Warbirds Over Wanaka is keen to have the Australian F/A-18
Hornets back next year. Photo supplied.
The invitations have gone out to air forces around the
world and now Warbirds Over Wanaka is awaiting the replies.
Reporting to the annual meeting of the Warbirds Over Wanaka
Community Trust this week, general manager Ed Taylor said he
had contacted the air forces of Australia, France, Singapore
and the United States about the Easter 2014 show but had yet
to hear which would attend.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the only one confirmed so
far - ''operations permitting'' - and is likely to send its
new NH90 helicopters, which are capable of carrying 12 to 18
Mr Taylor said the French Air Force got ''very close'' to
attending the 2010 show but had been diverted four days out
because of political troubles in Bougainville.
The most likely aircraft to be sent by the French would be
the CASA - a smaller version of the RNZAF's Hercules.
Mr Taylor said he had made an ''initial approach'' to the
Republic of Singapore Air Force which has links with the New
Zealand Defence Force and had a range of aircraft that would
add interest to the show.
The Royal Australian Air Force has sent fighter aircraft in
the past - including four F/A-18 Hornets - and Mr Taylor said
Australian personnel were always keen to attend, if they were
''They don't get to fly in mountain terrain like this very
The United States Air Force had declined an invitation to the
Mr Taylor said budget constraints meant the USAF had pulled
out of all airshows for a year, which Mr Taylor said had
meant some United States shows had been cancelled.
Initiatives for next year's Wanaka show include a display of
World War 1 aircraft over the lake and a ''rides day'',
offering airshow patrons rides ''on anything from a Spitfire
to a Tiger Moth''.