The fuselage of  English Electric Canberra B(I)Mk8 – WT346 has completed the 1200km road journey from Christchurch and now resides at its new home, Ardmore.      The ex-RAF airframe will undergo a 2 to 3 year restoration programme to closely represent the Canberra B(I)Mk12 type operated by the RNZAF between 1959 and 1970.  Worldwide, there are no known B(I)Mk12 versions in existence.

The Canberra Support Group (CSG) has been setup to oversee this ambitious restoration project and consists of ex Canberra pilots, maintenance engineers, ground crew and aviation enthusiasts. When completed WT346 will be on static display available for public viewing as part of the NZ Warbirds at Ardmore collection.

Canberra Restoration - NZ Warbirds

A former RNZAF English Electric Canberra B(I)12. It is intended to paint WT346 in a similar camo scheme as depicted in this photograph.

WT346 was manufactured in 1955/56 and was delivered to No.88 Squadron RAF based at Wildenrath, Germany.  It served a number of years with No.88 before being loaned to the Ministry of Aircraft for use in Electromagnetic Compatibility tests; after 2 months she was returned to Wildenrath and the squadron was renumbered to No.14 Squadron in December 1962.

WT346 was later transferred to No.3 Squadron RAF based at Geilenkirchen and subsequently No. 16 Squadron RAF based in Laarbruch.  WT346 became “Instructional Airframe 8197M” on 22 May 1972 and struck off charge on 8 Aug 1972.  It was moved to the museum at RAF Colerne on 17 Jun 1972 and to the Cosford Aerospace Museum in Apr 1976.

WT346 was then obtained by Mr Albert Stone, a London scrap dealer, then subsequently purchased by the Air Force Museum of New Zealand Trust Board in 1993 and shipped to New Zealand.

Canberra Restoration - NZ Warbirds

WT346 when it was with No.16 Squadron RAF. Copyright Urs Baettig


Project Background

Restoration to static display has been made possible under a loan agreement between the Air Force Museum of New Zealand Trust Board and New Zealand Warbirds. This arrangement has come about due to a change of direction at the Air Force Museum and review of policy around prioritising projects with RNZAF provenance in line with the Museum’s mission.

Coupled with increased pressure on available storage space at Wigram, it resulted in a concerted effort to find an appropriate new home for this relatively unique aircraft. The Museum is delighted to be able to work with New Zealand Warbirds to give this historic aircraft a new lease of life.

Canberra Restoration - NZ Warbirds

Fuselage of Canberra WT346 in the technical workshop being prepared for transportation. Air Force Museum of New Zealand.


A formal restoration plan will keep a detailed track of progress. The initial cleaning of the fuselage and other components will be carried out by volunteers under supervision. Specific restoration of components will occur under the direct guidance of personnel experienced in aircraft restoration to ensure that major components can be reassembled safely.

The project group has broken the restoration phase into the following stages:

Stage 1

The relocation of the fuselage to Ardmore to be followed by all of the components necessary to complete the restoration for static display and representative of the RNZAF Canberra B(I)12 variant.

Stage 2

Restoration of components to allow complete assembly over the next 2 or 3 years.

Stage 3

Assessment of options and provision of an all-weather home for this heritage aircraft.

The target date for completion is February 2024 subject to reassessment when all components have been inspected.

We have a Facebook page also dedicated to our restoration progress, please click here

Canberra Restoration - NZ Warbirds

WT346’s fuselage being washed after completing its 1200Km journey from Christchurch.


This project is totally self-sufficient in that no direct funding will be available from the NZ Warbirds Association Inc.  Fundraising commenced 1 November 2020 for Stages 1 & 2 while funding for Stage 3 will follow a decision on the final location and housing requirements.

If you would like to get involved by donating any small amount you can afford to help in the restoration of WT346, please make a donation to NZ Aviation Heritage Trust, a registered charity, account 12 3031 0819442 000.

All donations will be provided a donation receipt and certificate to thank you. Donors will be given the opportunity to become members of the Canberra Support Group and will receive regular updates on funding and restoration progress.



