Friday, July 19, 2024

NZDF to wing it over Wairarapa

You’ll find the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in the sky and on the ground at this year’s Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival, to be held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton this weekend.

The Black Falcons, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) display team, flying the T-6C Texan II aircraft, will kick off their summer display season at the festival.

They’ll take to the skies in an Air Force Heritage Flight formation, alongside the Biggin Hill Trust’s Spitfire Mk IX, while the RNZAF Kiwi Blue Parachute Team will be leaping from a C-130 Hercules, demonstrating their ability to land on the mark.

Aircraft enthusiasts will also be able to see the brand new P-8A Poseidon aircraft, an SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopter, and the NH90 and A109 helicopters.

Coming all the way from Yokota Air Base in Japan are members of the United States Air Force, with a C-130J model aircraft similar to the one that will be replacing New Zealand’s H-model fleet next year.

Soldiers from the New Zealand Army 16 Field Regiment will be on the ground with military vehicles including a Light Armoured Vehicle, as well as a weapons display.

RNZAF Display Director Jim Rankin said attending the airshow would be a great way for the public to see the NZDF up close.

“Unless we’ve helped you in situations like disaster relief or search and rescue, you may not have had a chance to talk to our people or see our assets and equipment up close,” Mr Rankin said.

“Every NZDF representative at the event is well trained and highly skilled at what they do.  We appreciate the chance to show and tell people about that.” 

Wings over Wairarapa runs from 24 to 26 November. More information and tickets can be found at: www.wings.org.nz.

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