Tuesday 4 December 2012


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A rare de Havilland Mosquito Fighter Bomber has been confirmed to attend January's Wings Over Wairarapa airshow in Masterton, New Zealand as the feature display aircraft.

The Mosquito FB.26 KA114 is the only one flying in the world and will take to the skies above Wairarapa in the biennial airshow at Masterton's Hood Aerodrome over Wellington Anniversary Weekend (January 18 – 20, 2013).

Originally built in Canada in 1945, the aircraft attending Wings Over Wairarapa is owned by American Jerry Yagen. It took seven years to rebuild at Ardmore Aerodrome by Auckland based Avspecs, lead by Warren Denholm.

Wings Over Wairarapa Airshow Director Tom Williams says securing the Mosquito is a major coup for the event and will attract international attention. He was instrumental in securing the Mosquito after first meeting its owner, Mr Jerry Yagen in 2008 at the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow.

Mr Williams said: "The Mosquito was one of the fastest operational aircraft in World War II and the only one to be constructed almost entirely of wood. Its significance to World War II history is not to be underestimated. The legendary Mosquito has a fond place in the hearts of Australian and New Zealand airmen with about 250 aircraft being built in Australia during the war."

Wings Over Wairarapa Community Trust Chairman Bob Francis is thrilled the Mosquito is able to come to Masterton as the feature aircraft.

 "Having this Mosquito take to the skies at Wings Over Wairarapa is an enormous achievement," he said. "It will provide visitors with a once in a life time opportunity to see this unique aircraft fly and line up alongside 12 other de Havilland aircraft that range from an early World War II bi-plane, the DH5, to the DH Vampire Jet."

The Mosquito nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder" first flew in November 1940, and was faster than the Spitfire with a top speed of over 400 mph, meaning bombing missions were dramatically shortened, lessening the risk to pilots.

Its versatility meant it was also used in other roles including day-time tactical bombing, high altitude night bombing and photo-reconnaissance. In wartime, these innovative flying machines came out of huge factories and were powered by twin Merlin engines. Around 6000 Mosquitos rolled off the British production line; others were built in Canada and Australia. Around 80 ended up in New Zealand and were used by the RNZAF.

The Mosquito will feature alongside over 70 other aircraft during the three day Wings Over Wairarapa event, which has the theme Honouring The Past, Celebrating The Future. It will have vintage aircraft from WWI, classics from WWII and stunning displays by contemporary aircraft as well as offering a tantalizing glimpse of the future of aviation.

While celebrating the historical significance of WWI & WWII military aircraft, Wings Over Wairarapa 2013 will also feature displays from other rarely seen vintage aircraft, agricultural displays, gliders and helicopter displays, jet formations and thrilling aerobatics as well as substantial participation from the RNZAF. The flying each day will culminate in a dramatic pyrotechnic display and mock air field attack lighting up the skies and entertaining the crowds.

In addition to what's on up in the air, there will be entertainment on the ground with mock battles, static displays including a combined Defense Forces interactive camp, children's entertainment, contemporary and vintage military vehicles, a trade site village and a Food & Wine Festival showcasing the best of Wairarapa hospitality.

Tickets to Wings Over Wairarapa 2013 are on sale through all Ticketek retail outlets, by phoning 0800 TICKETEK or online through

Programme for Trust House Wings Over Wairarapa 2013.

Friday January 18: Practice Day. Gates opening from 12.00pm with aircraft practicing their displays informally throughout the afternoon culminating in an informal early evening show finishing at 7.00pm.

Saturday January 19 & Sunday 20: Gates will open from 8.00am with the air display running from 11.00am to 4.30pm on both days.  The flying each day will culminate in a mock air field attack and a dramatic pyrotechnic display, lighting up the skies and thrilling the crowds. The programme may vary slightly on each day.


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