One of the biggest air shows in New Zealand will thrill crowds at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, two hours north of Wellington, from 24-26 February 2017 – and will feature the RNZAF’s newly named and equipped Black Falcons aerobatic team.
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 T6 Texan.
The winning entry was “Black Falcons”, with more than 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.
The air show will mark 80 years of service to New Zealand by the RNZAF as an independent armed service.
The three-day event will be jam-packed with displays from the RNZAF fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter fleets, the formation aerobatic team, and the Parachute Training Squadron as well as several aircraft from international Air Forces in what promises to be a top-quality event.
Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley said he was 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,” Air Vive Marshal Yardley said.
“We’re pleased to be able to host our international Air Force counterparts and we know they will bring a wow factor.”
“Our 2012 air show was extremely popular, with more than 60,000 people attending.
“Holding an air show gives us the opportunity to showcase our skills and our people.
“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.”
Joining the aircraft display will be a variety of ground exhibitions so people can get up close and personal with their Air Force.