Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Warbirds Over Wanaka

We are airshow junkies, so the biennial Warbirds Over Wanaka is an absolute must see. We've made the Easter pilgrimage for eight years now, and the joy never lets up. It is av-gas heaven.

There is something about the sound of a Spitfire thundering past you and the vibration rattling in your chest. This year we got to see the unusual sight of a Japanese Zero thundering past with a Spitfire in hot pursuit.

All of the usuual suspects were there, P40 Kittyhawks, P51 Mustangs, the Corsair, a display by 11 Harvards, Yak-52s and a Yak 3M, two DC3s and a Catalina amongst others.

The more modern folk were there too with a de Havilland Vampire and a L-39 Albatros, the RNZAF Hercules and the truly eye watering flypasts of 4 F/A-18 Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force.

As well as plenty of brute strength, there was amazing skill too, with the 'Maniac Lithuaniac' Jurgis Kairys who does things with his plane that defy the laws of physics.

This picture is of Wing Walker Peggy Krainz after doing her thing in the skies above us. Amazing.

The great thing about the air show at Wanaka is how close you are to the action. The runway was literally fifty metres away from us, and as it is slightly below the crowd when the planes hurtle past on their low runs, they are barely above eye level. Makes for a breathtaking experience.

So I had a wonderful day and came away with a sore butt from sitting on the ground and sore cheeks from grinning like a demented monkey.


Kiwicraig said...

Sounds fantastic Vanda.

In fact, sounds like an amazingly rich and fertile setting for a future Vanda Symon mystery - an event renowned in NZ and tied to the Otago area, but also somewhat familiar to international readers as well (historic air shows)...

Erin said...

I agree, perhaps you need to come back and do some more "research." You'd be happy to know that today in the Wanaka library Containment was face out on the display shelf in the fiction section. Folks here must like you!

The Paradoxical Cat said...