NZ Warbirds Association

Keeping New Zealand’s aviation history alive.

Man holding wing on New Zealand War Bird plane on the runway
Man inspecting New Zealand War Birds plane on the runway
Ardmore New Zealand War Birds plane
Ardmore older male aviation technician smiling
Helicopter pilot in the cockpit wearing a headset

What is the NZ Warbirds Association?

Conceived in 1978, the New Zealand Warbirds Association is an umbrella body dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and operation of service aircraft in full flying condition. They’re a nationwide family of highly involved participants, who provide the wide-ranging skills and support needed to keep these classic aircraft in the sky.

The association’s aim

The NZ Warbirds Association doesn’t aim to glorify war. Rather, it seeks to preserve these grand old military aircraft in flying condition, for the enjoyment of generations to come. In New Zealand, service aircraft have served as an introduction to flying for thousands of young military pilots – many of whom go on to establish long careers in civilian flying. This means these service aircraft can be seen as the very backbone of our country’s aviation history.

The association’s aircraft

The NZ Warbirds Association was originally founded purely to preserve ex-RNZAF service aircraft. In the years since, the association’s remit has expanded to service aircraft from all over the world – including Russia, Germany, China. Everything from biplanes to jet fighters, and even British and American aircraft (which have never seen service in New Zealand).

Service aircraft creates visuals of First World War Camels and Fokkers, the Battle of Britain Spitfires and Messerschmitts, Lancaster, Heinkel and B-17 bombers, Mustangs, Zeros and more. Later types include Vampires, Migs and Canberras. In the history of military flight, these ‘glamour’ aircraft represent the front line of a much deeper and broader tradition of service. One that encompasses literally hundreds of types of training, transport, and reconnaissance. Aircraft which have performed – and continue to perform – vital duties across the globe.


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