Warbirds airshow all set for lift-off

CHE BAKER
Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
Frankie singing troupe
CHE BAKER/ Fairfax NZ

SINGING SWEETHEARTS: The Frankie singing troupe consisting of Lois Trenberth, Cat Hay, Emily Trenberth, Anna Jack and Nadine Hoskins, all of Christchurch, sang World War II music to the crowds at Warbirds over Wanaka yesterday. The troupe first performed at the show 10 years ago. 

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Storms battering the country caused delays to pilots flying to the Warbirds over Wanaka International Airshow but conditions are expected to improve for today's show.

Event organised Ed Taylor said some of the pilots due to fly in for the show yesterday, including World aerobatic champion and Lithuanian pilot Jurgis Kairys, were stuck in other parts of the country because of the adverse weather.

Kairys was expected to arrive in time to race his Sukhoi 29 aircraft along the runway against New Zealand motorsport legend Greg Murphy, a four-time Bathurst V8 Supercar winner, in a Lamborghini Supercar.

The Lamborghini was capable of going from 0 to 100kph in 3.4 seconds and had a top speed of 325kph and the Sukhoi has a similar maximum speed.

However, to give Murphy a chance Jurgis was planning on flying upside down.

Heavy rain also closed State Highway 6 between Haast and Makarora because of further rock falls at the Diana Falls site.

The road was opened with delays yesterday afternoon.

Taylor said many people were calling from Christchurch and Dunedin saying how bad the weather was but Wanaka and Southland seemed to have missed it and even had some sunshine.

"We're right on the edge of it," Taylor said

However, today "it's going to be a sensational day," he said.

All pilots were expected to arrive in time to perform in the show.

Strong crowds attended the practice yesterday and the main attraction at this year's show, the Gigatown Jet Racing, gave the crowd a taste of the action to come. Six jet aircraft flown by New Zealand and United States pilots raced around a track at the Wanaka Airport. 

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