About Us - NZ Warbirds

About Us

dedicated to restoration, preservation and operation

In New Zealand, as in many countries the world over, service aircraft have been the introduction to flying and aviation for thousands of young men and women. Many such pilots have gone on to establish careers in civilian flying long after their military service so, in many ways, these aircraft form the very backbone of our country’s aviation history.

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Group of pilots gathered beside a line-up of Corsairs at RNZAF Station, Ardmore. RNZAF Official

NZ Warbirds was originally conceived by the late Trevor Bland who in June 1978 organised a meeting of interested parties with a common goal to establish an association to restore, fly and enjoy aircraft of an historic nature with a connection to the Royal New Zealand Air Force.  The newly formed association boasted two aircraft at the time, a Chipmunk and an Auster but soon to follow was the addition of the first kiwi warbird, a wartime RNZAF Harvard trainer NZ1092 (ZK-WAR).

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Our associations first warbird, ex RNZAF T6 Harvard NZ1092 (ZK-WAR), still flies under the NZ Warbirds banner. Here it can be seen (foreground) flying with a Supermarine Spitfire and a Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk (background) which also are part of the association.

From our humble beginnings forty years ago, we now have a membership close to 600 with a mixture of active pilots and aviation enthusiasts all with a desire to see these aircraft fly for generations.  Although our organisation was started to preserve ex-RNZAF aircraft, this has been expanded to include any type due to the successful introduction of service aircraft from all over the world including Russian, German and Chinese types. British and American aircraft never seen in service here also figure prominently!

About Us - NZ Warbirds

Former RNZAF A-4K Skyhawk NZ6209 on the flight line at Ohakea. “09” is one of many service aircraft that is preserved by the association.

The Association does not aim to glorify war.  Its objective is to provide the wide range of skills and support necessary to see these grand old military and historic aircraft preserved in flying condition.  Our NZ Warbirds at Ardmore collection at Ardmore Airport provides an educational resource unrivalled in the warbird sphere.  Not only does it house former Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft, it also has an aviation library complex and comprehensive squadron history displays.

About Us - NZ Warbirds

NZ Warbirds patron and founding president the late Trevor Bland AFC, MNZM (left) talking with aviation legend General Chuck Yeager

Associations

NZ Warbirds is in active contact with like-minded organisations nation-wide and represents the interests of the warbird movement on aviation consultancy groups within New Zealand.  We work closely with the organisers of world class events and significant commemorative occasions such as:

Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Art Deco Festival – Napier

Classic Fighters – Blenheim

Classic Flyers – Tauranga

Royal New Zealand Air Force

RSA

Warbirds Over Wanaka – Wanaka

Wings over Wairarapa – Masterton

Our Team

President
Frank Parker
Vice President
John Kelly
General Manager/Secretary
Mike Curwood
Treasurer
Chris Tennent-Brown
Operations Manager
Mark Helliwell
Chief Flying Instructor (CFI)
Dave Brown
Deputy CFI
Dean Beverley
Safety Manager
Blair Sims
Maintenance Controller
Milton Donovan
Committee MembersBen Shaw, Brett Nicholls, Chris Tennent-Brown, Colin Goult, Greg Morris, Leanne Butler, Liz Needham, Mike Watson, Paul Liddington
About Us - NZ Warbirds

Frank Parker is the current president of the NZ Warbirds Association. He flies a number of aircraft types including our Kittyhawk, Mustang and Harvards as well as the expanding WW1 fleet.

  • What a birthday gift from my family. A stunning flight and my wife said my smile after climbing (clambering) out of the cockpit was to be seen. Gary my pilot was totally professional and made it all so enjoyable.

    Malcolm G June 2019

  • Wow, thats an amzing day full of discovery and nature. Loved the cruise! You guys rock.

    Mike McVey Gisborne NZ

  • Lovely cafe with a great view of all the planes taking off. The museum guides are super friendly and my son absolutely loves coming here. Highly recommended.

    Dianechen10 February 2020

  • Fantastic opportunity to get up close to some of the icons of New Zealand’s aviation history - with the majority being flyable examples. Knowable guides to fill in any gaps in your own knowledge. Topped off by an amazing scale model collection.

    MarkR986 October 2020

  • Interesting guided visit around the War Birds Facility, get up close to the war planes. Beautiful display. Would suggest combine with a visit to the Auckland Botanical Gardens. A Great Auckland Day Out.

    Sandra S February 2020

  • On the Ardmore Airport (the busiest airport in the southern hemisphere) are two hangers of war planes. I have lived nearby for years and the planes often fly over my house but I have never before visited the exhibition. They have a Spitfire, a P45 Mustang, a Skyhawk and many many more aircraft. Almost all of them still fly. I was fascinated by the pre-WWII planes. The beauty of the engineering is fascinating and there are not many places you can get so close to the planes. You can also pay to have a flight in many of he planes. That is something I am planning for later in the year. The staff were all very helpful and knowledgeable. I will be taking all my visitors there in future.

