Aviation Heritage Centre, Omaka

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by nuuumannn, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    #1 nuuumannn, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
    A recent visit to Blenheim was an excuse to take a look at some of the newer exhibits at the Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka. For those of you not familiar with the AHC, it houses the Great War museum artefacts and airframes belonging to film director Peter Jackson. Opened in December 2007, the AHC's first hall is called 'Knights of the Air' and celebrates the air war and the romantic image of it that has been promoted in print and on film ever since. Contained within are 22 complete or partially complete original and reproduction aeroplanes and an impressive cache of significant items and artwork in display cases.

    Among these are some quite historic items, not the usual unknown aviator's uniforms and bits and pieces here; among the collection is one of Eddie Rickenbacker's flight suits, George Guynemer's overcoat, complete with 25 Palme D'Or medals that hang below the rim of the coat, and Wolfram von Richtofen's Nazi era Luftwaffe dress tunic. Also among the assorted treasures are a large number of items related to the most famous ace, the Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen, including medallions and silverware that used to belong to the man himself. There are also items that were removed from his red triplane that he was shot down in, the famous Dr I serialled 425/17; a reproduction of the scene of the aircraft's looting by Australian soldiers has been recreated as the centre piece of the AHC; a somewhat macarbe scene shows the Baron's body lying prostrate on the ground, while his fur flying boots are yanked from his feet by eager souvenir hunters.

    Ignoring the Safe Air Bristol Freighter in a field next to the building, at the entrance to the AHC are a couple of gate guards, one of them a Hawker Hurricane mock up originally built for the feature film 'Battle of Britain' and the other a mock up of a Ju 87 Stuka built by a local enthusiast in his back yard.

    [​IMG]

    The Hurricane is now decorated in the markings of an example supplied to the Soviet Union as part of 151 Wing, RAF in 1941, which was commanded by New Zealander Wg Cdr H.N.G. Ramsbottom-Isherwood.

    [​IMG]

    The Stuka wears the markings of a Ju 87B-2 of I.StG 2.

    Within the entrance is a Morane Saulneir G monoplane reproduction built at Omaka and suspended from the ceiling above the shop. Flung from the cockpit is a grapple at the end of a cable. The aircraft is in the markings of Imperial Russia's highest scoring ace of the Great War, Aleksander Kozakov with 20 confirmed victories and depicts one of the more bizarre methods of bringing down an enemy aeoplane in the absense of an effective forward firing gun.

    [​IMG]

    Below is a diagram of the layout of the AHC that visitors can take with them; each aircraft image that follows will be keyed to the illustration.

    [​IMG]

    Immersed in darkness on entry into the main hall, the visitor is drawn to the aircraft display set pieces, each machine bathed in mood lighting and positioned at unusual attitudes. Surrounded by enlarged period photographs, each display area is enhanced by extraordinary detail applied to each set by Peter Jackson's special effects company Weta Workshop in Wellington. I was told that the mannequins that accompany the aircraft are modelled on Weta personnel.

    Greeting visitors is the ghostly, unrestored Caproni Ca-22. (1)

    [​IMG]

    Etrich Taube reproduction in a dog fight with a small scale B.E.2c (2).

    [​IMG]

    A crash scene with damaged Morane Saulneir BB two-seater (4).

    [​IMG]

    Airco D.H.2 with a Fokker E III dangerously close to its tail (3).

    [​IMG]

    The Eindekker.

    [​IMG]

    The aircraft repair workshop featuring an original disassembled Thomas Morse Scout (5).

    [​IMG]

    The big Breguet XIV (6).

    [​IMG]

    Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 (8 ).

    [​IMG]

    Lastly for today, my personal favourite in the collection to date, the pretty Curtiss flying boat (7).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Curtiss' OX-5 installation.

    [​IMG]

    More to come...
     
  2. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    When were you over here? You should have caught up for a beer!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Excellent. For a 'home built' replica, that Ju87 certainly looks impressive. Looking forward to more shots.
     
  4. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    Great shots!
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,892
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Looks like they are not sparing the horrors of war...good!
     
