The renowned CLASSIC FIGHTERS Air Show will be
flying a special salute to the first 100 years of flight on Easter
weekend, April 18 - 21, 2003; at the Omaka Airport in Blenheim,
From the speed of smell, to the speed of sound!
Aircraft to be featured include: Fokker DR1 tri-planes, Sopwith
Camels, Avros, Bristols, Phalz replicas, even a Stuka dive
The event will include aerobatics, dog fights, historical
re-enactments, numerous period static displays and authentic era
depictions. The sights of our earliest pioneer aircraft, the roar
of the big radial engines and the odor of castor oil will all be
Classic Fighters is more than just an airshow, their philosophy
being to provide visitors with three full days of
family entertainment. Certainly, the aviation theme dominates that
entertainment, but with strong interaction with vehicles, set
pieces and ground theatre.
One element that sets Classic Fighters apart from any other
Southern Hemisphere show is the First World War scenarios. Omaka is
home to a growing number of original and replica aircraft from The
Great War, these belonging to a number of individuals and groups.
These machines and associated materials will form the cornerstone
of the NZ Aviation Museum at Omaka.
For the 2003 airshow, they're expecting at least nine full-size
World War One replica aircraft to take part in the flying display
and dogfight sequences. These include the syndicate owned Fokker
Dr.1 Triplane built and operated by Stuart Tantrum, film maker
Peter Jackson's Gnome rotary powered Sopwith Camel as well as his
rare Pfalz D.III replica which was the star of the classic 1960's
motion picture 'The Blue Max'. A Bristol F2b Fighter replica will
also be flying.
Gordon Bowman-Jones Will Be The Announcer
Other machines are being brought from further afield for the
show. Several uncompleted First World War aircraft will appear in
the projects display area and will include Stuart Tantrum's
original Avro 504K, an original Bristol F2b Fighter also being
worked on by Stuart and a Nieuport 27 replica. The First World War
set pieces always involve considerable interaction between air and
The warbirds of the Second World War always guarantee the
colour, noise and spectacle that make a show a success. Formation
aerobatics in Harvard aircraft always prove to be a real crowd
pleaser and a great way to set the scene for the glamour and
spectacle of the fighters. Classic Fighters will bring together
warbird aircraft from all over New Zealand with (hopefully) a
special guest Second World War fighter coming from overseas.
Heavier machinery expected to attend include the magnificent PBY-5a
of the Catalina Club, and a DC-3 or two.