Small but perfectly formed

Gary Montagu with his Corby Kestrel kitset aeroplane at the Taieri airfield. Photo by Christine O...
Gary Montagu with his Corby Kestrel kitset aeroplane at the Taieri airfield. Photo by Christine O'Connor.

If you blink, you could miss the Corby Kestrel aerobatic plane at the Wings and Wheels Open Day on Sunday.

The tiny one-seater kitset plane, affectionately known as the flying milk bottle, has a top speed of 280kmh and is capable of pulling 6g turns - the equivalent of a car accelerating from zero to more than 200kmh in less than a second.

Owner Gary Montagu said 6g turns were not for the faint-hearted, and he had not yet been game to try one.

"It's very nimble. It's like a high-performance motorbike, as opposed to a car.

"But I just use it for pleasure and touring around.''

Mr Montagu said he spent five years building the $40,000 plane in the garage of his Dunedin home, and in 2007 it was put on a trailer and transported to the Taieri airfield, where it became the first of its kind in the world to take to the skies.

Today, there was only one other like it, and it was in Australia, he said.

Mr Montagu has been a pilot for the past 35 years and builds planes as a hobby.

He is in the process of building his third kitset aeroplane.

The Corby Kestrel is just one of about 25 planes and more than 600 ground vehicles on display at the Wings and Wheels Open Day at the Taieri airfield on Sunday.

Open day co-ordinator Caroline Walker said the event was part of the International Festival of Historic Motoring, which runs in Dunedin until January 24.

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