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Air Force Museum Blog

Canberra WT346 heads to a new home

By Air Force Museum | 10/11/2020

We’re really thrilled to share that our Trust Board has signed an agreement, loaning ex-RAF Canberra B(I)8 WT346 to NZ Warbirds Association Inc. at Ardmore for restoration to static display.

The ‘Battle of Britain’ comes to New Zealand

By Louisa Hormann | 17/09/2020

In 1969, the blockbuster film “Battle of Britain” was released in New Zealand, generating one of the largest paper objects in the Air Force Museum collection.

Remembering ‘The Few’ 80 Years On

By Simon Moody | 14/09/2020

The Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 was one the turning points of World War Two. For five months, from June until October 1940, a small number of young fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force (RAF) struggled against the much larger German Luftwaffe for control of the skies over southern England.

The Battle of Britain Lace Panel

By Murray McGuigan | 14/09/2020

Discover the story of one of the Museum’s most special artefacts – the Battle of Britain commemorative lace panel.

50 Years of Flying Kiwis

By Nathan Bosher | 02/09/2020

The Kiwi roundel has now graced the aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) for 50 years, more than all other roundel types in total. Just how did a flightless bird end up as an enduring symbol of our Air Force?

Cook Strait: the first flight

By Simon Moody | 19/08/2020

On 25 August 1920, three men of the Canterbury (NZ) Aviation Company conquered one of the great barriers to New Zealand aviation, when they made the first aerial crossing of Cook Strait.

Witnesses of Deliverance: New Zealand Airmen and Dunkirk, May-June 1940

By Simon Moody | 04/06/2020

The ‘Miracle of Dunkirk’ ensured that Britain’s army would not suffer the same fate as those of France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway and Poland and fight on. While no New Zealand troops took part, there were significant numbers of New Zealand airmen involved and these are some of their stories.

50 Years On: RNZAF Skyhawk Purchase and Arrival

By Simon Moody | 15/05/2020

It has been 50 years since the McDonnell Douglas A4-K Skyhawk, one of the most iconic and longest-serving aircraft in the history of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), first arrived in New Zealand

Highlights from the Memorabilia Project

By Jason Sim | 30/04/2020

75 years ago, in April and May 1945, one of the first major humanitarian operations carried out by air forces took place over Holland.

Remembering Operation “Manna”, 1945

By Simon Moody | 24/04/2020

75 years ago, in April and May 1945, one of the first major humanitarian operations carried out by air forces took place over Holland.

Avro 626 NZ203: fast facts on a unique aircraft

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 14/04/2020

The Avro 626 on display at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand is a very unique aircraft with an interesting story: it is the only fully-intact surviving aircraft operated by the RNZAF before World War Two.

Researching your family history online

By Louisa Hormann | 07/04/2020

Whakapapa connections – who we are, and where we come from – are how we relate to our families and our own place in the world. Whether you’re researching a military or civilian ancestor, this blog will help begin your journey into exploring your family history – a journey you can start online.

Origins of the Royal New Zealand Air Force

By Michelle Sim | 31/03/2020

On 1 April 1937, following the passing of the Air Force Act, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) was established as an independent service.

Let’s Talk Research: The Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice Conference

By Simon Moody | 30/03/2020

Over 13-15 February 2020, a major international conference on World War Two was held at Massey University campus in Wellington. Entitled ‘Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice’, it focused on New Zealand and international aspects of the conflict.

Handle with care

By Murray McGuigan | 20/03/2020

Every day, objects in our collection present our team with unique challenges to overcome if we are to look after them in the best possible way. Find out more about individual storage solutions.

My time at the Museum

By Pilot Officer Charlie Haines | 05/03/2020

The past three months I had the opportunity to work with the collections team and have discovered that there is so much more to the Museum than what is on public display.

‘Women Aviators’ by Karen Bush Gibson

By Lilly Bullen | 05/03/2020

This relatively small hard-backed publication, with just over 230 pages, is a little gem box of a book. Containing ‘26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys’, it is indeed a celebration of the dramatic, pragmatic, and often hard fought for, achievements of women throughout the history of aviation.

Within the Glass Case: The Red Baron

By Louisa Hormann | 26/02/2020

So, who was this Baron von Richthofen and who was A.V. Barrow? Why and how did Barrow collect these souvenirs and what is their significance?

Air Force Museum Photo Archives go online

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 19/02/2020

We are really thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, researchers will be able to browse digitised parts of our photograph collection, online.

The ‘Bougainville Typewriter’ – Bill Williamson’s trusted companion

By Jason Sim | 23/01/2020

To run a successful military unit requires a lot of administration. Learn more about the Underwood typewriter was used during World War Two.

Messenger Pigeons of World War Two

By Murray McGuigan | 19/12/2019

Homing pigeons were widely used as messenger carriers by the armed and civil services during World War Two.

Wāhine Toa: Women in Defence: collaborating and curating online

By Air Force Museum | 29/11/2019

The first collaborative, online exhibition of its kind by New Zealand’s national service museums explores the journeys of women serving in New Zealand’s military since gender integration.

Conservation of photo negatives

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 21/11/2019

Our Keeper of Photographs, Matthew O’Sullivan takes us through an example of conserving a photo negative from the collection.

40 years of service – the military journey of Harry Leese

By Simon Moody | 08/11/2019

Read the story of the life of a veteran who served in both World Wars.

Never Forget by Jo Bailey

By Lilly Bullen | 01/11/2019

Reflect on personal stories in ‘Never Forget’, by New Zealand writer Jo Bailey, where she has combined extensive interviews with the use of wartime diaries, black and white photos, and written memoir, to create six compelling first person accounts of war.

What’s in the background?

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 24/10/2019

What’s in the background? Find out more about this photo from our Keeper of Photographs.

Ron Hermanns’ trench art collection

By Murray McGuigan | 15/10/2019

Discover Ron Hermanns collection of exquisitely-crafted ‘trench art’, produced during two tours of operation to the Pacific islands during World War Two.

On the wing – Rugby in the Royal New Zealand Air Force

By Simon Moody | 01/10/2019

With the Rugby World Cup in full swing, we thought it would be a great opportunity to trace the story of New Zealand’s national game in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

A Bridge Too Far? Remembering New Zealand airmen and the battle for Arnhem 75 years on

By Simon Moody | 20/09/2019

Discover more about one of the most daring and ambitious military operations in history, Codenamed Operation Market-Garden which took place in Holland.

The Guinea Pig Club: New Zealand connections

By Louisa Hormann | 20/09/2019

Learn about the Guinea Pig Club and the innovative care administered to its members by New Zealand plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.

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Entry to the Museum is free, donations are appreciated.

45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch | 03 343 9532

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