While not strictly an airfield scene, this does include an aircraft - a Westland Wasp! In 1991, the Royal New Zealand Navy celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a series of events and port calls. HMNZS Southland (F104) visited the port of Tauranga late in August, and as my partner had a cousin on board, we thought we'd go aand have a look. The images shown below were taken during the open day. The Wasp images are 'close' as it was difficult to get a 'whole' aircraft image, and I also have a model tucked away for eventual construction.
I have to admit having a soft spot for the Wasp - I saw my first Wasp when HMNZS Waikato was opened to the public after its delivery voyage to Tauranga in 1967 - I went along with my parents (I was only 3 or 4 years old) to visit my cousin John who was aboard. My abiding memories are of the view from the Captains chair, and the stupid thing I said when the Wasp refused to lift off the dock where it had been displayed- my mother has repeatly reminded me of the phrase 'the hoppycopter wont hop...'. They did eventually get the Wasp back on board.
HMNZS Southland is a Leander class frigate equipped with Ikara anti-submarine equipment. The vessel was commisioned by the Royal Navy in September, 1963 as HMS Dido. She was purchased in 1982 along with HMNZS Wellington (HMS Bacchante) and has been operated by the RNZN as part of the four strong frigate fleet (along with HMNZS Waikato and HMNZS Canterbury) since 1983.
© 1997 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved