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Press Releases

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January 2012
RNZAF 75th Anniversary celebrations at Tauranga Airshow

Two of the Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft which have recently been purchased or upgraded for future air force operational requirements, are expected to be open to the public at the upcoming Classics of the Sky- Tauranga City Airshow.

Next year will be a big year for the RNZAF as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary on 1 April 2012. A busy schedule of events for the public is planned for the first quarter of 2012 from January to April. The anniversary kicks off with Tauranga’s Classics of the Sky – Tauranga City Airshow on Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and culminates in Anzac Day celebrations on April 25.

Wing Commander and Event Director Bill Blaikie says “75 years of providing safe and effective military air operations for New Zealand is a real an opportunity us to celebrate with personnel, supporters of the Service—especially ex-RNZAF personnel—the Defence Force, the wider defence community, the Government, our general public and the international military aviation community.”

The theme for the Anniversary is the RNZAF’s contribution to New Zealand—‘celebrating 75 years of service to New Zealand’. The events will showcase RNZAF’s people and capabilities to the public, demonstrating their commitment to their mission: New Zealand’s Air Force: ready, resilient and respected.

More information about the celebrations is available on http://www.airforce.mil.nz/operations/whats-on/75th-anniversary/air-force-air-show.htm

The RNZAF aerobatic team, the Red Checkers, and an Iroquois helicopter are expected to participate in the air displays at Tauranga, while one of the recently upgraded C130 Hercules, and one of the new A109 helicopters are expected to be on static display. RNZAF personnel will be on hand to show the public through these two aircraft.

The New Zealand Defence Force Recruiter based in Tauranga, Staff Sergeant Erin Te Kani has booked the NZDF recruiting bus for the airshow. This includes many displays and interactive activities for potential recruits to check out. Erin will have a team of recruiters on hand to answer any questions regarding careers in the NZ Army, RNZAF or RNZ Navy.

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January 2012

Agricultural aircraft is one of the most requested for airshow.

To rural residents it’s part of the rural scenery and nothing unusual, but urban dwellers are fascinated by one of the most requested aircraft for the January Tauranga airshow.

Local rural communities are very familiar with the early morning sight and sound of the Super Air Fletcher FU-24 flown by well known local pilot Derek Williams. Derek’s displays at recent airshows have been very popular, and organisers of the upcoming  Classics of the Sky – Tauranga City Airshow have been asked many times “is Derek going to fly the Fletcher?”  The answer is “yes, the organisers hope so.”

The Auckland Anniversary Weekend airshow is a display unique in New Zealand. As well as displaying vintage, classic and military aircraft, the Tauranga airshow goes back to its roots and includes aircraft from the Sport Aircraft Association New Zealand (SAANZ). Reputed to be "90% of the fun at 10% of the cost" of classic aircraft, more than 100 sport aircraft are expected at the airshow.

The aircraft may be built in back yards, garages or hangars but they are not a poor relation of the classic aircraft in performance. The T-51 Thunder Mustang “Tigers Blood” flown by TV celebrity chef Simon Gault is ¾ the size of the WWll P-51 but it can climb at twice the rate, and has the same Vne (never exceed airspeed) at 439 knots.

Newcomers to airshows may be surprised to see military vehicles and re-enactors in some of the displays. The finale each day in particular, will feature re-enactors, and vehicles including Willys Jeeps, Armoured Personnel Carriers and large trucks.

There is plenty of entertainment on the ground for the whole family, ranging from mini jeeps and the largest inflatable slide in the world, to a V8 Supercar Simulator and trade sites displaying a wide range of interests from various car and caravan dealers, aviation businesses, jewellery, hats, possum and merino knitwear, glassware, pottery, beading kits, homemade fudge, kitchen processors, outdoor furniture and much more.

Tickets and information are available from Classic Flyers NZ phone 07 5724000 or www.tcas.co.nz .
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November 2011

Novel Christmas present.

Organisers of the Classic of the Sky- Tauranga City Airshow have an answer to the question of what to give someone you love for Christmas. They suggest giving airshow tickets as Christmas gifts.

It is cheaper to buy tickets in advance, either through the website www.tcas.co.nz, or at The Bunker Shop at Classic Flyers NZ. There are separate tickets for Saturday and Sunday this time, as both days have a separate programmed air display.

Newcomers to airshows may be surprised to see military vehicles and re-enactors in some of the displays. The finale each day in particular, will feature vehicles and re-enactors.

Secretary of the Military Re-enactment Society of New Zealand, Steve Goodman said members of the society travel to airshows in Tauranga, Wanaka and Omaka.”We do it because we are interested in history and want to remind people about the sacrifices made in WW2”, Steve said.

More re-enactment information can be found on http://ww2reenactors.co.nz/ or email mrs.reenactors@gmail.com.

Military vehicle owners also belong to a national organisation, the New Zealand Military Vehicle Collectors Club. Locals Steve Davis and Dave and Karen Cross have been bringing their vehicles to events at Classic Flyers NZ for many years.