    Howard A January 2020

@nz_warbirds

“Dawn Patrol” 🐯Tiger ZK-BLK waiting patiently for its flying activites to begin. 📷 @wairarapaflyingtigers 📍 Hood Aerodrome, NZ #Avgeek #Warbird #Aviation #biplane #tigermoth #tiger #moth #dh #dehavilland #gypsy #Adventure #Flight #KeepEmFlying #history #historic #NZ #newzealand #aotearoa #masterton #ThrillSeeking #WW2 #World #War #Formation #Unique #Outdoor #Recreation
With the arrival of ex RNZAF Vampire NZ5711 at Ardmore, we have begun searching for photographs documenting its unique history as it begins its next chapter of its life. This picture shows Aircraft Maintenance Squadron personnel at RNZAF Base Ohakea, 1972, posing next to NZ5711 when she was instructional airframe INST 206. 📷 RNZAF Official 📍Ohakea, New Zealand #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #ghost #dehavilland #vampire #greatwar #ww1 #airshow #show #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore
A flash back to a few years ago where this fabulous Sopwith Pup flew at the last Classic Fighters Airshow. It was a stunning Marlborough sunset 🌅 ✈️. We are looking forward to the next show during Easter🤩 📷Paul Johnston 📍Omaka Aerodrome #Avgeek #Warbird #Aviation #Adventure #sopwithpup #spowith #pup #KeepEmFlying #ThrillSeeking #WW1 #World #War #Formation #Unique #Outdoor #Recreation #biplane #vintage #aviator #radial #airshow #omaka
Which one would you choose🤔 Surprise visit by the Royal New Zealand Air Force🇳🇿 here at Ardmore with one of their Texan trainers. Parked right up next to our resident Spitfire MH367✈️ Thanks for popping by👍 #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore #rnzaf #airforce #supermarine #spitfire #merlin #texan #beechcraft #twoseater
We just LOVE ❤️ this photo! #repost “Knights of the Sky” Albatros D.Va vs Bristol Scout on a gloomy day at Warbirds Open Day, 5th June. You can see these two beauties on public display at Ardmore Airport in our WW1 hangar.👍 📷will_mays_photography 📍Ardmore Airport #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #albatros #scout #bristol #greatwar #ww1 #airshow #show #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore #pioneer
92 INBOUND✈️ Harvard 92 flown by Gavin Trethewey coming towards the crowd at our recent Warbirds on Parade show. Thank you to all of those who attended and supported us on Sunday - despite the weather!☔️ You guys rock 👍 Got photos of the event - please send them through as we would like to see them👀 📍Ardmore Airport 📷Paul Johnston #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #harvard #northamerican #texan #trainer #airshow #show #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore
SUPER SEASPRITE So cool to have the @royalnzairforce and @royalnznavy joining us for Warbirds on Parade next week. The Kaman SH-2G(I) Super Seasprite will be on static display from No. 6 Squadron. Although maintained by the Air Force, it is flown by Navy aircrew who use it for anti-surface & underwater warfare, maritime patrols & surveillance, and search and rescue. Confirmed for Warbirds on Parade: 🔘 SH-2G(I) Seasprite 🔘NH90 🔘T-6C Texan II 📷@stu_65 📍Ardmore Airport #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #plane #airplane #helicopter #kaman #seasprite #sh2g #rotorcraft #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #navy #airforce #rnzaf #nzn #photography #instagood #photo #airshow #display #flying #flight
DREIDECKER👇 Just over 3 weeks to go before Warbirds on Parade take to the skies over Ardmore. Our popular Great War display is returning for this years June edition where we reenact aviation from 100 years ago. Will you be there?😀 Spread the word #keepemflying 📷Paul Johnston 📍Ardmore Airport #warbird #aviation #aviator #plane #fokker #triplane #dr1 #airshow #warbirdsonparade #onlyinnz #nzmustdo #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #instagood #photography #sunset #mood #autumn #nzwarbirdsatardmore #nzwarbirds #radial #biplane
BUTCHER BIRD!😬 Omaka’s resident Flug Werk FW 190 A8/N replica ZK-RFR of the Chariots of Fire Collection. This photo was taken at the last Classic Fighters airshow - way back in 2019! The autumn sun in the evening made for some stunning photography for sure👍 This machine is on display at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre and displays at the biannual Classic Fighters airshow. 📷Paul Johnston 📍Omaka Aerodrome, Blenheim #butcherbird #fw190 #fockewulf #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #keepemflying #airshow #nz #newzealand #classic #fighter #classicfightersomaka #aotearoa
Lest we Forget🇳🇿🇦🇺 #anzacday The weather held for todays ANZAC flypasts over the City of Sails. Photo is from Harvard 52 in the formation as we flew towards Titirangi. Thank you to @aklcouncil and the @akl_rsa for their support.👍 Did you see us? #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #keepemflying #harvard #texan #t6 #anzacday #anzac #wewillrememberthem #auckland #nz #aotearoa #cityofsails⛵#onlyinnz #photo #photographer #stunning #instagood #nzmustdo #autumn #onlyatardmore #ardmore
Aucklands Harvards👇 This was taken a couple of years ago on ANZAC Day. In total 7 ex RNZAF T6 Harvards took part in the flypast in what was a simply stunning Autumn day🍂 Can you spot the Spitfire and Kittyhawk in the distance❓ Poppy Day and ANZAC Day 2022 flypasts are confirmed. All the details are on our Facebook page. #lestweforget🌹 #anzac #anzacday #keepemflying #warbirds #aviation #aviator #pilot #history #heritage #warbird #harvard #texan #auckland #roaringforties #waitemata #t6 #photo #photographer #photography #autumn #stunning #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa
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AIRSHOW! Warbirds on Parade - Sunday 04 December 2022. For all of the latest developments - including whats on show - click here.
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