World War I Aircraft

We are privileged to have the Vintage Aviator based at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton, meaning that you will see some of the rarest WWI aircraft in the world right here. 

You'll be treated to a WWI showcase on Friday with scheduled flying throughout the day culminating in an stunning early evening show finishing at 7.00pm.

WWI will also play an important role throughout Saturday and Sunday's flying displays.

Below is just a small selection of the aircraft you can expect to see.

Due to the very nature of WWI aircraft the programme is weather dependent.

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Fokker Dr.1 Triplane: Easily the most recognisable German aircraft of the period and famously flown by Von Richtofen (the Red Baron) and his “Flying Circus”, so called because of the elaborate lengths his pilots went to personalise their aircraft. The DrI was one of Germany's responses to the threat posed by the Sopwith Triplane.

Tech Specs: span 7.2m, length 5.8m, speed 165 kph.

 

   

Fokker D.VII: Rated as the best German fighter of WWI, the Fokker DVII entered service in 1918 and proved superior to most allied fighters. At the end of the Great War there were close on 800 DVIIs still serving at the front, twice the number of the far better known Triplane, of which only about 400 were built. This aircraft was built for film “The Blue Max”, but has gone through an extensive rebuild after its purchase by The Vintage Aviator Ltd to bring its performance up to that of the original models'.

Tech specs: span 8.9m. length 6.9m, speed 200 kph.

   

 

Sopwith Camel: Not only is the Camel the most identifiable Allied aircraft of the Great War it was also the most successful Allied design of the period. This Camel is painted in the colours of New Zealand's Capt Clive Collet. She has an original Gnome rotary engine and when in flight is most notable for the extraordinary engine sounds which are a result of ‘blipping' of the magneto to control the engine speed.

Tech Specs: span 8.5m, length 5.7m, speed 185 kph.

 

 

   

Sopwith Triplane: Known as the “‘Tripehound” by her pilots the Sopwith Triplane was a development of the already excellent characteristics displayed by the company's earlier “Pup” biplane. The enemy's response was the development of approximately 24 types of Triplane in an attempt to counter the Tripehound's superior climb rate and maneuverability.

Tech Specs: span 8m, length 5.7m, speed 187 kph.

   

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a: These aircraft were introduced in large numbers in 1918. They were originally powered by 150 hp Hispano Suiza V8s and despite early failures, became known for their strength. New Zealand RFC pilot Capt Keith Caldwell famously received the Military Cross for managing to regain control of a damaged SE5a by standing on the wing and flying it by reaching into the cockpit until he got the aircraft low enough to the ground to jump clear!

Tech Specs: span 8.1 m, length 6.4m, speed 222 kph.

    

DH-5:  Designed in 1916, this was Geoffrey de Havilland's attempt to design an aircraft with the performance of a 'tractor' type, but with the visibility of a pusher aircraft. This was his first design to use interrupter gear to allow the gun to fire through the propeller arc. This type, while unsuccessful as a high altitude fighter, proved its worth as a ground attack machine.

Tech Specs: span 7.8m, length 6.7m, speed 164 kph.

   

Pfalz D.III:  This type was built between 1917 and 1918 and was the first aircraft of their own design to be built by the Pfalz Flugzeug-Werk. Previously they had been building Roland designed fighters under license. This aircraft is one of the D.III's built for the 1966 film, The Blue Max. Built by Personal Plane services, it was based on a Gypsy or Tiger Moth steel tube fuselage

Tech specs: span 9.4m, length 6.7m, speed 165 kph.

   
 

Nieuport XI: This type was designed as a racer for the 1914 Gordon Bennett air race which resulted in an aircraft that was small, fast and highly maneuverable. After the race was cancelled due to the start of WW1, it wasn't long before this type was accepted for production as a fighter. Powered by the distinctive sounding 80hp Le Rhone 9C rotary engine

Tech specs: span 7.5m, length 5.8m, speed 156 kph.

   

Bristol F2B Fighter: The Bristol Fighter entered service in early 1917 and quickly became one of the most effective fighters for the RFC. A two-seater, it handled like a single-seater with its fixed guns, but had the added benefit of the Observer with his flexible machine gun. New Zealander Keith Park became an ace on the type.

Tech Specs: Span 11.9m, length 7.9m, speed 198kph.

   

DH 4: The DH 4 was a two-seat light bomber which entered service in 1917. Some 1400 were built for the RFC and RNAS. It was also adopted by the US Army's air service and over 1800 were built in the USA, where it remained in service until 1932. 

Tech specs: span 13.2m, length 9.5m, speed 230 kph.

   

Fokker D.VIII: Nick-named the Flying Razor by allied pilots, The D.VIII eneterd German service late in 1918. Unusually it was a monoplane, with a ‘parasol' wing mounted just above the fuselage on struts. Nearly 400 were built but only 85 reached operational squadrons before the Armistice.

Tech specs: span 8.3m, length 5.7m, speed 204 kph.

   

Sopwith Snipe: The Snipe was designed as an improvement of the Camel, and entered service in the RAF and the Australian Flying Corps late in 1918. It proved superior to the Fokker D VIII, and after the War continued in RAF service until 1926.

Tech specs: span 9.5m, length 6.1m, speed 195 kph.

   

Albatros D.Va: The Albatross D.V entered service in 1917 but structural problems led the Albatross company to quickly design the improved D.Va. The type was widely used by the Imperial German Air Service in 1917 & 1918 due to the small number of Fokker Triplanes then in service.

Tech specs: Span 9.0m, length 7.3m, 186 kph.

   

 

 

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