Air Force Bringing Air Show to the Manawatu

The T-6C Texan II aircraft flying in formation

18 November 2015

The Manawatu skies will stage one of the biggest air shows in New Zealand on 24-26 February 2017 at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Ohakea. The air show will mark 80 years of service to New Zealand by the RNZAF as an independent armed service.

The three days will be jam-packed with displays from the RNZAF fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter fleets, the formation aerobatic team, and the Parachute Training Squadron. Joining the RNZAF are several aircraft from our international Air Force partners in what will be a top-quality event.

Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Mike Yardley is looking forward to hosting the event, which will have something for everyone.

“Our formation aerobatic team will fly using the new T-6C Texan II aircraft and our large Boeing 757, P-3K2 Orion, and C-130 Hercules aircraft are always popular. We’re pleased to be able to host our international Air Force counterparts and we know they will bring a wow factor,” he said.

Joining the aircraft display will be a variety of ground exhibitions so people can get up close and personal with their Air Force.

“Our 2012 air show was extremely popular with over 60,000 people attending. Holding an air show gives us the opportunity to showcase our skills and our people,” AVM Yardley said.

“The Air Force operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year supporting New Zealand but much of what we do goes unnoticed. We hope the air show provides the public with an increased understanding of why New Zealand has an Air Force, as well as giving people an entertaining day out.”

The Air Force ran a social media competition asking people to suggest a new name for the aerobatic team who will now fly in the Texans. The winning entry was “Black Falcons”, with over a dozen people suggesting this name. The falcon has a long association with the Air Force, and it was the display team name used by 14 Squadron in the 1990s with the Aermacchi aircraft.

The Black Falcons will perform for the first time in the Texan aircraft at the Wings over Wairarapa (WoW) Air Show 17-19 February. The Air Force is working closely with the WoW Air Show to bring two quality events to the lower North Island and maximise the opportunities for people to see a wide range of aircraft.


For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 30 March 2017.