South Island…Omaka Heritage Aircraft Museum

Whilst in Blenheim we visited the Omaka Heritage Aircraft Museum, displaying Peter Jackson’s collection of vintage planes and associated flying paraphernalia. Very interesting – flying was certainly ‘seat of the pants’ stuff in those days. Good exhibit depicting the Red Barron’s red triplane that crash landed during WW1 in a field close to the Australian Imperial Force. He died of a single bullet that struck him in the air and probably killed him before he hit the ground. Amid a lot of controversy it appears most likely the bullet was fired from the ground by a gunner with the Australian Machine Gun Company rather than from actual air combat. The Australians were first on the scene to assist. The aircraft landed fairly intact but it was soon taken apart by souvenir hunters….hmmm! Anyway it all makes interesting reading – lots of information that was new to me.

Etrich Taube - Firt flown 1910 - distinction of being the most 'birdlike' flying plane built
Etrich Taube – First flown 1910 – distinction of being the most ‘birdlike’ flying plane built
Curtiss MF Flying Boat - only 1 of 4 known to exist (1918)
Curtiss MF Flying Boat – only 1 of 4 known to exist (1918)
Fokker E111 'Eindecker' - revolutionised through-the-propeller machine gun fire capability which decimated allied aircraft (1915)
Fokker E111 ‘Eindecker’ – revolutionised through-the-propeller machine gun fire capability which decimated allied aircraft (1915)
Receiving their Orders
Receiving their Orders

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S15 RAF SE5a - scene depicting remarkable survival of NZ flying 'Ace' Keith Caldwell. (See story next photo)
RAF SE5a – scene depicting the remarkable survival of NZ flying ‘Ace’ Keith Caldwell
S16 A Great Escape (click to enlarge image)
A Great Escape (click to enlarge image)
S18 Red Barron1 - Copy
The Red Barons last flight (souvenir taking – even his warm boots)

S17 Red Barron's last flight

S20 De Havilland DH-4 (191-1932) one of the most successful wartime aircraft that served in peacetimes as a freighter, air ambulance, airmail carrier and trainer to name a few
S20 De Havilland DH-4 (191-1932) one of the most successful wartime aircraft that served in peacetimes as a freighter, air ambulance, airmail carrier and flight trainer to name a few

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