About 80 homebuilt aircraft are expected to arrive in Tauranga today for the Sport Aircraft Association of New Zealand annual general meeting.
The SportAvex event acts as a double with the Tauranga City Airshow ‘Classics of the Sky' event on this weekend.
There are about 200 people and about 80 aircraft registered for the AGM tonight followed by a day of flying at Whitianga on Saturday.
“Tomorrow morning, before the airshow, most of the planes fly out about 9.45am to Whitianga,” says the association's president and airshow co-director Bill Sisley.
“They will be doing an economy run to Whitianga to see which is the most economical aeroplane and then they do their competitions up there – bombing and spot landing.
“They will be at Whitianga for most of the day, then they will return home after the airshow, 50 planes flying back in after the airshow and landing at Tauranga here.”
The SportAvex flyers will also be attending seminars on safety and other aspects of recreational flying.
There will be some SportAvex aircraft on display on Saturday, with a greater number on Sunday.
The Sport Aircraft Association has about 580 members New Zealand-wide.
“There's something like 400 homebuilt aircraft flying in New Zealand and we are putting out about about two new homebuilt aircraft a month,” say Bill.
“They go from the real very early type of wooden or fabric build, and the very latest ones are metal, and a lot of fibreglass planes now – and very high performance some of them.
“So we go from the very bottom of the homebuilt like Richard Pearce used to build, right through to things that do 250 knots (463km/h).”