Book extract: Classic Planes

plane 1 With its voluptuous curves and the signature raked-back relationship between top and bottom wings, the Staggerwing looks purposeful and fast. Even on the ground, its attitude seems to strain to be airborne. plane 1
palne 7 The Warbirds community has expanded well beyond the Harvard nucleus to include examples from both world wars and from Allied and enemy forces. These CT-4E planes replaced the Harvards as RNZAF trainers. palne 7
plane 6 ZK-BOE banks over the gently folding hills of the Central North Island during a cross-country flight. Stearmans bring to mind an Easy Rider-like yearning for wide open spaces. plane 6
plane 4 Dave Phillips takes his Tiger Moth through an elegant and accomplished aerobatic routine. His aircraft paintwork is dedicated to his father, who was a top-dressing pilot. plane 4
plane 3 With plenty of chrome and its ‘Roar with Gilmore’ branding, Marty Cantlon’s WACO is an arresting sight. ‘I blinged it up a bit,’ he confesses. plane 3
Ivor Wilkins Ivor Wilkins Ivor Wilkins

If you’re a fan of aviation, you’ll love Ivor Wilkins beautiful new ‘classic’ title, Classic Planes

This captivating hardback book includes beautiful new photographs, as well as archival imagery revealing a truly special and important celebration of planes and their people. 

Tiger Moths, Waco Taperwings, Beechcraft Staggerwings, Spitfires, Mosquitoes, and Mustangs all take flight in this book about our ongoing love affair with winged wonders.

Following the exploits of Richard Pearse and shining a light on other local pioneers—Herbert Pitcher, Jean Batten, and Sir Tim Wallis among them—photographer and author Ivor Wilkins examines the machines from bygone eras, celebrating those who lovingly restore and maintain them in the modern day.

Meticulously researched, Ivor has travelled the country in pursuit of some of the most interesting and monumental collections of classic aeroplanes.

Plane -2

"The main purpose of this project has been not to document every technical detail, nor to record every classic aeroplane flying in New Zealand skies. Rather, it has sought to represent a community of dedicated people and their aeroplanes, to celebrate their passion and tell their stories," Ivor says.

"New Zealand is blessed with some extraordinarily talented people, who have retained, or accumulated the skills to restore and maintain old aeroplanes.

"Projects range from estorations, sometimes starting with a motley collection of bits, barely identifiable but sufficient to establish an authentic identity; to replicas, which look the part but have no provenance and often include modern or unrelated components; to reproductions, which are built precisely according to original plans and specifications in every respect."

NZMCD is giving away a copy of Ivor Wilkins' Classic Planes. Enter our competition to be in to win. Competition ends on 4 May 2018.

Keep up to date with news by signing up to's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook