NZAI CT-4B Airtrainer
BAC 167 Strikemaster
de Havilland Devon
Above: These photos taken in 1989 by Dave Homewood show the Catalina stored on the Wet Apron at Hobsonville, awaiting transportation south to Wigram following initail restoration at Whenuapai.
Above: This photo kindly supplied by Craig Brankin shows the Catalina fuselage as it is in 2007. It now resides in No. 3 Hangar and awaits completion.
Bristol B170 Freighter Mk 31M
de Havilland Vampire T.11
English Electric Canberra B1 (8)
Sopwith Pup Replica
The Sopwith Pup replica, which can be found in Hangar 3, represents the more than 1000 airmen from New Zealand who served in First World War air forces. These include the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, which both used the Pup, as well as the Royal Air Force (which was formed from the RFC and RNAS combining), and the Air Arm of the Indian Expeditionary Force.
This replica was built as a flyer by the UK firm Skysport Engineering. However its flying career lasted just one flight. On the first test flight on the 2nd of July 1986, the engine cut and as the pilot tried to turn back to the airstrip, it spun in the turn and hit the ground. the aircraft was seriously damaged.
The wreck was not rebuilt by Skysport, and instead was sold as is to Robert Greinert of Australia. Very little restoration was carried out by Greinert's Bankstown company Classic Aviation Services, but the aircraft did receive a new cowling and undercarriage and other components.
It was then spotted by RNZAF Museum Director, Wing Commander David Proven whilst on a trip to Australia. He knew that the RNZAF Museum Trust Board was keen to fill the gap left by their collection having no World War One representative, and the Pup would fulfil that need.
An agreement was reached between the Museum and Greinert where Wigram would gain the Sopwith Pup and in return the P-47D Thunderbolt held by the RNZAF Museum as a swap item would go to Rob Greinert. Remembering that the P-47D was in a very poor state and was rather incomplete, plus it had little to do with RNZAF history, this seemed a good deal. The swap was completed on the 20th of February 1995.
The RNZAF Museum Restoration Team set to and repaired the damaged Pup and brought it back to as new, though non-flying, condition. I did note in 2004 it was back in the RNZAF Museum Restoration Workshop having work, and wonder if it had been somehow damaged. But my more recent trip in April 2006 saw that the aircraft was in fine form once more in the reserve collection.