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Knights of the Sky


Fri 21 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 22 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 23 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Mon 24 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm
Tue 25 Oct 2011, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, 79 Aerodrome Rd, Blenheim, Marlborough

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Child: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Susan Witehira

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as the Best Museum in the World! The Knights of the Sky Exhibition occupies 3,000 sqm of purpose built display area. It contains the world’s largest collection of WW1 aircraft and rare memorabilia, including a mix of dramatically staged static displays along with flyable planes.

This amazing exhibition has been brought to life by Sir Peter Jackson and the multi-award winning Weta Workshop (responsible for Avatar, District9 and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

Russian Ace Exhibit:
A major addition to the world-renowned Knights of the Sky exhibition is to be created as a tribute to the Russian team, who will be hosted in Marlborough for the RWC. This new exhibit will take the form of a full size replica of an early Morane monoplane, as flown by Russia Ace, Alexander Kozakov. A life-like mannequin Kozakov will be shown wielding a grappling hook from the cockpit of his aircraft, in the hope of tearing apart his opponent’s machine. The entire aircraft and its pilot will be suspended overhead in the foyer, creating a dynamic and memorable entrance to this amazing exhibition.

The Russian theme will be supported both inside and outside the facility. On the grass terrace our Hurricane replica is to be repainted to commemorate a vital RAF mission to assist the Russians in 1941. New Zealander, Wing Commander Ramsbottom-Isherwood led the mission and as a result was one of only four non-Russians to be awarded the Order of Lenin. Incidentally, Isherwood played Rugby for Marlborough before the war.

Flyable aircraft will be parked alongside the venue, including a WW1 Nieuport painted in an authentic, eye-opening colour scheme. (The Russians used Nieuports of the type we have and were known to paint rather risqué images of women on the fuselage. We will choose one that isn’t R rated!) There will also be a Russian WW2 Yak fighter on display. On occasion, these aircraft will put on flying displays and if finances allow, we will also demonstrate the Russian Yak-3 flying against the German Fw190, two of the greatest fighter aircraft of the Second World War.

The RWC tribute to our Russians guests will add an exciting new attraction to what is already recognised as one of the most significant Great War aviation collections and one of the best museum displays in the world, thanks to the expertise of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films and Weta Workshop. The permanent additions to the exhibition will also deepen the museum experience for all our visitors in 2011 and beyond.

WW1 All Blacks:
Profiling All Blacks who fought in the Great War will also highlight links with rugby. A display board will be mounted in the foyer.