water being thrown up. I'm amazed the following aircraft (the RAAF one) could see.

Taken a second or so after the above photo, light has just appeared under the wheels as the T11 rotates. Notice the spray on the runway behind it - perhaps wake would have been a better word!



Conditions were a lot better on the Sunday, here the RAAF marked Vampire has just touched down (note the fully extended flaps).



  I always thought that the Fouga Magister was an ugly little aircraft, until I saw it in real life. It's an elegant wee thing, helped no doubt by a gorgeous colour scheme. I want one!


  It did a great display, here it is touching down on the numbers. Sadly this aircraft was later destroyed in fatal crash into a North Island harbour.
  So good to see the Red Checkers in their new mounts, the CT4/E Airtrainer. This version 310hp (IIRC), the extra 50hp being really useful over the top of the loops!


  The Red Checkers have a reputation for a very good Mirror display, I imagine that the new mounts are just a little more comfortable to fly in this position!


Another visual delight for Warbirds over Wanaka 1998 was this two-seater Mig-15 UTI.

Yak 3

This year marked the debut of the 'Black Knights' using the Aermacchi MB339 as their trusty steed. Nice to see a jet aero team, as well as the piston engined Airtrainers

The climax of the Black Knight's display was a four ship formation with the solo aircraft barrel rolling around them - very impressive!



I never ceased to be impressed by the C-130 Hercules display, this year was one of the best I've seen. This photo came out quite well, but looks better in the 600 pixel version (click on the photo to see it).


They certainly weren't afraid to throw such an old aircraft around, and seemed to have it well past the vertical in some turns. Maybe it was just the angle I viewed it from!



And the A4-K Skyhawk - I know I keep enthusing about the displays but they were to an extremely high standard. The lighting on Saturday was extreme, I was quite pleased with these two shots.

<grizzle> It had just been announced prior to the show that our idiot Government* had cancelled an order for 28 F-16's to replace the Skyhawks. Just to prove that they didn't understand our defence relationship with Australia (they provide air cover, we provide maritime attack) our Prime Minister suggested attack helicopters! Madam, we couldn't afford these useless devices for the cost of the cheap F-16's! </grizzle> 

*Possibly I could be arrested for revealing a state secret here. And anyway, they're not idiots in all things. Surely!?


Anyway, the light just caught the smoke trail, but the sky was definitely threatening (and indeed carried out it's threat later), which created a neat contrast. Click on the picture to get a larger view.



Farewell, old friend, you served us well.


One of Navy's new Kaman Seasprite's was displayed to good effect. These are flown and operated for the navy by the RNZAF. This is one of the SH2-F models which we obtained in a hurry to replace the obsolete Wasps. We also have the SH2-G(NZ) model on order. Of course, our Government doesn't understand why the Navy needs frigates as well. I think that the Labour Government get the Defence forces confused with the Police Forces. Truncheons, anyone?


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(c) Copyright Brian Greenwood 2008