Friday 11 November 2016

NZ Warbirds Armistice Day Open Day at Ardmore

The New Zealand Warbirds are hosting their next Open Day at Ardmore on Sunday.  In a new direction for NZ Warbirds, they will be displaying their latest acquisition a BE 2 aircraft purchased from The Vintage Aviator Ltd.

The poster for the show accurately shows their "new"BE 2 which is registered as ZK-PXA being flown by Gene De Marco of TVAL..  This was registered to The Vintage Aviator on 17/5/16.  The aircraft is painted to represent Aircraft 687 of the RFC which was the aircraft that William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse won the first Royal Flying Corps Victoria Cross for his actions in dropping a 45 Kg bomb from low level on the railway facilities at Cambrai in Northern France on 26 April 1916.  He was badly injured by rifle fire and his aircraft was damaged by his own bomb, but he made it back to his home airfield at Merville some 35 miles away, where he reported the success of his mission.  Sadly he died of his wounds the next day and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

That is an inspiring story of bravery, but the aircraft is not a true replica of the aircraft that Rhodes-Moorhouse flew that day.  ZK-PXA is a faithful replica of a BE 2e wheras the original 687 was a BE 2b which was a much earlier version of the BE 2.  However, congratulations are due to the NZ Warbirds for widening their collection of warbirds across the ages.  I see they have also recently purchased the 3/4 scale Isaacs Fury ZK-DMN which is representative of yet another era.

The NZ Warbirds are also reported as having purchased a TVAL Albatros, and I am interested to see which one it is or if it is a new build.  If the poster is accurate it could be the original TVAL Albatros D VA ZK-DVA.

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