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Kids’ Collection – an online exhibition of flight

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At the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, we love to  share stories of our Air Force and its people. Every object in our Museum  has a story to tell, whether it’s an aircraft that flew the Queen around on her first visit to New Zealand, or a water bottle used during a United Nations peacekeeping mission. 

Do you have something that you’d like to share in our online exhibition?

It doesn’t need to be old – museums also collect stories about things that have happened recently and are happening now, so that these stories can be told to people in the future. 

It could be an object or photograph that you have at home that has something to do with the Air Force, a person in your family who is or was in the Air Force, an interesting thing to do with aircraft and aviation (flying), or even your own story of flight that you’d like to share with others.

This online exhibition is here for you, the children of New Zealand – let’s enjoy it together! 

Browse the Kids’ Collection

Aviation Objects

Aviation Objects

Do you have a model aeroplane or helicopter that you’d like to display? Or something that you got on a flight? Patches, badges, pilot dress-ups, fancy kites, favourite toys and more – if it’s to do with flying, this section is where it needs to be! 

Helicopter Model

Everyone loves a Huey…!

“This is a model of the exact helicopter (04) my Dad flew in the RNZAF. He was a pilot on No 3 Squadron, flying the Bell UH1-H Iroquois, known as the Huey. Dad flew the Huey in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Samoa and all around New Zealand, but his favourite job was teaching young pilots how to fly helicopters. I hope one day my Dad might teach me how to fly!!”

Jake | Age 9

The Red Setter’s Fokker Triplane

Flying Furballs! It’s the red setter!

Dad took me to the Plastic Model show last year and helped me build this, the first model I have built. I chose the kit because it is the aeroplane that the “Red Setter” flies in Donovan Bixley’s amazing “Flying Furballs” books. The  books are full of aeroplanes and amazing stories from real pilots in WW1. I got dad to paint it for me because he is an expert in painting aeroplanes at the Air Force Museum, he made the tiny Red Setter dog in the cockpit too. I also love it because it’s something I made with my dad.

Mindi | Age 10

Toy plane

C-17 plane

“This is a C-17 plane, it came from the toy shop at my Mummy’s work. I had to save up my money from being good during the school holidays to buy it. It’s my favourite plane because when you pull it apart the engines turn on and it makes different sounds. It has some tanks and Army trucks inside it. So that’s what makes this plane special.”

Alex | Age 5


My Jet Cadets Badge

“This is my Emirates Jet Cadets badge that I got when I was little. I love its little wings on the sides! When I got it I was flying to England to visit my Grandparents. I always use it when my Dad and I fly our model helicopter together (I always crash it into the ceiling!). We have lots of fun!”

Chloe | Age 10

Air Force People

Air Force People

Is your Mum an engineering officer in the Air Force? Has your big brother just joined the RNZAF? Or perhaps you had a great-Grandad who served during World War Two? Tell us about an Air Force person who is special to you in this section. Please include a photo if you can, but be sure to ask for their permission first! 

Kids' Collection

My Pop’s story

“This is a photograph of my great-grandfather, FLTLT Leslie Gordon (Bill) Sinclair, who flew the Lancaster Bomber with No 75 (NZ) Squadron in WWII. He was born in Christchurch in 1919 and served with many other New Zealanders helping the RAF during the war. He always painted a little kiwi on the side of his Lancaster and, although he died well before I was born, today our family’s little yellow Piper Cub has the same kiwi on its side!”

Charlie | Age 7

Air Force Museum

Did you know?

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand holds our country’s collection of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). This includes hundreds of thousands of objects, from tiny uniform buttons to huge aircraft!! 

Air Force Objects


Air Force Objects

Is that an Air Force hat, that belonged to your aunty, tucked away? Is that a sticker from the Red Checkers aerobatic team stashed in your top drawer? Air Force uniform, squadron patches, aircraft models and family member’s’ medals are just some of the things you can share in this section. 

Kids' Collection
Air Cadets Officer’s hat

Is it real gold?

“This is my Mum’s hat. She used to be an officer in Air Cadets. She did cadets for 25 years. She went on Air Force planes. I wonder if it has real gold on it.”

Peter | Age 6

Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Did you know?

This is a pair of electrically-heated sockettes worn by pilots during World War Two. They are lined with felt, and would have been worn inside flying boots, over normal socks. The top stitching that can be seen on the outside shows where the electric heating wires are, which kept the pilot’s feet warm when they were flying at high altitudes in freezing temperatures. The wires come out the back of the sockettes and plug into the pilot’s flying suit. 

Flight Stories


Flight Stories

Can you remember your first flight in an aeroplane? Did you go on a flight to Auckland recently? This section is for stories of helicopter rides, flights in your family’s aeroplane, long-haul flights to London, epic kite flying and more. If you don’t have a photo, feel free to draw a picture or make a model of something in your story to share. 

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Did you know?

Maps and charts could give away important information if they fell into enemy hands! For this reason, pilots and other air crew had their own ‘escape’ maps – often printed onto silk or nylon fabric – which they carried with them on missions, in case they got shot down or had to bail out over enemy territory. They could then use these maps to help find their way back to safety. ⁠ 

Kids' Collection
Iroquois helicopter flight

An interesting Iroquois

“The cadets from my Mum’s ATC Squadron won a competition and the prize was a flight in an Air Force Iroquois helicopter. My brother and I came to watch. It was very noisy but exciting.”

Amelia | Age 8

Rupert Dummy

Did you know?

These dummies (codenamed ‘Ruperts’) were used in Operation ‘Titanic’, which was the codename (secret name) for a dummy paratrooper drop designed to confuse the enemy in World War Two. These dummies had hollow heads, arms and legs, in which small, timed explosives were fitted not only to destroy the dummy, but also to look like a soldier burning his parachute. A noisemaker, called a ‘Pintail’ also made a cracking sound like rifle fire and was attached behind the parachute. 

We want to hear your stories!

Do you have something that you’d like to share in our online exhibition? It doesn’t need to be old – museums also collect stories about things that have happened recently and are happening now, so that these stories can be told to people in the future. It could be an object or photograph that you have at home that has something to do with the Air Force, a person in your family who is or was in the Air Force, an interesting thing to do with aircraft and aviation (flying), or even your own story of flight that you’d like to share with others. This online exhibition is here for you, the children of New Zealand – let’s enjoy it together!

Get in contact if you have any questions about the exhibition: educ@airforcemuseum.co.nz 

Permission of use

No images from the ‘Kids Collection: an online exhibition of flight’ may be saved, captured, or used in any other way without permission of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand. No image in this online exhibition will be released by the Air Force Museum of New Zealand to any third party, or used for any other purpose beyond that stated above, without the permission of the image owner.

Open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm (except Christmas Day)
Entry to the Museum is free, donations are appreciated.

45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch | 03 343 9532

We welcome visitors of all abilities