15 Nov 2011

Mothballed Skyhawk arrives in Wanaka

4:55 pm on 15 November 2011

One of the 17 mothballed Royal New Zealand Airforce Skyhawk fighter jets has arrived in Wanaka to be put on permanent display.

The aircraft arrived in Wanaka by truck and will be reassembled by the RNZAF inside a hanger at Wanaka Airport, where it will sit alongside other classic combat jets including a Vampire, Hurricane and Strikemaster.

The jets were decommissioned in 2001 when the then Labour Government grounded the airforce combat wing.

Since then the aircraft have sat on the ground at Woodbourne air base waiting for a buyer.

Now nine of them are to be loaned to various museums and static displays in New Zealand and Australia while a US company has agreed to purchase the remaining eight.

Chair of the Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust, Murray Cleverley, says the trust is delighted to receive one of the jets.

It will be a static display at Wanaka airport and will not be flown.

The Wanaka Skyhawk arrived in New Zealand in 1970 and has its modern avionics systems intact.