Since inception, Classic Flyers has become an important part of the retention of aviation heritage of New Zealand and, amongst all our other exhibits, the collection of jet aircraft is one of the most important in the country. The Aermacchi is the last of the jets to be relinquished by the RNZAF and the airframe allocated to Classic Flyers is capable of restoration to flying condition which will become one of our long term projects.
The Legacy Trust, founded by Greg Brownless with the gift of his funeral business to the citizens of Tauranga, has become a vital cog in funding deserving projects around the Bay of Plenty that otherwise would not in all probability attract the capital required. With the Skyhawk acquisition by Classic Flyers funding for which was raised by public subscription from the people of Tauranga and wider afield, the Board felt uncomfortable about raising the money in a similar way for the Aermacchi. The Legacy Trust stepped in and funded some $12,000, the full cost of delivery to us.
At 2:30pm on Sunday 28th October 2012 we celebrated the acquisition of the Aermacchi and publicly thanking the Legacy Trust for their outstanding generosity. The aircraft will not of course be rebuilt by that stage but will be available for public viewing. We invited a number of the owners of jet aircraft to a ‘fly in’ for the afternoon as well as the more formal handover on the stage. The handover will include reminiscences by aircrew who flew the aircraft of its time in service in the RNZAF.