NZ-first finale for Warbirds Over Wanaka

A fireball at Warbirds Over Wanaka 2008 (Supplied)
A fireball at Warbirds Over Wanaka 2008 (Supplied)

A pyrotechnic team is planning a big 'wall of fire' measuring 400 metres long and blasting 100 metres into the air.

"The display involves using 800 litres of fuel, around two kilometres of wiring and all seven people in our team," says the head of the pyrotechnic team, Pete Gallagher. 

"We did a 'wall of fire' at Wanaka a few years ago but it was pretty small compared with what we have planned for this year. It will be the biggest such display ever attempted in New Zealand," he says.

Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow organisers have been working with Wanaka airport management and emergency services to ensure the display is safe.

Extra fire appliances and water tankers will be on standby at the airfield, and foam and water will be used to dampen down the area around the blast zone in the days leading up to the airshow.

"It's been pretty dry down here over summer," says the airshow's general manager Ed Taylor.

"We have had great support from the local volunteer Fire Service, plus from Queenstown Airport Corporation in ensuring we have all the equipment needed on site," he says. 

The show will also feature two Vampire jets, two Strikemaster jets and an L29 fitted with a Viper engine, as well as a three-ship Hawk display team from the Royal Australian Airforce.

Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow has been held every second Easter since 1988. 

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