Jet Race Wanaka
|There is more to Wanaka than
its Autumn colours. For the first time in the Southern Hemisphere
the Wanaka Airshow (N.Z.) featured a ‘Jet Race’.
Famed racers (x3) from the ‘Reno Air Race’ (U.S.) competed against 3 Kiwi’s. Aircraft used were mixed vintage L39 Albatross jets and 2 Vampires!! L39 are modern (1960’s plus) jet styles whilst the Vampire is post WW2 jet technology (flew in 1945) – even has wood in its nose construction! It seems that the Vampire can give its own in the straights loosing to the modern jets in the tight turns.
With two inflatable pylons marking the ‘home straight’ of the airstrip the other boundaries were defined by the Clutha River and farm/forest areas. A WW2 era Kittyhawk flew high and central as umpire and away they went.
VERY low flybys and tight turns, combined
with jostling for positions whilst flying at 750kmh PLUS, made for
exciting scenes not witnessed in our region.
|1970's era L39 Albatross|
|Post WW2 Vampire. In NZ service until 1970's!!!!!!|
|Can you see the smile on the pilots faces!!|
|Jostle for position|
|The finish line|