Vehicles on display may include a Unimog, Landrovers, Willys Jeeps, Armoured Personnel Carriers and large trucks. More information about the Club is at www.nzmvcc.org.nz .

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October 2011

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Weird and wonderful aircraft expected at airshow.

Visitors to the January Classics of the Sky – Tauranga City Airshow can expect to see an air display unique in New Zealand.

As well as displaying vintage, classic and military aircraft, the Tauranga airshow goes back to its roots and includes aircraft from the Sport Aircraft Association New Zealand (SAANZ). Reputed to be "90% of the fun at 10% of the cost" of classic aircraft, more than 100 sport aircraft are expected at the airshow.

SAANZ president Bill Sisley is a Co-Director of the airshow and explained that sport aircraft are owned by people who “dream of flying their own aircraft, and to fulfil their dreams they build their own and fly it”. Some enthusiasts even design their own aircraft.

The aircraft may be built in back yards, garages or hangars but they are not a poor relation of the classic aircraft in performance. The T-51 Thunder Mustang “Tigers Blood” flown by TV celebrity chef Simon Gault is ¾ the size of the WWll P-51 but it can climb at twice the rate, and has the same Vne (never exceed airspeed) at 439 knots. Local graphics designer Marty Cantlon’s silver and dark green T-51 can be seen and heard around the airport as it currently undergoes a flight test programme.

Sport aircraft have been designed for reasons other than for leisure. The Lockwood Aircam was originally designed as a camera ship for the National Geographic Society in the Congo rainforests. It had to fly low and slow, and the cameraman needed an unobstructed view.

Sport aircraft seen at the last airshow included the Aircam, Colomban Cri Cri, Pulsars, Glassair lll, Europa, Miranda, Furio and various Vans RV aircraft.

September 2011

Interest already high for summer holiday airshow

Organisers of next January’s Classics of the Sky – Tauranga City Airshow are already reaping the rewards of the hard work done by the Management Committee of the 2010 airshow.

Enquiries about tickets and trade sites have been flooding in to the organisers since the airshow was launched in July. Food and beverage sites were sold out by the end of July and more than half the sites available have been booked in some other categories.

The Trade Fair and Family Entertainment component of the airshow is organised by members of the Rotary Club of Tauranga – Te Papa. A Rotary Liaison member of the Airshow Management Committee, Jerry Cowper, reported at a recent meeting that almost all the automotive trade sites were sold, and sites for aviation businesses and boats and RVs were at the half way point.

Trade sites can be booked on the airshow website www.tcas.co.nz or www.classicflyersnz.com airshow tab. Enquiries can be made to Jerry 027 634 7239.

Advance tickets for the airshow are now available either on the website or at The Bunker Shop at Classic Flyers NZ. The 2012 airshow has been expanded to feature two distinct flying displays on both Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday programme will be shorter than the Sunday programme and organisers have set ticket prices to reflect this. The trade sites and family entertainment will be available all day on both days.
Purchasers of Gold Pass tickets can expect to enjoy shaded seating in a marquee, access to a grandstand, food and beverages. Helicopter transfers from either Papamoa or Tauranga are available to all ticket holders.

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30 June 2011

Major airshow returning to Tauranga next year.


The skies above Tauranga will reverberate to the sounds of loud explosions, roaring piston engines, screaming jets and helicopters, on Auckland Anniversary Weekend in January, when the next Tauranga City Airshow is held.

Now known as the “Classics of the Sky”, the airshow is expected to be bigger than the 2010 airshow, with more to see in the air and on the ground. Actually three events in one, held on January 28th and January 29th, there will be something for the whole family to enjoy. The airshow itself is jointly organised by Classic Flyers NZ, one of the Bay of Plenty’s fastest growing tourist attractions, and the Sport Aircraft Association of New Zealand (SAANZ). The SAANZ holds the biennial Sport Avex, including flying competitions, over the weekend. The third event is the trade fair and family entertainment organised by the Rotary Club of Tauranga – Te Papa.

Following the success of the 2010 airshow, interest in trade sites has been so great, that even before the public launch, previous trade site holders have already booked more than half the sites available in some sections.

The 2012 airshow has been expanded to feature two distinct flying displays on both Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday programme will be shorter than the Sunday programme and organisers have set ticket prices to reflect this. The trade sites and family entertainment will be available all day on both days.

The area for Gold Pass ticket holders will be extended and will be available both days. The helicopter flights to and from Mills Reef and Papamoa will also be available both days. An additional option for Gold Pass holders is to have a tour of the aircraft on the Saturday afternoon.

While organisers do not yet know which aircraft will be in the flying displays, one of the static display aircraft is known. Classic Flyers NZ expects the A4 Skyhawk being loaned to the museum by the RNZAF, to arrive in Tauranga within the next two months.

Information about the airshow, including advance discount ticket sales, and trade site bookings can be accessed on www.tcas.co.nz

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