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Free Admission
Open Daily 10am to 5pm

Auster Mk.7c


RNZAF serial no. NZ1707

Ex-RAF serial no. WE563

Manufacturer's no. unknown


On display in the Aircraft Hall



This aircraft was manufactured by Auster Aircraft Ltd at Rearsby, England, in November 1950 as a dual-control trainer for the Royal Air Force. It served in this capacity (possibly in the Middle East) before being allocated to the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition in November 1955.

WE563 was purchased from the UK Air Ministry for the use of the NZ Antarctic Expedition, arriving in Lyttelton on 28 May 1956. It was left in the paint scheme it arrived in, except for the addition of the RNZAF serial number, ‘NZ1707’, on the rear fuselage. During cold weather training for the Expedition in 1956, the aircraft was damaged while landing on the Tasman Glacier and had to be hurriedly repaired before traveling to the Antarctic for the summer season. It had two tours of duty ‘on the ice’, the first from December 1956 - March 1958, and then from December 1959 - March 1961.

After returning to Wigram, NZ1707 was overhauled and put into service as a trainer at RNZAF Hobsonville in 1963. In 1965 it was transferred to No. 3 (Battlefield Support) Squadron RNZAF, before being eventually written off following a crash in the Kaipara Harbour in August 1966. Initially disposed of to the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland, NZ1707 was later returned to the Air Force Museum at Wigram


Mosquito Mission Flight Simulator

Take the pilot seat in our ever-popular Mosquito Mission Flight Simulator, offering high definition graphics and realistic handling features!

Aircraft Hall

Originally built as an aircraft hangar during World War Two, the Aircraft Hall is home to 13 stunning vintage aircraft, all displayed under theatrical lighting.

Open daily from 10am to 5pm (except Christmas Day)
Entry to the Museum is free, donations are appreciated.

45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch | 03 343 9532

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