Warbirds to re-enact dogfight
A re-enactment of a World War I dogfight is expected to be a part of the display at next year’s Warbirds over Wanaka event. At least six vintage aircrafts are expected to take part in a unique WWI centenary event over the Wanaka lakefront at Easter. A $43,000 grant from the Lotteries Commission WWI Commemoration Fund has enabled organisers to increase the scale of the event, which is being planned as part of the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. WWI event co-ordinator Ed Tay- lor said the extra funding would allow the flying display to fully illustrate to the public what aviation was all about in WWI. ‘‘World War I broke out not long after the invention of aircraft so at the start of the war it was very basic stuff – little planes fluttering across to count heads in enemy trenches. Then the pilots started shooting at each other with pistols, and eventually mounted machine guns evolved,’’ Mr Taylor said. Designers and engineers scrambled to improve aircraft as the war progressed, fast-tracking the development of aviation. About a 1000 New Zealand pilots flew in the conflict alongside their British counterparts, in the Royal Flying Corps. The commemoration is set to begin with a special commentary in Pembroke Park. ‘‘We hope families and individuals from across the region will come and join in. This is a tribute to those aviators who took a step into the unknown and for us it’s an exciting first in being able to bring the airshow right into town,’’ Mr Taylor said.
Star role: A German Pfalz D.III aircraft will be one of at least six vintage aircrafts involved in a World War I dogfight re-enactment over Wanaka at Easter as part of the Warbirds over Wanaka WWI centenary event.