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‘Once in a lifetime’ opportunity to see WWII Mosquito fly

The Wānaka App

21 March 2024, 4:00 PM

‘Once in a lifetime’ opportunity to see WWII Mosquito fly The Mosquito NZ2308, which is set to fly to Wānaka for the airshow next week, lifting off for flight for the first time in 70 years earlier this week.

The ex-RNZAF WWII Mosquito NZ2308 which will feature at Warbirds over Wānaka (WOW) lifted off for its first flight in nearly 70 years on Monday (March 18).

Monday's flight was the culmination of an 15-year-long restoration started by the late Glyn Powell and finished by Warren Denholm and his team at Avspecs for its new owners.

Warren said the first flight was a success and means it will meet its timeline to fly south to Wānaka next week for the airshow, which is taking place over Easter weekend.

The Mosquito’s test and airshow display pilot at the airshow will be legendary American Steve Hinton.

For many Warbirds fans, having the chance to see the Mosquito fly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Warbirds general manager Ed Taylor said. 

He said it was one of many aircraft that had contributed to higher-than-ever demand for this year’s event, which has a “truly international” programme.

“If you want to be there to witness a Mosquito fly at Wānaka for the first time, experience the thrill of the mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon Jets, the skills of the American Eagles jet display team, see one of the world's great aerobatic pilots Jurgis Kairys from Lithuania and a stunning pyrotechnics display, then you need to be at Wānaka this Easter,” Ed said.

Tickets for Saturday are now sold out (for the first time in the show’s history) and Sunday’s general admission tickets are expected to sell out in the next few days, Ed said.

“There are still plenty of tickets to the practice day on Good Friday when all children are free and the Mosquito and F-16s are due to perform,” he said.

Warbirds Over Wānaka International Airshow 2024 will take place over Easter weekend.

It will be the first show in six years, after the 2020 and 2022 shows were both cancelled due to Covid-19.

PHOTO: Supplied


Read more: Fast and furious F-16 display billed for Warbirds