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The bi-annual Classic Fighters air show in Omaka, New Zealand is one of the best warbird events in the Southern Hemisphere and ranks very highly against any of the more well known and prestigious flying displays elsewhere in the world. This year marked the air show’s 8th edition, and it clearly has a promising future.

ACF15 FW190 8545 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 FW190 8545 Zeitler 100 67 85
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Where? Omaka, Blenheim, New Zealand
When? 03-05/04/2015

One unfortunate incident marred an otherwise marvelous display during the practice air show on the Friday though. After a stunning performance in front of a deep blue sky the Flugwerk FW-190 suffered a ground loop near the end of its landing run. Once the dust had cleared, there remained a sad view of the 190 lying on the ground, its propeller blades shorn off and landing gear splayed out beneath it. Thankfully her pilot was able to walk away from the incident. According to its owner, the Butcher Bird should be in the air again for the next show in two years, but it is probably too early to say just yet.
This year the great WWII aerial mock combat acts, which are one of the trademarks of the Classic Fighters air show, thus had to go on without the German enemy being chased by Allied Mustangs, Spitfires and Kittyhawks.

CF15 68 0324 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 68 0324 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 68 0333 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 68 0418 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 68 4483 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 68 9163 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 P 40 7448 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 White Tail 8368 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 White Tail 8368 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 White Tail 1444 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 White Tail 6345 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 White Tail 6359 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 White Tail 7460 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 White Tail 9390 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Avenger 5162 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Avenger 5162 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Avenger 4856 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Avenger 5040 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Avenger 5081 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Avenger 7109 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 People 6004 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 People 6004 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 People 6325 Zeitler 100 67 85
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CF15 People 9147 Zeitler 100 67 85

Fortunately this setback did not stop this great show from rolling on! Already the evening show on Friday afternoon was stunning. Covered in gorgeous, golden, late-afternoon light, aircraft and helicopters performed, before the sun set and the golden shining clouds and deep blue sky provided an excellent backdrop for more flying and fireworks.

ACF15 WWII 9242 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 WWII 9242 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Formationen 1481 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Formationen 7187 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Formationen 7350 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Formationen 7362 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 WWII 9148 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Strutter 6197 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Strutter 6197 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strutter 5498 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strutter 9127 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strutter 9140 Zeitler 100 67 85

The dusk also laid a veil on the arrival of the actual star of the show, as the Griffon-powered Spitfire Mk.XIV NH799 landed at Omaka. It has only just reflown following a lengthy restoration, having been involved in a serious crash back in 1996 which nearly took the life of the legendary Sir Tim Wallis. After that crash the Omaka-based “Chariots of Fire” syndicate acquired the wreck and had it slowly rebuilt by the genius technicians at Avspecs in Ardmore, near Auckland. It celebrated its first post-restoration flight only the day before arriving at Classic Fighters. It arrived during darkness with its remarkable Griffon-sound reverberating off the nearby mountains. During the next two days it impressed several times with stunning flying displays!

ACF15 Mk.XIV 0026 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Mk.XIV 0026 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 0012 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 0022 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 7431 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 7435 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 9378 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 PV2 8960 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 PV2 8960 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 9488 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Mk.XIV 9976 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 PV2 0469 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 PV2 6098 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 PV2 8131 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 PV2 9603 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 PV2 9603 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 PV2 9597 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Twin 0528 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Twin 6755 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Twin 7287 Zeitler 100 67 85
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The Classic Fighters are a great celebration of especially WWI and WWII aviation, with New Zealand’s warbird owners and pilots gathering in the scenic Marlborough county to display their aircraft in front of the gorgeous scenery of vineyards and the extensive mountainous landscape. This air show offers one of the rare opportunities to see a large number of WWI aircraft, some of which form part of TVAL (The Vintage Aviator Ltd.) collection.

CF15 Dr.I 4607 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Dr.I 4607 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 8811 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Groundshow 0774 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Groundshow 6565 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Groundshow 9931 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Groundshow 9998 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Nieuport 6193 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Nieuport 6193 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nieuport 6171 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nieuport 9082 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nieuport 2 8085 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pub 4633 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pub 8071 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.V 0823 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 D.V 0823 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.V 7222 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.V 8094 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 D.VIII 8064 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 D.VIII 8064 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.VII 5992 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.VII 8088 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.VII 9739 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.VIII 5496 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 D.VIII 5568 Zeitler 100 67 85

The big goal for the 2015 show was to fly an 8-ship formation of Fokker Dr.I triplanes, and this happened with meticulously flying by the pilots; one of them even supplementing the performance with a Fokker D.VII. The WWI scenario was also the big show act before lunch, when plenty of aircraft launched and battled in the air, while on the ground fierce fighting was going on that included replica British Mark IV battle tanks. While the British superiority on the ground was taking a fortress, in the air Fokker Dr.I Triplanes were circling, reinforced by an Albatros D.Va, Fokker D.VII, D.VIII and even a Pfalz D.III, whereas the Allies were fighting with several Sopwith and Nieuport-type aircraft for aerial superiority.

CF15 Dr.I 8684 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Dr.I 8684 Zeitler 100 67 85
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CF15 Dr.I 9114 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 9701 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZCF15 Dr.I 8122 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 5897 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Dr.I 5897 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 5911 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 6157 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 6446 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 6984 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZCF15 Dr.I 0719 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pfalz 0793 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Pfalz 0793 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pfalz 8063 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Dr.I 0693 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Dr.I 0693 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Static 0249 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Static 0998 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 7103 Zeitler 100 67 85

During lunch break plenty of food stalls were available, either serving hearty meat meals or giving the visitor to try and taste the local delights as many micro-breweries and of course the wineries offered their products.

