Here are some of the other highlights from the 2012 Warbirds over Wanaka airshow. I’ll start with the fastest (and perhaps the best looking) plane, the Hawker Hunter:
At one point it disappeared down in the river valley beyond the airfield, suddenly appearing at the other end heading straight towards us. I was too surprised to catch the shot. This one from a later pass:
We saw a de Havilland Vampire and a Strikemaster. I can remember being impressed by the Vampire when I went to the Ohakea airshow when I was a school kid.
The Vampire could still do tricks:
Two Iroquois helicopters from No. 3 Squadron, RNZAF, flew in to unload some troops:
then to lay down smoke so the troops could not be seen by the enemy (us):
For a moment they appeared to overdo it slightly, so they couldn’t see the enemy either (or very much else):
but they recovered to extract a wounded soldier from the troop carrier.
Not to be outdone, the Navy showed us how to find someone at sea, with their newly upgraded Orions:
and then a Seasprite plucked the poor guy from a moving boat. All quite fun.
Now for something more peaceful, even if it was noisier. Frazer Briggs flies model aeroplanes. Big ones. His Raven has a wingspan of more than 3 metres. It was amazing to see what he could do with it. Fly sideways? No problem.
Upside down, just a couple of metres off the ground? No problem.
His method of landing it was fairly spectular. He pointed it vertically upwards, blipping the throttle so it more or less hovered on the spot, allowed it to stall, recovered as it fell back and then flew it down the last few metres to land in about 10-20 m of runway. Here’s the start of that process: