“It's been a great airshow – there's no two ways about it.”
Tauranga City Airshow ‘Classics of the Sky' co-director Andrew Gormlie made the comment as the 2012 event finished following a mock attack of the Tauranga Airport airstrip.
Tauranga City Airshow display director Keith Skilling was feeling about the event from the cockpit of the Corsair he flew today.
This attack involved World War Two airplanes engage in mock dogfighting, strafing and bombing runs as mock Nazi and Allied ground forces battled with rifles and machine guns.
The air and land battle was punctuated by gunfire sounds, loud explosions and fireballs.
This final sequence concluded an action-packed two days at the airshow with Andrew Gormlie finding it hard to pick a highlight considering the overall quality of the event.
“This is as good as it gets anywhere.”
A standout display aircraft was the 1950s era Hawker Hunter jet – the fastest jet in New Zealand.
“It propelled the turnout and the levels of enthusiasm,” says Andrew.
The thunderous roar of this aircraft as it made low high speed passes drew the gaze of the more than 25,000 people to attend across the event's two days.
“We can't fault the turnout, it's definitely more than last time.”
The audience was treated to displays by jets planes, aerobatic propeller planes, wartime vintage aircraft, gliders, model aeroplanes and cars tangling with aircraft.
Today an Audi R8 drove at 300km/h along the runway in a race against two jets, a Strikemaster and a Dragonfly. The car was not even close to being competitive.
The other car-featured event was the faulty heli-lift of a white sedan from one end of the airfield to the other – it was faulty because the cable ‘popped' dropping the car 50-100m.
This year's airshow was an improvement on 2010, with more people coming, and Andrew hopes to do it all again in 2014.
Scenes from the airshow today.
The Roaring 40s.
The Hawker Hunter.
War veterans gather by the Corsair.
A P51-D Mustang is refuelled.
Parachutists added some colour to the displays.
A Boeing Steerman flyby over the Corsair and Trojan.
Airplanes and people combined for a final mock battle.