A Flying Visit
It wasn’t until 1928, 15 years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, that an aircraft from another country visited New Zealand. When Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew touched down at Wigram airfield, having made the first aerial crossing of the Tasman Sea, it represented the end of New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world.
As technology progressed, more and more aircraft were able to fly greater distances. By the 1950s, larger aircraft were flying for many hours, from increasingly distant locations, to visit New Zealand.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) has hosted aircraft from many countries over the years. This selection of photos from our archives gives a snapshot of just some of the different types that have visited RNZAF stations and bases, from the 1920s through to the 1980s.
On display in the Caldwell Gallery, Level 1.
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War in the Air
Through photos, film and artefacts, this commemorative exhibition explores the story of the first air war of 1914-1918, from the perspective of the New Zealanders who took part.
Behind the Scenes Tour
Take our special 45 minuted guided tour to learn more about the Museum’s work ‘behind the scenes’ and discover the aircraft, vehicles and engines in our Reserve Collection.