Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre – Mandaville

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.

dsc_0872  The main hangerdsc_0966de 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.dsc_0888 dsc_0884dsc_0881 dsc_0878DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-ARZ,

dsc_0963 dsc_0962 dsc_0961There are scale flying models of quite a few of the aircraft.

dsc_0953dsc_0949 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.dsc_0946dsc_0935dsc_0944dsc_0943de 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.dsc_0924dsc_0902dsc_0950dsc_0939dsc_0938dsc_0922 de Havilland DH89 – partial restoration project from Croydon Aircraft Company which has a world-wide reputation for its restoration work.dsc_0941dsc_0919dsc_0917de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth ZK-BRC   dsc_0889dsc_0959 dsc_0958

DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-BFH

dsc_0932dsc_0947dsc_0927

Five DH 82A Tiger Moths were on display: ZK-ASV is painted in wartime RNZAF training colours as NZ 786,

dsc_0930dsc_0929dsc_0925dsc_0923Williams 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 themdsc_0921dsc_0904Musger Mg 19a Steinadler Gull Wing Glider D-1078 – Constructed in Austria this two seat tandem training glider first flew in the 1950’sdsc_0909 dsc_0901The two old photos below are of the Pither 1910 monoplane

dsc_0952dsc_0951dsc_0912DH 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.

dsc_0876dsc_0954How 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.

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