Thursday 27 November 2014

Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre at Old Mandeville Airfield

The Croydon Aviaition Heritage Centre is located around 15 minutes along SH 94, North of Gore at the historic Old Mandeville Airfield, and the Centre is administered by the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust.  Mandeville  is also the home of the Croydon Aircraft Company where restoration of old (mainly de Havilland) aircraft takes place.  The Moth cafe is also onsite and front of house at the Aviation Heritage Centre is now manned in association with the Gore District Council.

It is claimed that the Centre and the adjacent restration workshops have the largest collection of vintage de Havilland aircraft in the Southern hemisphere.  There were eight pristine de Havilland aircraft on display in the Centre when I visited, as well as another eight DH aircraft in various stages of restoration.  They all cry out for a detailed history but I will just post the photos as below:

The jewel in the crown of aircraft on display was the DH 90A Dragonfly ZK-AYR which is one of only two DH Dragonflys flying in the world today.

DH 83 Fox Moth ZK-ADI is another jewel, and is the original aircraft with which Bert Mercer started the first scheduled air service in New Zealand 75 years ago.  It has been returned to its original registration and colour scheme that it wore with Air Travel NZ Ltd of Hokitika.

DH 89B Dominie/Dragon Rapide ZK-AKY is displayed in the NAC colours that it wore when flying with our national airline up to 1963.  ZK-AKY flew the final NAC flight of the type from Whangarei to Whenuapai in December 1963.

Five DH 82A Tiger Moths were on display: ZK-ASV is painted in wartime RNZAF training colours as NZ 786,

                            DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-ARZ,

                            DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-BAH,

                            DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-BFH,

                            and DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-BRC in Mount Cook Flightseeing colours.

There were also a few non-DH vintage aircraft on display and they fitted in well with the vintage theme.  Percival Proctor 1 ZK-DPP is a relatively recent addition to the New Zealand register (2006) compared to the DH types.

Auster J 1B Aiglet ZK-AOB rounds out this selection.  You can see from the photos that the aircraft are displayed very well to allow photos, and the lighting through the windows in the hangar roof is also great for photos.  And finally in view of the above, photographyand posting  was really encouraged.

I will post more from Mandeville.


  1. That's e pretty decent display there; thanks for putting those shots up.

  2. Yes.thanks for the update on residents found in Manderville.

  3. Why on earth is AYR not being flown? Who owns it?