Wings Brings The Vintage Aviator WWI Collection in 2019

Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2019 will feature a major demonstration of The Vintage Aviator (TVAL) WWI collection.

Current plans are for up to 30 aircraft to be in the air and on the ground as a major part of the Air Festival weekend, showcasing WWI aircraft from 1914 through to 1918.

Wings Display Coordinator John Lanham says there is nowhere else in the world where such a variety of aircraft from the dawn of air combat can be seen in such numbers and unique combinations.

“This will include aircraft flying chronologically from the beginning of WWI to the end. All our flights will be accompanied by a rich commentary.” 

These include the British single-seater Be12 and the British two-seat biplane bomber DH4, both of which have never appeared at a public air show before.

Depending on weather conditions SE5a, RAF British biplane fighter aircraft, and RAF Be2 biplanes will hopefully appear in the sky at once and if the weather complies a 1916 RFC fighter FE.2b will join them.

“Wings is very proud to showcase the collection to New Zealanders and our many international visitors”.

“These magnificent aircraft on display in our flying programme will be a visual spectacle, a salute to the courage and sacrifice of the early aviators and a timely commemoration of the centennial of Armistice Day in November 2018”.

*Vintage aircraft flying is weather dependent

TVAL’s primary aim is to build WWI aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards to which they were originally made over 100 years ago. TVAL endeavours to maintain absolute authenticity with the original design.

The company makes both airworthy and static aircraft for museum display and private collections.

TVAL’s facilities in Wellington and at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton are capable of every aspect of early aircraft and engine construction imaginable. Their most valuable resource is the skilled craftsmen – specialized woodworkers, fabric workers, welders and machinists, experienced in the complexities of these wood and fabric covered aircraft. 

This is the first time since WWI that these aircraft are being produced in a factory setting, although they utilise the most modern technology to increase accuracy and reduce labour costs.

Working relationships with other restoration facilities and museums in Europe, Australia, Canada and in the USA assist TVAL in sourcing information as well as technical data and original parts for duplication and reproduction. 


Photo Credit: James Fahey & Bevan Dewes

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