A Visit to the Vintage Aviator

A Visit to the Vintage Aviator

18/03/2012 0 By Gayle Dickson


The day was coldish and overcast and not the sort of day to linger outside too long so we hopped into our vintage automobile, okay it was a 1998 Mazda 626 station wagon and made our way to Hood Aerodrome in Masterton to visit the Vintage Aviator . . . home to one of the world’s largest collections of flying (as in they are all air-worthy) WWI aircraft.

Housed in a non-descript hanger at the airfield is an outstanding collection of original, reproduction and replica aircraft of the Great War era. Gene Demarco seems an unlikely local pilot who is now based in Wellington, especially as he was born and raised in upstate New York. For a living he flies every one of these vintage planes in the hanger. He’s one of just 12 pilots in New Zealand who fly these vintage aircraft such as the RAF BE 2C 1914 model with a 37ft wingspan wrapped in translucent white Irish linen (see pic).

To watch these planes in action head to the Wings Over Wairarapa 3-day event in 2013, but in the meantime if you get a chance pop in and say hello, you won’t be disappointed. Weekends only: Adults $12 or a guided tour is $15, Child $5 and kids under 5 free.

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