Warbirds over Wanaka

The Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2014, saw the inaugural #GigatownWanaka Jet racing.

Crowds of around 48,239 people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday watched the high speed jet racing as an invitational US team challenged three Kiwi pilots around a course marked by giant inflatable pylons.  The winner was Paul Hughan, with fellow Kiwi Brett Emeny second and Peter Vause third, but the visiting Americans are determined to return and challenge the Kiwis again.

Other highlights included Lithuanian aerobatic pilot Jurgis Kairys flying a Sukhoi, racing against Kiwi Motorsport legend Greg Murphy in a Lamborghini and a special WWI Commemorative event which saw six WWI fighters dog fight over Lake Wanaka.

Warbirds Over Wanaka 2016
Warbirds Over Wanaka 2014

The 2016 Airshow attracted around 50,000 patrons and the flying highlights were:

  • The Friday Lake Event amphibious aircraft
  • The Battle of Britain dogfight between the Buchon ME 109 and the Supermarine Spitfire
  • RNZAF T-6C Texan II
  • USAF's C-17 Globemaster III
  • RAAF Hawks 127
  • Armee de L'Aire CASA
  • Yak 52 nine ship formation display, a world first
  • The Air Bandits - Jurgis Kairys and Rob Fry
  • STOL Competition for sport aircraft
  • Sport aircraft, 100 Years of Trucking, Pyrotechnic's 'Wall of Fire'