ANZAC Air Show 2013

04 May ’13

Last weekend, almost on the spur of the moment, the Lovely Man, Jacob and I attended an air show.  I’d seen it advertised a few days before, we had no other plans so figured “Why not?”  It was the Vintage Aviator‘s ANZAC show, held at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton.

Saturday morning at home was very windy, so we had doubts as to whether the air show would go on – little planes made of wood and cloth surely can’t fly in a howling gale.  From the Vintage Aviator’s website:-

“Our primary aim is to build WW1 aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards they were originally made over 90 years ago.”

We kept checking the show’s info line, but it seemed they’d forgotten to update it past the 12 o’clock “assessment of the wind” schedule.  So we decided we’d head on over, if nothing else it would be a pleasant drive.  Amazingly as we headed south down the eastern side of the Ranges the wind slowed and dropped away, it looked good for flying.

I enjoy air shows.  I’m not a plane fanatic or a petrol head, but I love the challenges that photographing planes in flight bring.  It seems to me that I’ve been attending air shows and taking photos of planes for as long as I’ve owned a camera.  Here’s one I found that I took with a little Kodak Instamatic in 1987.

Aerobatic plane

Ohakea Air Show 1987

Twenty five years on, same air field,  and the same plane to0, I suppose.

Air show

RNZAF 75th Anniversary Air Show, Ohakea, 2012

 There’s something awe inspiring about the roar of powerful engines skillfully controlled by the clever men and women who fly them.

Of course I wasn’t expecting so much of the powerful engines from WW1 planes.  We arrived in good time, so had a look around the planes parked on the grass.


One thing I noticed, if you want to see an array of  heavy duty cameras with big lenses, head to an air show.  Man, was there some fire power hung around the necks of a lot of people!

Once the show got going we were treated to a display of precision flying as pilots dropped ‘ribbons’ from their cockpits then doubled back to fly through and dissect them as they fell to earth.

Air show Hood Aerodrome

Cut the ribbon

I wish I could remember the names and details of all the planes.  The commentary was interesting, the men telling us about the planes obviously experts.

ANZAC Air show

RAF Bi-planes

We watched carefully choreographed re-enactments of various WW1 battles between RAF and German planes.

Hood Aerodrome

Se5a  vs  Fokker DRI

A woman sitting behind us was very worried that the pilots might not know what they were doing, though her husband tried to assure her that they could see each other and had practiced these routines.

To keep the petrol heads happy there was also a display by the WW2 Kittyhawk.

Hood Aerodrome

Kittyhawk take-off

After watching the slow, old bi- and tri-planes, the speed and noise of the Kittyhawk was amazing.

Hood Aerodrome

WW2 Kittyhawk

It was all too much for the lady behind us.  She left, leaving her family behind.  I think she was worried the pilot was going to crash his plane in to us.

The show lasted for a couple of hours.  As the afternoon wore on the wind died away and more planes were able to get up.

Hood Aerodrome

Nieuport 11 Bebe

The light was fabulous as the sun got lower.  I imagine that the grandstand area was set up with the wind direction in mind, but it worked well for the sun also.  Three German Fokker tri-planes coming from the west, out of the sun is an awesome sight.   Like something out of an old movie.

Hood Aerodrome

Fokkers coming out of the sun

We all had a great afternoon.  Once again, living central means that we don’t have to travel far to a great event.  I’m sure we’ll be back – maybe the next Wings over Wairarapa.

Hood Aerodrome

Coming in to land

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