Best fighters of WWII to star at airshow

Last updated 10:06 22/01/2013
Focke-Wulf Fw190
Scott Hammond

Crowd pleaser: The German Focke-Wulf Fw190 and its counterpart, the British Spitfire Mk.XIVe, will be major highlights at this year’s Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow, held over the Easter weekend.

DEREK FLYNN/Marlborough Express Zoom
DRAMA IN THE SKIES: Action at the Classic Fighters Airshow.
Derek Flynn Zoom
Two Yak 52s get up close and personal during their display

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Aviation fans will be thrilled by the appearance of two of World War II's best-known fighter planes at this year's show, says Omaka Classic Fighters Airshow organiser Graham Orphan.

The biggest drawcard at Marlborough's biennial airshow will be the beautifully reconditioned German Focke-Wulf Fw190 and the British Spitfire Mk.XIVe, he said yesterday.

The two aircraft were considered to be the elite fighter aircraft at the end of World War II, the result of a technology race between the Germans and the British to produce the quickest and most powerful aircraft.

"When the Luftwaffe [German Airforce] Focke-Wulf took to the skies at the end of World War II, it just blew everything else out of the water," said Mr Orphan.

"And when the Royal Airforce honed the Spitfire by giving it a new engine, the two aircraft represented the pinnacle of development in the second half of World War II."

The three-day event at the the Omaka Aerodrome near Blenheim during Easter Weekend March 29-31, is the major fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

The money raised will go towards a new hangar for the centre, to display the collection of World War II aircraft, including the Focke-Wulf and Spitfire.

The event usually draws a crowd of about 25,000 to Marlborough, and a few more were expected this year with the growing interest in classic fighters, and Easter Weekend falling in March instead of April.

A record crowd flocked to the Wings over Wairarapa in Masterton at the weekend and the New Zealand International Airshow, featuring the Jetman, is on in Auckland this weekend.

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- The Marlborough Express


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