ACF15 People 0083 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 People 0083 Zeitler 100 67 85
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CF15 People 0071 Zeitler 100 67 85
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CF15 Cargo 0052 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Cargo 0052 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pre War 9544 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Pre War 9551 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Re Enactment 0620 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Static 0993 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 WWI 8059 Zeitler 100 67 85

The afternoon part of the show focused mainly on the WWII warbirds whereupon apart from plenty solo displays the flying activity once again cumulated in a big scenario. This was quite stunning as it involved a flying scale model of a “Doodlebug”, the German V-1 flying bomb!

ACF15 Groundshow 7290 Zeitler 700 470 90
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ACF15 Groundshow 7306 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Groundshow 0574 Zeitler 100 67 85
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CF15 Groundshow 7257 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Anson 1365 Zeitler 700 470 90
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CF15 Anson 7259 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Anson 7384 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Anson 8876 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Anson 9192 Zeitler 100 67 85
ZCF15 Anson 1404 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 V 1 0552 Zeitler 700 470 90
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CF15 V 1 6635 Zeitler 100 67 85
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In the meantime a Spitfire was circling overhead and two more Spits and a Mustang tried their best to destroy the buzz bomb site with strafing runs. In the end of course they succeeded and T-6s circling overhead provided even more sonorous sound in the air. Russian Yaks joined the circuit later with some great passes and a nice 'tail chase'.

ACF15 P 51 8978 Zeitler 700 470 90
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ACF15 Corsair 9580 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Corsair 9580 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Corsair 1522 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Corsair 6268 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Corsair 6286 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Corsair 9223 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Corsair 9557 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Yak 3 0350 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Yak 3 0350 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 3 0224 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 3 0338 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 3 7474 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 3 Red 12 1654 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 3 Red 12 7172 Zeitler 100 67 85

Apart from all these “warbird” aircraft during the show, CF15 was far more than that. Classic jet fighters and transport aircraft were in the air, with a Strikemaster, Venom or L-29 doing fly-bys and even offering rides from the nearby Omaka Airport. And aerobatic Performances were not to be missed!

CF15 Venom 0425 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Venom 0425 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Venom 0427 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Venom 0434 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Strikemaster 9814 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Strikemaster 9814 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 L 29 0246 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 L 29 1301 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strikemaster 5783 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strikemaster 6063 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Strikemaster 9800 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Classics 5993 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Classics 5993 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Classics 7981 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Classics 8490 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Classics 8500 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 DC 3 0259 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 DC 3 0259 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 DC 3 8142 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NZ3456 6506 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NZ3456 7156 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 ZK AWP 0195 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 F 27 1201 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 F 27 1201 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 F 27 0114 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 F 27 6646 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Yak 52 6155 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Yak 52 6155 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 52 5367 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 52 7331 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 52 7497 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 52 7504 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Yak 52 9009 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Beaver 1039 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Beaver 1039 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Bushpilots 6773 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Glider 6512 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 MX 2 8598 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 Nanchang CJ6 5609 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 Nanchang CJ6 5609 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nanchang CJ6 0477 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nanchang CJ6 6021 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Nanchang CJ6 8842 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 T 6 6336 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 T 6 6336 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 0454 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 1132 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 4902 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 5364 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 8298 Zeitler 100 67 85

And of course the RNZAF displayed some of their assets. Due to disaster relief operations at Vanuatu island the C-130 Hercules could not participate, but a P-3C Orion arrived for some passes. Of course the commentary pointed out the important role of this RNZAF aircraft in the search for flight MH370. As the T-6 is rather new in the Air Force’s fleet, this type only performed some slow fly-bys. A full display routine should be ready for the next event in Omaka for sure!
The NH90 was also flown in a small operation involving ground troops, and the venerable UH-1 Huey performed its last public display as in may 2015 the last of these helicopters were put out of RNZAF Service.

ACF15 T 6 6046 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 T 6 6046 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 A109 1805 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 RNZAF 0763 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 RNZAF 6528 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 T 6 6029 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 P 3 8410 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 P 3 8410 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 P 3 8403 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 P 3 8428 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 P 3 9954 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 NH 90 9856 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 NH 90 9856 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NH 90 5654 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NH 90 5661 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NH 90 6534 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NH 90 6934 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 NH 90 9845 Zeitler 100 67 85
ACF15 UH 1 9312 Zeitler 700 470 90
ACF15 UH 1 9312 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 UH 1 5642 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 UH 1 5675 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 UH 1 6529 Zeitler 100 67 85
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At the end of the Sunday a massive take-off and fly-by closed the event with 28 aircraft in loose formation. It was highlighted by a “Poppy drop” from the Avro Anson to commemorate the fallen soldiers, which was valued by the public with dignified silence and individual applause.

 

CF15 Formationen 1493 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Formationen 1493 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Formationen 7345 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Spitfire 6816 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Transports 7146 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 WWII 0572 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 WWII 5320 Zeitler 100 67 85

Apart from this impressive view during the fly-by their take-offs and landings in a nice afternoon light were a great chance to catch a final view of them until latest the next edition of “Classic Fighters” on the Easter week-end 2017. Save the date!

CF15 Scenery 6783 Zeitler 700 470 90
CF15 Scenery 6783 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Scenery 9255 Zeitler 100 67 85
CF15 Staggerwing 6324 Zeitler 100 67 85

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