Weta's work plane to see

REBECCA THOMSON
Last updated 10:10 22/06/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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Wellington's new air ambulance plane is sporting a distinct look thanks to Weta Workshop's design team.

The Life Flight Trust plane, which was unveiled last week, has been painted with criss-crossed bandages.

Designer Frank Victoria worked with a team of four to create the new look.

"We had about 40 ideas. There were all different kinds of possible things we could have done with the plane," he said.

"In the end we thought this idea [of bandages] could be a winner. The design's more beautiful than I had hoped for."

Hailing from France, Mr Victoria has spent 12 years in Wellington working for Weta Workshop.

"The ideas that come out of the workshop are unbelievable. With 26 multi- talented designers, there are always plenty of ideas. By the end of the year we have millions of crazy ideas.

"I love it here, but I have to go back [to France] soon for family reasons."

Mr Victoria and his design team have worked on everything from film and television, to sculptures and planes.

Life Flight's new Jetstream J3 replaces the Metroliner plane, which had been in service since 2001.

Crewman Dave Greenberg said the Jetstream was a big step forward.

"It's an awesome plane. Our old plane was getting old and expensive to run," he said.

"The new plane looks wonderful and it's a lot more functional than the old one.

"It's higher inside, so most of us can stand up inside; it's a lot sturdier and we've got new medical equipment."

Seventeen-year-old Wayne Cherry, who owes his life to Life Flight, was at the unveiling of the new plane.

Five years ago, Life Flight transported Wayne from Wellington to Christchurch after he was diagnosed with cancer and given 72 hours to live.

"The plane's amazing, very cool. It's very distinctive. I really like it," he said. zFor more photos of Life Flight's new plane, see thewellingtonian.co.nz.

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- The Wellingtonian

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