Warbirds Over Wanaka - Harvard 1044 to be restored

26 June 20

Work has begun in Wanaka on restoration of an ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force Harvard aircraft which hasn’t flown in more than 60 years.

Harvard 1044 is now in the ownership of Masterton-based Warbirds pilot Bevan Dewes and he’s brought the aircraft to Wanaka for restoration by Callum Smith at Twenty24 Ltd, based at Wanaka Airport.

The aircraft has ended up in Wanaka some 77 years after its maiden test flight in Texas in 1943, before entering service with the RNZAF during the Second World War.

The aircraft remained in service until it went into storage at Wigram in 1958, where it stayed until it was sold to the National Airways Corporation (NAC) in 1971.

NAC used the aircraft as an ‘instructional airframe’.  Bevan says basically it was used for trainee engineers to practice “pulling it apart and putting it back together again”.   NAC finally sold it off in 2004. It has passed through a couple of hands since, with Bevan buying it from its last owner in Ashburton, earlier this year.

Engineer Callum Smith says it’s one of the most original Harvards he’s ever worked on. “Because of the low hours on the airframe, and the fact it’s been kept out of the elements for all these years, it really is in mint condition.  We have started pulling it all apart to assess exactly what work is required to get it flying again but so far there are no major surprises,” says Callum.

Bevan says having the original logbook from that very first test flight in 1943 is an added bonus.  Another “find” was on the inside of the rear section of the fuselage where numerous trainee NAC engineers have inscribed their names along with some rather ribald comments.

“It’s all part of the history of the aircraft so I’ve decided to keep that all in there rather than paint over it,” says Bevan.

When restored, the aircraft will once again sport its original RNZAF camouflage colour scheme. 

Bevan Dewes has strong links to Wanaka and the world-famous Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.  Bevan has been a regular attendee at the Airshow and in more recent years has displayed his Chipmunk aircraft, an ex-RAF trainer used for the training of HRH Prince Philip in 1952-3.

Bevan has also been a recipient of a Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust Flying Scholarship.  He used the funding to fulfil a childhood dream and get a rating in a Spitfire. 

Bevan had been lined up to fly the Auckland-based Spitfire to Wanaka for the 2020 Airshow before the event was cancelled because of COVID-19.

Order a Coach Holidays Brochure at www.gptnz.com/brochures

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read

Categories

All (118)

Discover New Zealand (25)

Tour Highlights (9)

General (12)

In the Press (26)

Industry (2)

Ultimate Small Group Tours (4)

Cruise & Luxury Coach Tours (2)

Solo Travel (5)

Warbirds Over Wanaka Aviation Event (31)

Festive Season Tours (2)

Most Popular Articles

Travel Talk

Number of news items returned: 1 to 15 records of 118

Hobbiton Movie Set

03 September 2018

(15762 views)

Discover the Real Middle Earth   The idyllic village of Hobbiton™ is Middle-earth at its best. Located within the rolling green farmland ...

Take an Ultimate Small Group Tour to New Zealand

31 March 2015

(12726 views)

New Zealand has an endless array of world class experiences, sights, sounds and tastes for travellers to enjoy. The country ...

Discover New Zealand by Sea and Land

01 December 2016

(7724 views)

Experience a holiday like never before with Grand Pacific Tours. Cruise on one of the most luxurious Superliners, the Celebrity ...

New Zealand is world's 'greenest' destination

24 November 2014

(6619 views)

New Zealand has been named as the overall winner of this year's Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism awards. By Charles Starmer-Smith (telegraph.co.uk) New ...

New Zealand is magical by coach

27 October 2015

(5781 views)

Whether you are marvelling at the spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords or simply relaxing in a thermal pool, New Zealand is ...

TranzAlpine Rail Journey

14 August 2019

(5383 views)

The journey of a lifetime Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys and travel between Christchurch and Arthur’s ...

Experience the best of New Zealand

03 November 2014

(5056 views)

There’s a reason the sun shines on New Zealand before anywhere else – every new day in Aotearoa is something ...

Ultimate Small Group Tours

05 April 2019

(5042 views)

  Experience business class on wheels The beauty of travelling aboard the Ultimate Coach in a small group is that every aspect of ...

Explore New Zealand in Ultimate Luxury

26 May 2020

(4424 views)

There comes a time in our lives where we begin to prefer quality over quantity and crave more comfort and ...

An Introduction to Modern Luxury

02 January 2019

(4342 views)

The Celebrity Solstice® offers you more than you ever imagined. Enjoy casual outdoor activities on a freshly manicured lawn on the ...

Southern Land

05 January 2015

(4262 views)

Nuclear-free New Zealand takes the lead when it comes to conservation. Touring through the South Island, Casey-Ann Seaniger falls in ...

Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

31 July 2018

(4259 views)

Relax on the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise while you view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife - you’re ...

TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

08 September 2015

(3889 views)

Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw, undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s famed ...

Queenstown secures its place on global Monopoly Board

27 March 2015

(3807 views)

New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown has yet another grand accolade to add to its already extensive collection. Source: www.newzealand.com The South Island ...

Discover NZ in stunning Spring or Autumn

17 April 2018

(3444 views)

It is great to know that New Zealand exists. This uncrowded, green and peaceful country is the ultimate escape. Experience ...


RSS FeedRSS