Part Two : WWI
Classic Fighters Airshow at Omaka airfield, close to Blenheim, attracted around 25.000 visitors. By standards in Europe, it is a good record given that New Zealand population is only around 4,4 million, and that the airshow is situated in a rather remote location, north of South Island, and nearly four hours drive from Christchurch airport, where I landed at the end of my 24 hours flight from Paris to visit the event... It is fair to say that for now, Blenheim is still rather famous for its famous white wines such as Cloudy Bay, but this is fastly changing with years thanks to Cinema Director Peter Jackson who supports local war re-enactment groups and collectors, and also due to his Knights of the Sky Museum on Omaka field. But it is also true that the 24 hours flight is justified for about a half by this amazing Museum : www.sky-lens.com/articles-museums.php
Local re-enactment groups may be more active than anywhere else in the world, and now famous Mr. Dave Lochead is a driving force behind them. Apart from the World War Two V2 rocket : these incredible guys are Word War One weapons and artefacts specialists such as tank reproductions, and uniforms collecting. Under Dave's leadership as a Scottish Regiment Colonel, they wear WWI genuine or imitation uniforms to play the battle. An air battle comprised no less than seven Fokker Triplanes, as well a Sopwith Camel, a Sopwith Triplane, a Bristol F2B Fighter, a De Havilland DH5. This year's gem was Albatros D.Va flown by Kermit Weeks who travelled from the USA to test and perform his newly acquired WWI german fighter. And of course to everyone's delight the show was lighted with pyrotechnics and lots of smoke, as soldiers on ground were firing all around...
Though World War One was a tragic episode, a few shades of sunlight appearing behind that weeekend's overwhelming clouds, provided the opportunity to use my Nikon D3 camera at its most at low sunlight. With hills and vineyards surrounding the airfield, it is true that the landscape was different from what the real thing was during WWI with trenches but it was always better on a photograph to record nice colours for a war.