Air Force Museum
Located in Christchurch at the former RNZAF Base at Wigram, the Air Force Museum of New Zealand provides a fascinating insight into the history of the RNZAF from its formation to the present day. With over 28 beautifully restored aircraft on display, interactive exhibitions and even a flight simulator, the Museum is a ‘must-see’ attraction for the whole family.
First opened as part of the RNZAF’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1987, the Museum is a tribute to all New Zealanders who have served in the RNZAF and a memorial to those who have lost their lives while in service.
Inspiring and sometimes poignant stories of the men and women of the RNZAF are told throughout the Museum’s galleries, while the Roll of Honour located in the Atrium commemorates those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Historical documents, photographs and other personal collection items on display provide a tangible reflection of service life, and regularly changing special exhibitions ensure that there is always something new to see.
There is a Mosquito flight simulator in which visitors can test their piloting skills (charge applies), as well as behind the scenes tours of the restoration and storage areas, specially tailored for all ages (charges apply).
The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is the custodian of the national collection of artefacts relating to the history of New Zealand military aviation, from World War One to the present. This collection exceeds 1,000,000 items and includes documents and photographs, textiles, aircraft and motor vehicles, aircraft engines and components, medals and memorabilia.
The Museum holds a large archive collection of documents, photographs and audiovisual material, as well as a research library of over 3,500 books. The research team offers a free research service for enquiries into the history of the RNZAF and its members. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Conservation and Restoration
Preserving artefacts in their original condition is pivotal to the Museum’s philosophy of minimum intervention. Currently, the Museum has three aircraft restoration projects underway: an Airspeed Oxford, Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, and a Vickers Vildebeest. Original components are used whenever possible to maintain the aircraft’s authenticity and identity. As well as military and civilian staff, there is a dedicated group of volunteers who assist with these projects.
Guided behind the scenes tours of the restoration and storage hangars are available at set times throughout the day.
The Air Force Museum of New Zealand offers a wide range of fun and educational programmes to occupy visitors of all ages and interests. These include special exhibitions and guided tours, family-based activities and school holiday programmes.
Children’s birthday parties are a very popular option for both children and parents, offering fully supervised activities, party food and ‘loot bags’ to take home. For the older age group, there are “Drawing Room Teas’ and other special tours. See our website for more details and an up to date list of programmes.
For more information please visit the Air Force Museum of New Zealand website: