Black Falcons Debut at Wings
The Wings over Wairarapa Air Festival 2017 will feature, for the first time in New Zealand, the newly formed Royal New Zealand Air Force Black Falcons. The Black Falcons have replaced the former RNZAF display team, the Red Checkers.
The five T-6C Texan II aircraft, all piloted by experienced RNZAF pilot instructors, will thrill visitors with a 10 minute aerobatic display over Hood Aerodrome.
Wings over Wairarapa Chair, Bob Francis says having the debut of the Black Falcons at the Air Festival will be a real highlight for visitors.
“The hours these pilots put in to display the aircraft to the point where the aerobatics look effortless is no mean feat. I take my hat off to them, and personally cannot wait to see them in our skies next year; it will be a real treat for everyone lucky enough to see them.”
Squadron Leader Brett Clayton says the Black Falcons are midway through their work up season and are now linking all of the individual pilot flying components into the display.
“The aircraft are performing very well; the Texans have nice handling characteristics. We’ve got to keep in mind that these are large aircraft, not the smaller CT4’s that the Red Checkers previously used, and there are things that the CT4’s could do that we can’t do with the Texans.”
“Because of this we’ve put in a considerable amount of work into designing a display sequence that shows the grace of the Texan and demonstrates it in its best light. It will be a thrilling display, a contrast of power and noise equalled by polished aerobatics.”
About the T-6C Texan II:
Length: 10.16m (33ft.4in)
Wingspan: 10.19m (33ft.5in)
Propellers: 4 bladed Hartzell Propeller
Gross weight: 2.858kg (6,300lb)
Cruise speed: 515km/h (278kts)
Max speed: 586km/h (316kts)
Max range: 1,667km