Warbirds Over Wanaka, the world-famous, biennial air show held over the stunning, mountain-ringed landscape in Wanaka, New Zealand is gearing up for their next event over Easter Weekend in 2020. As always, many special opportunities will be available to attendees, and the organizers have just announced two unique experiences which will be on hand for those with an even keener desire to know what it feels like to fly in a legendary vintage military aircraft!
Warbirds Over Wanaka has announced two exciting new additions to their 2020 Rides Day line-up, including the chance to fly in a Supermarine Spitfire and the world’s only airworthy Avro Anson Mk.I. Spitfire Mk.IX MH367, originally built as a single-seater, was modified to Tr.Mk.IX status with a second seat and set of controls during her restoration. She is owned by Auckland-based Doug Brooker, and last displayed at Wanaka in 2012. Sporting a desert camouflage paint scheme, this aircraft saw plenty of action during WWII, albeit in the European Theatre of Operations, rather than North Africa.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, expects the chance to fly in the Spitfire will be very popular, especially with Australian visitors, stating, “There is no two-seater Spitfires across the Tasman [Sea]. We’re always fielding enquiries from Warbird fans on both sides of the Tasman wanting to book the ride of a lifetime.” Doug Brooker will also be bringing his MXS aircraft to Wanaka. Ed Taylor, commenting on this detail, remarked, “Doug is a very accomplished aerobatic pilot, and I’m sure his MXS display will be a big crowd-pleaser.”
Taylor is also expecting rides in the beautifully restored Avro Anson Mk.I to sell out quickly, noting, “This WWII reconnaissance bomber has been a favourite since debuting in Wanaka in 2014. The owner has only recently had this aircraft certified to take joy rides, so this will be a first for airshow fans anywhere in the world.”
The opportunity to ride in a Warbird doesn’t stop here though, as Taylor is quick to point out…“At the top end, you have the Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, P-40 Kittyhawk and the Yak-3 Reno Racer ‘Full Noise’. For sheer speed and exhilaration, you can’t go past a ride in an Aero L-39 Albatros jet, or you can go up in the Anson or a Harvard. If you’d rather something a little more sedate, then maybe a ride in the open cockpit Tiger Moth will be more your style.”
A full list of the aircraft available, the associated costs, and how to book them ahead of time is available at the link HERE.
Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held at Wanaka Airport on April 10th, 11th and 12th next year. For more information and tickets, please visit www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com