Canberra Restoration - NZ Warbirds


To support the CSG ongoing restoration efforts – we have a limited run of collectable LED display lights for purchase.  It features an illuminated line drawing of Canberra NZ6102 and includes 14 Squadron’s insignia – the perfect gift for the aviation memorabilia collector.  Click the link here to download an order form.

Progress Gallery

A selection of images taken throughout the project.  We will aim to regularly update the progress on this unique and exciting project however the most up to date information and progress photos will be on our Facebook page which can be visited via clicking the following link.

  • Enjoyed watching the airshows. Never saw anything like that before! Would really recommend it and it's worth the ticket.

    sheemalshivani December 2022

  • 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

  • Amazing collection of aircraft. Lovely staff and well worth the drive from Auckland .if lucky enough to be at the weekend, you may see the incredible aircraft flying.

    274peterr December 2022


It’s been 14 years since this beauty took to the skies for its 1st post restoration flight after a 5 year restoration. How time flies😁 Painted in the colours of Alan Deere, NZ second highest scoring ace, Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX PV270 is based at at RNZAF base Ohakea. 📷 Paul Johnston 📍Omaka Aerodrome, New Zealand #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #spitfire #merlin #supermarine #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #purenz #IfYouSeekNZ #history #supermarinespitfire #restoration
AIRSHOW TIME! Yes, the rumors are true. We are excited to announce that Auckland’s local AIRSHOW is back this June!😁 ✈️WARBIRDS ON PARADE 📆Sunday 04 June 2023 📍Ardmore Airport, Auckland, New Zealand. Join us for a day of aerobatics, formation fly pasts and aerial displays. See New Zealand’s aviation heritage where it belongs – in the sky. ⏰Flying display slots at 10:30am | 12:30pm | 2:30pm (gates open at 9:00am) Static aircraft, classic cars and military vehicles on display. Merchandise and refreshments will be available🍟️🥤 The perfect outing for the whole family👨‍👧‍👦 Pricing and ticket details will be announced when live. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website to keep up to date with details such as ticketing and aircraft announcements as they come. Mark it on your calendars and we will see you there👍 Note this will be our only show for 2023. #KeepEmFlying #Airshow #WarbirdsOnParade #VisitAuckland #purenz #airshow #spitfire #mustang #aviation #flight #show #nz #auckland #newzealand #mustdotravels #events #warbirds #avgeek
ZK-TAF cruising. P-51s are cool 😎 #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #mustang #p51 #gopro #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #airshow #reels #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #auckland #ardmore #VisitAuckland #IfYouSeekNZ #instagood #p51mustang #picoftheday
#repost No explanation needed. Steadfast is just too cool!😎 This high-performance Yak 3U-R2000 holds nine world records including the under 3000kg World Speed Record at 416 MPH!✈️ 📷 @mike_gannaway 📍 @wingsoverwairarapa #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #yakinthebox #yak3u #aerobatics #yakinthebox #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #airshow #show #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore #pioneer #VisitAuckland #ifyouseeknz
It is with sadness that we learn of the passing of Max Collett, aged 99. He was the last surviving New Zealand Spitfire pilot from the Second World War and flew with No. 485 (NZ) Squadron RAF. The @royalnzairforce will be conducting a Spitfire fly-past at the venue for Max's Memorial Service on Friday 6th January. The Spitfire will depart Ohakea at 10:50 and is expected to be overhead the Beth Shan Funeral Home in Napier at the conclusion of the service around 11:30 to 11:40. Blue Skies✈️ #rip
Flying out of 2022 like…. Happy New Year to all our followers and supporters 🎉🍾🥳 #2023 #happynewyear #keepemflying #warbird #avgeek #aviation #aviator #aviationlovers #spitfire #aviationphotography #pilot #flying #flight #photographer #instagood #onlyinnz #nz #newzealand #aotearoa #auckland #ardmore #pioneer #VisitAuckland #IfYouSeekNZ #love
#flashbackfriday P40 Magic✨ Earlier in the year when 2x P40 Kittyhawks flew together at Ardmore. Such a great day! #avgeek #warbird #aviation #curtis #p40 #kittyhawk #formation #restoration #nzwarbirdsatardmore #onlyatardmore #nz #newzealand #keepemflying #pioneer #aero #airplane #aeroplane #alison #v12 #horsepower #airshow #display