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Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002 in New Zealand

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Part 2:  Formation aerobatics, single aerobatics, big warbirds



It is nearly unthinkable, that the famous North American T-6 Texan does not participate in a warbird airshow. This aircraft is also known as the "Harvard". Displays of this aircraft are an absolutely delight to the eyes and ears of every warbird fan. To hear the wonderful sound of its powerful radial engine is always a great pleasure when a single Harvard flies a display. But if an aerobatic team uses Harvards for its formation flying display, then this is a very much bigger optical and acoustical pleasure ! The "Roaring Forties Aerobatic Team" shows a very impressive formation aerobatic display with five Harvards. Here you can see two of their Harvards take off. The sound of the five powerful radial engines during the display of the team is absolutely wonderful !
Dakota After the flying programme it was also possible to enjoy pleasure flights in this Douglas C-47 Dakota. The big letters "WB" on the fuselage are meaning "War Bird".   
Dakota Three of the legendary Dakotas attended in the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002.
Dakota Two of the three Dakotas at Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002 are aircrafts of the New Zealand airline Pionair ( ). Pionair use the Dakotas for charter flights and nostalgia flights.



The "Red Checkers" aerobatic team of the Royal New Zealand Air Force ( RNZAF ) has used five Harvards for their displays until 1973. This Harvard of the Roaring Forties Aerobatic Team with the red and white "checkered" cowling is painted like an Red Checkers Harvard at that time. Nowadays the Red Checkers are equipped with modern CT-4 Airtrainers. The modern Red Checkers team was also to see in the flying programme of the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002. You can see more about their very good formation aerobatic display in part four of this report !
Lockheed 12

Lockheed 12

A very special rarity at Wanaka was this Lockheed 12 Electra Junior from the 1930s decade. It was a great pleasure to see this very nice aircraft in the flying display and to hear the wonderful sound of its two radial engines !
Harvard Formation

Harvard Formation

The North American T-6 Texans and Harvards were built in large numbers in the 1940s and so the name Roaring Forties Aerobatic Team refers to the 1940s decade. During the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow the announcer of the team said, that relating to the age of the pilots the team should be called Roaring Sixties Aerobatic team. The youngest pilot in the team is 50 years old and is called as the "baby" of the team!


It was also a third formation aerobatic team to see in the flying programme of the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002 additional to the very good performances of the Roaring Forties Aerobatic Team and the Red Checkers of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The third team has shown very good formation aerobatics with four russian-built Yakovlev Yak-52 aircrafts. ( And in part four of this report You can see photos of the RNZAF Red Checkers displays ! )

The Battle at Sea Display

Catalina Some very interesting combat displays with many pyrotechnic effects were to be seen in the flying display of the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002. One of this displays was the Second World War "Battle at Sea" display. In the first part of the Battle at Sea display You could see this Consolidated PBY-5 A Catalina take off for a patrol flight. The task was the search for German submarines. 
U-Boot During the patrol flight the Catalina sights a German submarine, the "U-02". 
U-Boot The Catalina bombs U-02...
U-Boot ... and U-02 finally sinks.
Harvard During the flight back to the base the Catalina has been attacked by two German fighters. (Two North American T-6 Harvards were marked with German crosses and swastikas for their role as German fighters.) 
Wildcat A Grumman FM-2 Wildcat arrived at the scene of action to help the Catalina. The Wildcat shot down the German fighters after a heavy fight.
Yaks Before the Yak-Team has started the aerobatic displays, the team made with the four Yak-52 some fly-pasts together with two Nanchang CJ6.
Nanchang At first sight the Nanchang CJ6 looks like a Yakovlev Yak-52, but there is a difference at the tail unit. The Nanchang CJ6 is a chinese-built revised model of the russian Yakovlev Yak-18.
Yak The registrations for civil aircrafts in New Zealand be composed of three letters. This gives the opportunity to use funny three-letter combinations, which are very easy to remember !


Steve Taylor has shown breathtaking aerobatic displays with this modern Edge 540 high-performance aerobatic aircraft. And Steve Taylor was also the pilot of one of the Polikarpov I-16 aircrafts in the flying programme of the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow 2002.
Catalina The Consolidated PBY-5 A Catalina which was to see in the "Battle at Sea" display belongs to the Catalina Group of New Zealand ( ). Before and after the flying programme of the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow it was possible to enjoy pleasure flights with the Catalina ! At the time I have arrived at the staff of the Catalina Group, the flights were unfortunately sold out. But I am looking forward to the next Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow and I hope I can fly in this wonderful Catalina during the 2004 Airshow !

Click here to see the part 3 of our big Warbirds over Wanaka 2002 Report    >>> Part 3

Coming soon

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