RNZAF Open Day

 | 2 min

I spent the day at the Royal New Zealand Air Force open day at the Whenuapai air base. During the morning, we wandered around through the hangars, checking out all the different squadrons and getting to observe the huge range of activities the Air Force performs.

My brother is in No. 6 Squadron (the helicoptor squadron) at the moment. He works on the Navy's Sea Sprite helicoptors, as well as the Air Force's Iroquois & NH90s.

Sea Sprite helicopter doing tricks

Sea Sprite helicopters perform for the crowd

Both the Sea Sprites and the Iroquois did displays that showcased their speed & manoeverability and the sheer skill of the pilots.

Most of the flying displays were of the fixed wing planes though, including a segment from the warbirds. The military section included one of the six P3 Orions and one of the five Hercules. The Hercs are awesome. Unless you've seen it, you wouldn't believe what a short distance of runway they require to take off and land.

One of my favourite planes is the Boeing 757 which did several low altitude and low speed flybys.

Air Force Boeing 757 does a fly by

While obviously not quite so nimble as the Red Checkers or some of the other planes, it is amazing to watch the pilots throw it around the sky. I always marvel that planes that size can fly at all, let alone how it can manage the angles & turns they were forcing on it.

Another highlight was the Royal Australian Air Force's F-111 fighter jet. My brother gave us all airplugs because it was fucking LOUD. It was way too fast for me to get a photo. It did a very spectacular dump and burn, dumping fuel and igniting it with its afterburners as it flew past.

If you want to see a dump & burn, this YouTube video shows an F-111 doing a dump and burn at the Amberley Air Show in Oz in 2004.