Aviation

Experience New Zealand’s aviation history at the MOTAT Aviation Collection located at MOTAT Meola Road. Included as part of your MOTAT general admission, access to MOTAT Meola Road is available via a short tram ride from MOTAT Great North Rd. 

Located in the multi-award winning Aviation Display Hall, we host a large collection of recreational, top dressing, commercial and military aircraft which celebrates the evolution of New Zealand aviation since February 1911 when Vivian Walsh achieved sustained and controlled flight in a British Howard Wright biplane. 

Our Blister Hanger is located outside behind the Aviation Display Hall and is open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays, where you can see our passionate volunteers working on various restoration projects.

Our Collection includes the only Solent Mark IV Flying Boat left in the World and a rare World War 2 era Avro Lancaster Bomber. Visitors will also be able to see aircraft which saw service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force such as the de Havilland Mosquito and the modern Skyhawk and Aermacchi. 

In addition to its aircraft, the Aviation Display Hall hosts a number of small exhibits celebrating the achievements of New Zealand aviation pioneers Jean Batten and the Walsh Brothers which tell the story of New Zealand's aviation pioneers and highlight their many successes. The Sir Keith Park, Bomber Command and Fleet Air Arm displays explore the contribution of New Zealand aviators in times of war.

Our Aviation Workshop has completed many aircraft restorations in our 50 year history of operation.

Current restoration projects include:

  • Short S25 Sunderland

The Sunderland’s tail planes, fin and rudder have been the focus of restoration work. These items have been restored in the workshop and the refitting of both the aileron and flap will occur shortly.

  • Short S45A Solent Mk 4

The internal restoration of the Solent is proceeding well with vinyl covering is being applied to new plywood panels. The aircraft lighting and wiring has also been the subject of restoration and refurbishment work.

  • Lockheed 18 (C-60) Lodestar, ZK-BE

The Lodestar restoration will begin shortly and is presently sitting in the Blister Hanger.

