Wings Organisers’ Working Hard To Bring B-52 To Air Festival

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Organisers
of Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2021 have put plans in
motion to bring the United States Air Force’s B-52
Stratofortress to this month’s event. Credit: U.S. Air
Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann
Henderson.

Organisers’ of
Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2021 have put plans in
motion to bring the United States Air Force’s B-52
Stratofortress to this month’s event.

In addition to
having an extravaganza of aerial action lined up over three
days from February 26th – 28th, the air festival is set to
showcase high-end readiness, which is a key line of effort
for all of the military commands involved, including the
Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the U.S. Pacific Air Forces
and Air Force Global Strike Command.

“We are working
very hard to bring the B-52 to this month’s Wings Over
Wairarapa air festival,” says Wings Over Wairarapa Board
Chair Bob Francis. “I would like to say thank you to the
United States Embassy for their incredible support in
helping us make this dream a
reality.

“We acknowledge we are
operating in a very dynamic environment with the Covid-19
global pandemic and its effects potentially coming into play
however, we are hopeful that having the B-52 make a rare
appearance in our skies will provide an additional ‘wow’
factor to an already amazing line-up of aircraft we have
planned.”

The Boeing B-52
Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic,
jet-powered strategic
bomber
, designed and built by Boeing. It
has been operated by the United
States Air Force
(USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber can
carry up to 32,000kg of weapons and has a typical combat
range of more than 14,080km without aerial
re-fuelling.

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The B-52 will perform a fly past Hood
Aerodrome in Masterton on Saturday 27th February in the
early afternoon. Because of its weight, it is unable to land
at the Hood Aerodrome runway and no weapons will be carried
on this flight as it enters New Zealand airspace.

The
B-52’s scheduled participation remains subject to change
in the event there are unforeseen weather conditions,
operational requirements or unavoidable
circumstances.

Organisers of this year’s air
festival acknowledge the complexities of running such a
large-scale event with the Covid-19 global pandemic. They
are ensuring all Covid-19 social distancing, contact tracing
and hygiene protocols are catered for at Alert Level 1 and
that planning has occurred for any change in Alert
Levels.

Wings Over Wairarapa general manager Jenny
Gasson says being one of the first air shows in the world to
get back off the ground [since Covid-19], she is expecting a
large, varied crowd of people from aviation to non-aviation
backgrounds.

“In addition to the spectacular flying
programme there will be fantastic ground displays, as well
as activities for small and big kids alike such as the STEM
Aviation and Education programme designed to inspire
youngsters to learn about potential aviation
careers.”

This year’s three-day air festival gets
underway on Friday, 26th February and features over 70
aircraft including vintage, military, New Zealand Defence
Force, jets, helicopters, aerobatic displays and skydiving.
Wings’ audiences have previously seen aircraft from WWI
and WWII, including the world-famous Vintage Aviator
aircraft collection owned by Sir Peter Jackson, which
includes replicas of some of the earliest aeroplanes and
this year will be no different.

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“Whether you are an
aviation enthusiast or just want an entertaining weekend
away for the family, WINGS 2021 has so much to offer,”
says Jenny.

Wings Over Wairarapa 2021: An
Overview

Friday 26 February. Gates open
12pm-5pm.

Air Festival Programme – It is Practice
Day

A special Aviation and Space STEM (science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics) Programme for
Wairarapa schools is held on Friday to promote aviation
careers. For the general public, it is a relaxed day with
easy parking, less crowds, with the opportunity to be one of
the first to see what is arriving at the Aerodrome for the
weekend’s show.

Saturday 27 February. Gates Open:
8.00AM – 5.00PM

Air Festival Programme – 10.30am
to 4.30pm

Saturday is traditionally the busier day
for Wings Over Wairarapa.

Visitors will see over 70
aircraft including vintage, military, jets, helicopters,
aerobatic displays, skydiving, the potential of a B-52 and
much more! The Aviation and Space STEM (science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics) on the ground activities
continue.

Sunday 28 February. Gates Open: 8.00AM –
5.00PM

Air Festival Programme – 10.30am to
4.30pm

Sunday is usually a little more chilled out
than Saturday but has a similar programme.

Visitors
will see over 70 aircraft including vintage, military, jets,
helicopters, aerobatic displays, skydiving and much more!
The Aviation and Space STEM (science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics) on the ground activities
continue.

© Scoop Media

 

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