New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum

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The New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum was an aerospace museum located at Wanaka Airport on New Zealand's South Island. It closed in the early 2010s.[citation needed]

The museum was founded by Sir Tim Wallis and housed in a new building at the Wanaka Airport. It was opened in 1993 by retired Group Captain Colin Gray.[1] Its first curator was Ian Brodie. In 1996 museum became one of the first aerospace museums on the internet. The museum includes the Alpine Fighter Collection, dedicated to New Zealand's fighters during World War II.[2] The museum was funded, in part, by grants from the Community Trust of Otago.[3]

Alpine Fighter Collection[edit]

The Alpine Fighter Collection is a collection of vintage aircraft based at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum at Wanaka established by helicopter and deer entrepreneur Sir Tim Wallis.[4]

The collection was started in 1984 with the purchase of a North American P-51 Mustang from John Dilley of the USA.[5] Painted in RNZAF colours, it attracted much media attention as the first flying Second World War fighter seen in New Zealand for some years and played a major part in the 1980s and 1990s expansion of the Warbird movement in New Zealand.[citation needed]

The collection undertook a pioneering effort in recovering and restoring Warbirds from the post-glasnost Commonwealth of Independent States. It arranged and funded the first restorations to flying condition of Polikarpov I-16s (six restored) and Polikarpov I-153s (three restored). It also restored the first Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa to fly since the 1940s.[6][7][8][9]

In 1988, the collection's core members organized the first Warbirds over Wanaka airshow to showcase the collection - it attracted 14,000 people. The collection continues to provides the basis of the biannual Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow which attracted over 100,000 visitors in 2006.[10][11]

The collection has been reduced by sales in recent years and may yet be broken up. The sole airworthy component is a Hawker Hurricane Mk IIA, with a de Havilland Vampire FB5 and Royal Aircraft Factory Se.5a reproduction on static display.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peat. Page 231.
  2. ^ Philip Makanna, Jill Herron (2002-09). "Ghosts Over Wanaka". Air Classics. Retrieved 2008-03-25.  [dead link]
  3. ^ "Museum Money". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2002-12-24. Retrieved 2008-03-25. [dead link]
  4. ^ Bruce Ansley (2005-07-30). "Wanaka Warbird". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 2008-03-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ Peat. Page 224.
  6. ^ "Myriad Aviation Warbirds". Ksql.com. 1998-03-01. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  7. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3901/is_200101/ai_n8947196
  8. ^ webmaster@aviapress.com. "Other Publishers OTH-072 Polikarpov I-153 Soviet Fighter. Model kits, Military and Technical Books and Magazines on www.Aviapress.com". Aviapress.com. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  9. ^ "::Holding Page::". Alpinefighter.co.nz. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  10. ^ "Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow - New Zealand". Warbirdsoverwanaka.com. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  11. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3901/is_200209/ai_n9086944
  12. ^ "The Aircraft". Nzwarbirds.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brodie, Ian (2000). Warbirds - Alpine Fighter Collection. Auckland: Reed Publishing. ISBN 1-86948-833-4. 
  • Peat, Neville (2005). Hurricane Tim : The Story of Sir Tim Wallis (Hardback). Dunedin: Longarce Press. ISBN 1-877361-17-8. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°43′27″S 169°14′37″E / 44.724082°S 169.243569°E / -44.724082; 169.243569