Saturday 26 December 2015

Aerobatic Monoplanes in New Zealand - Wanaka Sukhois and a Yak

As I am part way through a series on Aerobatic Monoplanes of New Zealand, it occurred to me that there have been several of these aircraft displayed at Warbirds Over Wanaka, so I thought I would add them to the series.  So I now include the following:

 WOW 1998 featured a Sukhoi SU 31 RA 01463 flown by Nigel Arnot

Lithuanian Jurgis Kairys has been a frequent display pilot at Wanaka over the years.  In 2004 he displayed his Sukhoi SU 31 LY-LJK.

 Jurgis was back in 2006 flying his SU 26 LY-AKG as part of a display pairing ...

... with Russian aerobatic champion Svetlana Kapanina flying Sukhoi SU 29 RA 3358K.  You can see Rob Fry's name on the rear of the cockpit so I assume that this was during the time he owned the aircraft in Japan.  I guess that the aircraft stayed on in New Zealand after WOW 2006 to become ZK-SUK.

 AT WOW 2008, the SU 29 appeared as ZK-SUK, still with Air Bandits signage ...

 ... along with Jurgis Kairys flying his own design Juka LY-JKA.  You can gauge from size of the cowling covering the Vedeneyev radial engine the the Juka is smaller that the SU aircraft.

 Jurgis returned again in 2010 flying his Juka, as photo'd above.

And also in 2010 he bought a back-up aircraft with him in the form of Yak 50 LY-JKF, as photo'd in a hangar at Wanaka on 15/12/09.  Can anyone confirm if this aircraft ever flew in New Zealand?

I am not totally sure if there have been any other purpose designed aerobatic monoplanes displayed at Wanaka.  Can anyone add anything to the above aircraft?

Thanks very much to Andrew Matheson and Brett for sending the great shots above, following my call for photos.


  1. Didn't they do a 3 ship aerobatic display called the air bandits using the yak 50 sukoi 26 and juka at WOW 2010 I think.

  2. Yes we did a 3 ship. Yoshi Muroya flying my SU-29, Jurgis in his JUKA and myself leading in Jurgis' YAK 50. We had done the 3 ship at several shows around the world including Avalon, UAE, various places in Japan and of course WOW. We used whatever combination was available at the time including my Su 29, Jurgis's Su 26, 31, JUKA, Yak50 and 52 and Yoshi's Su 26 or Extra 300S
    Cheers, Rob Fry

  3. Yak-50 a FUN flying machine !