Wings "biggest and best ever"
A rare wooden wonder made the weekend's Wings over Wairarapa show the ''biggest and best'' since the event began in 1999.
A record of about 20,000 people flocked to the airshow at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton over Wellington Anniversary Weekend, including tourists seeking a special glimpse of the one-of-a-kind Mosquito fighter bomber.
Originally built in Canada in 1945, the de Havilland Mosquito is the only one of its kind currently flying. They were the fastest operational aircraft in World War II and the only to be constructed almost entirely of wood.
Airshow organiser Liz Pollock said it was the ''star'' of the two-day show.
''There are people who have literally travelled from the Northern Hemisphere just to see the Mosquito.
''It is certainly the biggest and best Wings show that we have had since the biennial show started in 1999.''
There were many World War I and II planes among more than 70 aircraft at the show.
A rare formation of six jets was another highlight, she said.
But there was so much more to the airshow than just flying, including several ground displays, kids' entertainment and stalls.
''It's been a perfect Wairarapa summer day," Ms Pollock said of yesterday's show.
''The weather has been perfect, everyone is very happy, it's a lovely family day out and stunning sky displays.''
Wings Trust chairman Bob Francis said it was special to have about 20 war veterans at the show, many who had once flown the Mosquito planes.
''It's been a wonderful weekend for them to reminisce and talk about those great days,'' he said.
Morning traffic between Greytown and Carterton was slow as plane-enthusiasts created a few ''bottlenecks'' on their way to the show.
But crowd management had worked well, and he predicted the same as the show continued today.