Warbirds Barnstorming Rides Day

(credit Steve Zimmerman)

Two warbird aircraft owners are determined to do their bit to ensure the southern hemisphere's largest warbird airshow returns to Wānaka in two years’ time.

 Nelson-based Bill Reid and Graeme Frew from Blenheim are bringing their aircraft to Wānaka in August giving people in the south an opportunity to take a ride in what are two very different but classic World War II aircraft.

 Reid will be bringing his Avro Anson Mk.1 reconnaissance bomber.  This aircraft debuted at Warbirds Over Wānaka International Airshow in 2014 after a 10-year restoration effort and is the only one of its type flying in the world.

 Frew’s Yak-3 Russian fighter was a very successful WWII fighter up against the likes of the German Messerschmitt 109.  In recent years ‘Full Noise’ with Frew at the helm, has competed with distinction at the famous Reno Air Races in the USA.

 Warbirds Over Wānaka general manager, Ed Taylor, said it’s going to be great to have at least a couple of warbirds buzzing around Wānaka Airport for a few days after the disappointment of having to cancel this year’s big airshow.

 “It’s been well documented that we took a significant financial hit from having to cancel because of Covid-19 so it was great to get a call from Graeme with an idea to bring the aircraft to Wānaka and to offer rides to southern aviation fans with Warbirds getting a donation at the end of the weekend.  Wānaka Airport is also helping out with support during the visit,” said Taylor.

 “We just love having the old aircraft in town and we know there will be lots of people from around the region who’ll come just to see these aircraft in action.  Graeme and Bill are both absolutely passionate about their aircraft and so when people book a ride what they get is a full aviation experience learning all about the aircraft’s history and a whole lot more,” said Taylor.

 Weather permitting the aircraft will be at Wānaka Airport from Friday August 21 to Monday August 24. 

Read edition 982 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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