Airshow Travel

Yealands Classic Fighters Airshow - Easter 2021

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With a little over 6 months to go until the Yealands Classic Fighters Airshow, there has been a significant amount of news and excitement develop in preparation for next years show!

The organisers' Covid-19 response has driven a few decisions - not to withdraw or reduce the show but, rather, to deliver a truly outstanding event to celebrate their 20th Anniversary! This will feature some new elements that they have not been able to provide previously, so they’re presenting some of those below to help you make that decision to commit your next Easter to a trip to lovely Marlborough, NZ.

V-Weapons are a GO!
Event organiser Graham Orphan is delighted to unveil a significant attraction for next year's airshow. This is something that has never been done before at any event, anywhere in the world. So if you never go to another airshow, make sure you don't miss this one as it may be the only time they perform this combination! They plan to present for you, in amongst all of the amazing and unique combinations of heritage and other show aircraft, performances by BOTH the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket, all on one weekend!

You may know that they have their own flying V-1 'doodle-bug' replica that has successfully delighted the Omaka crowds for the last couple of shows. Some years ago, they also built a full size V-2 rocket, complete with its huge launch trailer. They demonstrated this unit in spectacular form at CF'11, but in the following decade, have not repeated the performance. The time is now right to allow you to see both the V-1 and the V-2 performances in one weekend! To get the full value of the display, you really need to attend for the Friday night, and the Saturday and the Sunday. You won't be sorry you did!

The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
The Great War (WWI) is the stage on which the story of aviation and the ‘Knights of the Sky’ comes to life. This is the personal collection of film director Sir Peter Jackson and through his generosity a series of dioramas, created by Wingnut Films and enhanced by lifelike mannequins by Weta Workshop combined to provide a museum experience never seen before its opening in 2006. Rare memorabilia on display; the envy of any national collection ranges from beautifully crafted ‘trench’ art through to personal items belonging to national flying heroes such as the USA’s Eddie Rickenbacker, France’s René Fonck and Germany’s Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen and the infamous Hermann Goering.

Like World War One’s “Knights of the Sky”, “Dangerous Skies" (WWII)  features mannequins made by Weta Workshop, and original, flyable static aircraft in larger-than-life dioramas, capturing specific snapshots in history.

In 2019, Dangerous Skies has undergone a refresh and the main exhibition area now holds two additional aircraft, both originals and never seen before at Omaka. The first a Messerschmitt Bf108 once owned and flown by German ace Franz Stigler, and the second a Lockheed Hudson, an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft which has been suspended in a dramatic crash scene in the depths of a Pacific island jungle.

Dangerous Skies WWII Exhibition Hall to host a special preview of key display aircraft

A new feature at the Yealands Classic Fighters airshow next year will be the opening for the first time ever, of the WWII 'Dangerous Skies' hall at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. This is usually closed this hall due to several of the key display aircraft being outside participating in the flying programme. For this event however, our special quest is to raise money from the airshow to support the on-going presentation of the amazing 'Aladdin's Cave' collection of the late John Smith. 

Sadly, Mr. Smith passed away during 2019, however the core collection of his aircraft have been placed on long-term loan to Omaka by his family. These aeronautical treasures include the de Havilland Mosquito, the famous P-40N Kittyhawk 'Gloria Lyons' and John's own private aircraft, his time-capsule Tiger Moth (untouched since its last flight over half a century ago). They will be joining the Lockheed Hudson that had earlier been part of the Smith collection and which went on display in its remarkable jungle diorama in late 2019 (above). 

This means that for Easter 2021, there will be a once-only unique display compilation inside the WWII exhibition, specifically to showcase aircraft from the famous and secretive Smith Collection.

They can't guarantee at this time how far their preservation work may have progressed but their display is what we are planning for. In addition you will see the Stuka, the Hurricane replica from 'The Battle of Britain' movie, the Stalingrad immersion experience and possibly other machines yet to be advised. Once again, you're in for a treat but you need to plan well beforehand, how you spend your time. This display will be a unique mix for the five days of Thursday through to Monday before it changes back to the normal display, so put in the thought now as to when during the weekend of airshow magic, you might schedule some time in the 'Dangerous Skies' hall. You won't want to travel all the way to Marlborough and miss this spectacular experience.

We will have updates over the next few months but PLEASE CONTACT US ASAP to get your GA tickets/Gold Pass’s and your accommodation sorted now, as these are disappearing FAST if you want to have the best experience you can over what is going to be a spectacular weekend!

Contact us for a quote on a complete or part package with flights, rental car, accommodation and tickets etc

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(+64) 09 831 0535 • Mob: (+64) 027 609 4816
18 Westgate Drive, Massey, Auckland, New Zealand
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