If you are interested in old aircraft make sure to visit the Croydon aviation Heritage Centre and see the impressive display. Located around 15 minutes along SH 94, North of Gore at the historic Old Mandeville Airfield.
The Centre is administered by the Croydon Aviation Heritage Trust. Also located at Mandeville is the Croydon Aircraft Company, which has a world-wide reputation for its restoration work, their main activities include restoring vintage aircraft, providing scenic and aerial experience flights in vintage aircraft, and providing pilot training, also in vintage aircraft.
Aircraft on site and stored in the adjacent museum includes several Tiger Moths and other aircraft in the de Havilland family, these aircraft are regularly flown.
At the entrance to the large hanger are the remains of the Ladybird – On May 1933 the local newspaper claimed that David Cecil Cross as “the first Southlander to build and take to the air in his homemade aircraft.
The main hangerde Havilland 90 – dragonfly ZK-AYR ‘Endeavour’ – This is one of only two airworthy examples in the world, the other is in a collection in the UK. First registered in Hatfield England as G-AEDT in 1936, the dragonfly was flown commercially in New Zealand during the 1940’s and 1950’s, predominantly on the West Coast of the South Island. DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-ARZ,
Aermacchi training jet 339 CB ‘No75’ – manufacture in Italy in the 1970’s and brought to NZ in 1991, the 2 seater training jet is powered by a Rolls Royce Viper Jet.de Havilland 89 – Dragon Rapide/Dominie ‘Tui’ – a twin engined biplane capable of carrying 8 passenger. built in 1946 AKY was operated by the RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Airforce) for communication and navigation duties. In 1946 AKY was flown by Union Airways and used mainly in the provinces until 1961 then around the Te Anau, Milford and Queenstown areas. de Havilland DH89 – partial restoration project from Croydon Aircraft Company which has a world-wide reputation for its restoration work.de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth ZK-BRC
DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-BFH
Five DH 82A Tiger Moths were on display: ZK-ASV is painted in wartime RNZAF training colours as NZ 786,
Williams MK4 Microlight ZK-JPA – Geoff Williams wanted to fly cheaply in his own aircraft but he wanted nothing whatsoever to do with bureaucracy. The MK4 is probably the most successful of his four aircraft he built and flew without telling officialdom about any of themMusger Mg 19a Steinadler Gull Wing Glider D-1078 – Constructed in Austria this two seat tandem training glider first flew in the 1950’s The two old photos below are of the Pither 1910 monoplane
DH 83 Fox Moth ZK-ADI is another jewel, and is the original aircraft with which Bert Mercer started the first scheduled air service in New Zealand 75 years ago. It has been returned to its original registration and colour scheme that it wore with Air Travel NZ Ltd of Hokitika.
How to get there: located around 15 minutes along SH 94, North of Gore at the historic Old Mandeville Airfield.1552 Waimea Hwy, Mandeville. Open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm. Saturday and Sunday and public holidays 11.00am – 3.00pm. Great value at $10.00 per adult and children are free.