List of MOTAT Aircraft

  • Adams Ornithopter, ZK-MPF   Ref 6
  • Aerospace CT-4A Airtrainer - The first New Zealand built aircraft to fly around the world.
  • Auster J/1B Aiglet NZ1708 , ZK-BBY, ZK-BWH
  • Avro 683 Lancaster Bomber B Mk VII, NX665, -  converted to B Mk III configuration by New Zealand Bomber Command Association members at MOTAT
  • Beech AT-11 Kansan ZK-AHO ‘Manu Ruuri’ - Piet van Asch of New Zealand Aerial Mapping Ltd leased and later bought the aircraft for aerial mapping.
  • Bennet/Transavia PL-12 Airtruck - This was designed as the Bennett PL-11 Airtruck in 1957, the first New Zealand Designed and built type.
  • Cessna Agwagon ZK-COO ex N9804V
  • Commonwealth Aircraft Ceres B, ZK-BPU, P&W R-1340 of 600 horse power
  • Curtiss P-40E-1 Kittyhawk NZ3039 -This is a composite airframe, including some parts of NZ3039.   NZ3039 was manufactured by Curtiss-Wright at Buffalo to a British order but diverted to New Zealand and arrived at Hobsonville on 19 June 1942 and served with the RNZAF.  
  • De Havilland DH 82A Tiger Moth - ex ZK-AIN & ZK-BAD - MOTAT has two composite Tiger Moths restored and presented by the Manawatu Aerial Top Dressing Company.; one was presented as a military trainer aircraft, one as a crop duster.  
  • De Havilland DH 83C Fox Moth ZK-APT
  • De Havilland DH 89A ZK-AHS ‘Mokai’ - MOTAT’s DH89A, was built in 1938 and flew with Cook Strait Airways between Wellington, Blenheim, Nelson and Greymouth and National Airways Corporation.
  • De Havilland DH 98 Mosquito T Mk 43, NZ2305
  • De Havilland DH 100 Vampire FB Mk 9 WR202 - Flew with the 14 Squadron RNZAF
  • De Havilland DH 104 Devon NZ1813 - arrived at Wigram in 1953 and served with the RNZAF.
  • Douglas C-47 Dakota ZK-BQK served with the RNZAF before flying with National Airways Corporation (NZC).
  • Everson Brothers Gyrocopter - Built by Ron and Ernie Everson 1961 – 1962 and towed as an aerodyne (‘glider helicopter’) by car on Muriwai beach.
  • Fairey Swordfish replica.
  • Flagor Scooter, ZK-EYL.  
  • Fletcher FU 24  
  • Gere Sports Biplane - Designed by George (‘Bud’) Gere in 1930s
  • Grumman TBF-1C Avenger NZ2527 – served with the RNZAF and served as a playground item in Kuirau Park before being removed by MOTAT volunteers in the 1970s.  
  • Grunau Baby ZK-GDG (AB Flygplan IIB, c/n 107, DFS 108-49 ref 6)
  • Handley Page HP 95 Hastings C Mk 3 NZ5801 – served with the RNZAF
  • Hang Glider
  • Hawker Hind K6717, NZ1518  - Served with the Royal Air Force
  • Hawker Hurricane Replica, ‘P3854’, OK-1’ - fibreglass replica painted as P3854, ‘OK-1’, to represent one of the two Hurricanes used by (then) Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, AOC 11 Group Fighter Command, in 1940.  
  • Lincoln Sport See ‘Tui’.
  • Link Trainer - gifted by the RNZAF, and in working condition.
  • Lockheed Model 10E Electra ZK-BUT c/n 1138, ex-NC21735, N10Y -  imported to New Zealand in 1958 for service with Trans Island Airways and between 1965 and 1967 it was used for fire training, but fortunately survived and was passed to MoTaT in 1968
  • Lockheed  Hudson GR Mk III NZ2031 – ARNZAF Hudson was the first RNZAF aircraft to see combat in the Pacific.   Ninety-four were used by the RNZAF from 1941 onwards.  
  • Lockheed 18 (C-60) Lodestar, ZK-BVE - This aircraft was built for United Airlines in October 1940 and converted in Australia to a crop duster as ZK-BVE in 1957, one of six used for agricultural work, and flew to New Zealand via Norfolk Island.  
  • Lockheed RB-34-VE Lexington Mk 2 (PV-1 Ventura) NZ4600
  • Mignet HM-14 ‘Pou de Ciel’ (‘Flying Flea’) ZM-AAA - was built by Hawke Aircraft Supplies at Waipukurau in Hawke’s Bay, powered by a Douglas Dryad engine.    An attempt to fly it at the New Plymouth air pageant failed as it was underpowered.
  • Miles M14A Magister ZK-AYW - was restored in 2012-13 and finished in the colours it carried when flying in New Zealand after many years in its RAF colour scheme.
  • Mile M65 Gemini  Mk 1a ZK-ANT - imported by the Wellington Aero Club
  • North American NA-88 / AT-6 Harvard Mk 2, NZ944 – served with the RNZAF until 1945.
  • Ryan PT-21 ZK-BEM (built as STM-2)
  • Short S25 Sunderland MR V NZ4115 ‘Q’ served with the RNZAF until 1966. One of 5 left in the world.
  • Short S45A Solent Mk 4, ZK-AMO, named ‘Aranui’  - ZK-AMO was delivered November 1949 and went into service across the Tasman in December 1949.    Later TEAL’s Solents flew the ‘Coral Route’ which eventually connected Auckland to Tahiti via Fiji, Samoa and Aitutaki (Cook Islands) . ‘Aranui’ is the last Solent IV in existence.  
  • Transavia PL-11 Airtruck, c/n 352, ZK-DMX
  • Tui  ZK-ADV  - Rebuilt from a Lincoln Sport fuselage.
  • WAC Corporal rocket - Ballistic missile, constructed in the USA from captured German plans, first launch 24 September 1945.   On loan from Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC.