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WOW organisers announced major coup for 30th anniversary

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wanaka: Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow organisers have announced a major coup for their 30th Anniversary airshow this Easter.

The United States Air Force has confirmed its intention to have the world-renowned F-16 Fighting Falcon Jet Demonstration Team attend Wanaka from the Misawa Air Force base in Japan. Also displaying at the Airshow will be the C-17 Globemaster Demonstration Team out of Hawaii.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, is thrilled to have two displays from the US, especially the F-16s.

"A big thanks to the USAF, this display is going to be an absolute highlight for us, especially given we’re celebrating 30 years since the very first Wanaka event."

"The Fighting Falcon has awesome power and manoeuvrability. The demonstration team pilots are at the top of their game and can really show off all those amazing attributes."

"There is nothing like seeing and hearing these aircraft up close and personal. The bonus will be seeing them perform against the magnificent Wanaka mountain backdrop."

Both the F-16s and the C-17 will operate out of Christchurch International Airport for the duration of the Airshow.

"We must acknowledge the support of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Christchurch International Airport in helping make the US visit happen."

"Christchurch Airport is hosting the Americans on the ground as they’re unable to land at Wanaka. The RNZAF will help out with flying members of the US contingent through to the Airshow at various times over the weekend," says Ed.

The American aircraft will ensure the biggest ever line up of modern military aircraft at Wanaka. The RNZAF intends to have one of the largest turnouts of its aircraft types at the Airshow, the Australians are debuting a Spartan transport aircraft along with Hawk Jets while the French are coming back with the CASA.

As with all military participation, attendance is subject to aircraft availability and operational requirements.

Warbirds Over Wanaka is being held on March 30th, 31st and April 1st. For more information and tickets go to

F-16 Fighting Falcon Fun Facts:

- Role - Multirole fighter, air superiority fighter

- Crew - 1 pilot

- Length - 15.1m

- Wingspan - 9.4m

- Empty weight - 7,390kg

- Top speed - Mach 2.0

- First flight - January 1974

- Entered Service - August 1978

- Units built - 4,500+

- Cost in 1998 - up to $US18.8million

- Production - no longer being built for USAF but still being produced for export

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