While we were waiting to be escorted on base, the recently refurbished gate-guardian Vampire FB.5 was looking good in the evening light.
Having a look at this Avenger reminded me of the 1980's when I used to be able to go and explore a genuine RNZAF one near where I lived. The wings were stored on the ground nearby, and you could see where the paint had worn to reveal the original US Navy markings applied when it was built in 1943.
Photo credit Sean, via Wings over NZ forumIt was one of the first insights I had that these weren't just old aeroplanes; they had history and stories they could tell.
As well as the Avenger, the hangar is home to a pair of vintage trainers in the form of ex RNZAF Harvard, and Ex RAAF Winjeel.
The highlight for many though, was the presence of Brendon's Spitfire Mk.IX. Brendon was responsible for bringing this aircraft to NZ, and completely restoring it to airworthy condition. It wears the markings of his uncle Alan Deere, one of New Zealand's most well known WWII fighter pilots.