The Visitor Centre complex was officially opened in November 2009 and incorporates a number of features that enables the aviation–minded public to view various former service aircraft from a number of vantage points.
Our objective is to provide each and every visitor- young or old - with an ‘aviation experience’ that includes close contact with what is effectively a’ working museum’ at Ardmore Airport. Ardmore was a very significant training aerodrome during the Second World War and the history of the airfield along with many of the squadrons that served here are shown in large pictorial prints.
This is a fully operational hangar and you will see a wide range of aircraft on the hangar floor including the Mustang, Trojan, CT4, Beaver, Chipmunk and the ever popular Harvards. The number and types vary from day to day depending on air show and training commitments. Take time to view the latest additions to our line-up – NZ6209 A4 Skyhawk (which arrived mid March 2012 on loan from the RNZAF Museum Trust) and NZ6471 Aermacchi gifted to NZ Warbirds by the Government in August 2012.
From the mezzanine you can access the walkway extending along the back wall of the hangar to gain a close-up view of these aircraft as well as the changing displays of model aircraft.
Take time out to read the saga of ‘Black Monday’, the history of Ardmore and the Squadron histories along the walkway; you are welcome to visit and browse the TT Bland Library – a new aviation resource which brings together the vast number of aviation books and periodicals that have been donated to NZ Warbirds.
Proceeding through the library, the stairs take you to the top floor area featuring a wide range of aircraft models and memorabilia displays which are changed regularly. The top floor also provides the best vantage point to fully appreciate the entire range of Warbirds aircraft.
The Visitor Centre is very much an educational resource and apart from the facilities already mentioned it is an excellent chance for children of all ages to view and gain a greater appreciation of the aircraft of yesteryear; perhaps their relatives may have served at Ardmore or flown the particular types of aircraft?
For school or special interest groups, this unique extra-curricular educational resource will prove valuable in a number of areas, e.g. Technology, History or Art/Photography. We welcome enquiries if you require more information; in the first instance please call the NZ Warbirds office on 09 298 9207 during office hours and your particular needs and group entry cost can be discussed.
Visit our Warbirds Shop where there is a range of Warbirds merchandise for you to purchase to remind you of your visit...these items make a great gift for friends and family alike.
Should you have any questions, one of our volunteers will do their best to satisfy your request and we hope you enjoy the new facility… we’d appreciate if you would tell your friends and family and encourage them to visit.
The Visitor Centre is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am to 3pm each day.