  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,760
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Good shots!

    Agree with Terry, that Ju-87 is an impressive build for one built in a backyard...
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    #7 nuuumannn, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
    Thanks guys, the Ju 87 was a long term project; the guy who built it is an aircraft engineer and he want's to get it ground running some time in the future - that's the plan anyway; note the absense of exhaust stacks. Its made of wood and clad in aviation grade alclad.

    Gumbyk, I'm through there often since I own a house in Blenners. I'll be over for the airshow in March for certain. I'm surprised I beat you to putting pictures up here since this is your neck of the woods.

    A local lad is featured in one of the displays; Major Keith Logan “Grid” Caldwell is displayed wrestling with the controls of his S.E.5a whilst standing outside of the cockpit on the port wing after colliding with an adversary. Legend has it, Caldwell managed to guide his stricken fighter over friendly territory from the wing before leaping to safety (10).

    [​IMG]

    Who would have thought that the previously unheard of sight of no less than seven Fokker Dr I triplanes (albeit faithful reproductions) would take to the skies at a local airshow in the north of New Zealand’s South Island? Four of the flying reproductions, including Richtofen's 425/17 are on display (11).

    [​IMG]

    By far the most imaginative diorama in the museum is the Winter scene, where a hapless RFC pilot has flown his Nieuport 27 into a tree, following combat with a Siemens Schuckert D IV (12).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A few items of note from the display cases;

    German flying badges; l to r; Ottoman Empire Air Service, Prussian Air Service, silver wound badge

    [[​IMG]

    The coveted Blue Max.

    [​IMG]

    Although outside of the time frame represented in the AHC, the cases hold priceless crockery from the German airship line DZR and from the Dornier Do X.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wolfram von Richtofen's Luftwaffe tunic.

    [​IMG]

    One of the most memorable movies about Great War fighter aces was “The Blue Max”, the story of a German ace, played by George Peppard, who actually flew some of the sequences for the film, and featuring a host of reproduction flyable First World War aeroplanes. In one particular scene, Peppard flies into combat in a Pfalz D III; that very aeroplane, wearing its representative ‘lozenge’ camouflage effect created for the film is displayed below a movie screen, showing the ace battling it out against Currie Wot repro S.E.5as in a sequence from the film (14).

    [​IMG]

    It is the 21st of April 1918. Sitting mangled and torn from the impact of a crash and the attention from the souvenir hunters that eagerly swarm around it is Richtofen’s final Triplane, the bright red Dr I Nr 425/17 (13).

    [​IMG]

    Displayed in an ornate frame in front of the triplane is an original cross insignia, torn from the flanks of Richtofen’s mount on the day he was shot down, as depicted in the above scene.

    [​IMG]

    Charles Nungesser's Nieuport 24 (15).

    [​IMG]

    Halberstadt D IV (15).

    [​IMG]

    Boeing built D.H.4M; this impressive machine was put into service as a mailplane and was restored by the United States Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio as the personal mount of Major General M.M. Patrick, Commanding General of the U.S. Air Service in 1923 (16).

    [​IMG]

    I hope you've enjoyed my tour of the AHC; it's worth going every two or so years just to see if something new has been added. At the biennial Classic Fighters airshow at Omaka there is also the likelyhood of seeing one or two of the aircraft from the museum being flown.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,689
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Excellent !
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Brilliant Grant, cheers for posting!!!

    I'm constantly amazed at what our little country is achieving in aviation circles, hope to make it back some time to see these myself!
     
  10. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    41,760
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Doctor
    Location:
    Portsmouth / Royal Deeside, UK
    Home Page:
    Nice shots!
     
  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51,168
    Likes Received:
    848
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Adelaide Sth. Aust.
    Great pics man...
     
  12. Jeff Hunt

    Jeff Hunt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    397
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    Retired Police Officer
    Location:
    Guelph Ontario Canada
    Love it. The one in the "snow" is my favourite as it reminds me of my neck of the woods during the winter.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     
  13. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    Thanks for the tour!
     
Loading...

Share This Page