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Movie Star Will Make Comeback at Classic Fighters

Movie Star Will Make Comeback at Classic Fighters

The star of a classic movie will perform at this month’s Classic Fighters Marlborough airshow, in its first performance in years.

The one-of-a-kind Pfalz D.III biplane, built to star in the 1966 movie “The Blue Max”, recently flew for the first time after a major restoration, and is expected to make its debut at the Easter weekend airshow.

The aircraft, one of film director Peter Jackson’s stable of rare and unusual vintage aircraft, will be a highlight of the event, but it will not be the only exciting aircraft debuting at the internationally-acclaimed event.

Also performing is the exciting 1916 Airco DH-2 pusher biplane, which has been flying around Marlborough for some time but is yet to perform in front of a crowd. That aircraft will also be joined by another rare local, the Halberstadt D.IV, which almost flew two years ago but was grounded due to engineering problems.

All three aircraft will be displayed by the Omaka Fighter Collection, along with five Fokker Triplanes, a Sopwith Camel, Bristol Fighter replica and Nieuport 24 for a WW1 battle sequence unable to be witnessed anywhere else in the world.

But the spectacular will not just be played out in the sky. Thanks to a huge effort from volunteer prop-builders, and with help from re-enactment groups nationwide, the vineyards surrounding the field will bear witness to the scene in 1918 when Kiwi troops captured the French town of Le Quesnoy.

Despite all the WW1 drama, the First World War stars will not be stealing all the limelight. Five WW2 fighters are expected to perform their own pieces of French theatre. Over the weekend a FG-1D Corsair, Two P-40 Kittyhawks, a P-51 Mustang and another yet-to-be confirmed fighter will re-enact the battles of Carentan, the Falaise Gap and Barkmann’s Corner. These will also be accompanied by some impressive props and mass troop movements, which can be witnessed by the crowds on two large outdoor video screens – another first for a New Zealand airshow.

And if watching the excitement is not enough, dream flights in a P-40 Kittyhawk and Bristol Fighter are among the flights being raffled off.

The show will be held on Easter Friday (trade and practice day), Saturday and Sunday – March 25 – 27. All details can be found on the airshow’s comprehensive website: http://www.classicfighters.co.nz

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