RNZAF Black Falcons Fly-In to feature at Grand Prix Meeting
At the suggestion and with the enthusiastic organisational support of Jim Barclay and Tony Roberts, former directors of the successful NZ Festival of Motor Racing that ran at Hampton Downs from 2010 to 2016, the scope of the fourth Taupō Historic GP over the January 18/19 weekend has been expanded to include the celebration of a dedicated marque of car - Alfa Romeo – and a special aerobatic display by the RNZAF’s Black Falcons squad.
Alfa Romeo will be the first of what organisers of the annual event at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupō, intend to be an annual marque celebration reflecting the tradition of what is now the country’s foremost motor race meeting exclusively dedicated to historic racing cars.
An Aerial Highlight
A highlight, meanwhile, on the Sunday of the two-day meeting over the January 18/19 event, (the Wellington Province anniversary long weekend), will play out in the skies above Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park track – as the acclaimed Royal New Zealand Air Force Black Falcons aerobatic display team put on a special show.
The recently-announced 2019/2020 Black Falcons team comprising qualified flying instructors from Central Flying School and No.14 Squadron is currently working up their display routine in the Manawatu skies above RNZAF Base Ohakea and will be ready to wow the large crowd expected at the big Taupo meeting with their spectacular and seamlessly choreographed aerobatics.
The 2019/2020 Black Falcons are made up of Squadron Leader Paul Stockley (Falcon 1), Flight Lieutenant Shane Huisman (Falcon 2), Squadron Leader Mary Robertson (Falcon 3), Squadron Leader Jimmy Peters (Falcon 4), Squadron Leader Sean Perrett (Falcon 5) and Squadron Leader Jimmy Davidson (Falcon 6). Team Manager is Warrant Office Dave Sleator.
“The T6-C Texan II is an ideal aircraft for formation aerobatics and a lot of work has gone into designing a display sequence that shows off the unique capability of the aircraft,” says Squadron Leader Paul Stockley.
“The RNZAF Black Falcons encapsulates, in a publicly entertaining format, the professionalism of the RNZAF. We are not only showing the air power capability of the aircraft, we are also representing the military training, character and skill of everyone in the Air Force to the New Zealand public.”
The land-based historic machinery on display and being demonstrated throughout the two days of competition is head-lined by many notable and valuable Alfa Romeos. Included amongst them is the incredibly rare and valuable 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Supercharged belonging to the world famous Southward Car Museum at Otaihanga in the Kapiti Coast District.
Along with a collection of racing Alfa Romeos put together by the hard-working committee of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of NZ, races over the two-day event will be for:
• Formula 5000s, the iconic stock-block 5-litre V8 single-seater category that dominated single-seater racing in NZ, Australia, the United States and the UK from the late 1960s to 1976;
• Historic Muscle Cars and Historic Saloon Cars, the FIA Group 2 and Group 5 touring cars that contested the New Zealand Saloon Car Championships in the late 1960s and early 1970s;
• Formula Juniors and Sports Racing Cars from 1958 to the late 1960s;
• Historic Formula Ford 1600s from 1967 to 1987;
• The wild “Allcomer” Sports Sedans that entertained New Zealand crowds from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s; and
• Tranzams, the V8-engined high performance Grand Touring race cars created by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) that raced in New Zealand for the NZ Tranzam Championship in the late 1980s, the 1990s and early 2000s.
Qualifying for January’s Taupō Historic GP meeting starts at 09:30 on Saturday 18th with preliminary races for all categories from 12:30 that afternoon. The racing re-commences at 09:15 Sunday morning with the Historic GP race for Formula 5000s scheduled to start at around 2:30 p.m.
General Admission adult prices are $20.00 Saturday, $25.00 Sunday and $40.00 for a weekend pass. The souvenir programme featuring comprehensive histories of the categories racing, costs $10.00. Included in General Admission is car-parking (including to the Main Straight embankment) and access to the Pit Lane Complex First Floor Tauhara Suite and rooftop viewing areas, the pit/paddock, and all usual GA spectator areas.
Additional information about the RNZAF and the T-6C Texan II
The RNZAF is made up of 2500 personnel across multiple trades and a variety of capability platforms that, combined, are a multi-faceted military organisation that is well-equipped to support New Zealand and respond quickly to situations both at home and overseas.
The RNZAF Black Falcons fly the Beechcraft T-6C Texan II.
The T-6C is a two pilot aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine capable of producing speeds up to 316 knots (585km/hr) between 0 and 31,000 feet. The T-6C is equipped with Martin-Baker ejection seats and a modern integrated avionics suite with a Head Up Display and Flight Management System.
It is a purpose-built military training aircraft, equipped with a glass canopy, a full suite of comm-nav equipment and a pressurised cockpit. The T-6C is fully aerobatic and can withstand ‘G’ forces from +7.0 to -3.5.
All of these features combined make the T-6C an ideal aircraft type for military flying training and the conduct of close formation aerobatics.
The T-6C is used to train RNZAF pilots on their Wings course, and is operated by No. 14 Squadron based at Ohakea. As part of a complete training package, this advanced aircraft is supported by two flight simulators and avionics desktop trainers.