Aircraft used by the RNZAF 1919-1987


Royal New Zealand Air Force Insignia

I thought some of you may be interested in a list of all aircraft bought or leased by the RNZAF in the period of 1919-1987. This includes imperial gift aircraft and those received via lend lease during World War Two.

The New Zealand Government had three reports commissioned in the pre-war years. Two of these reports were in early 1919 and late 1928 suggested plans that would cost far in excess of which the government of the time was willing to spend.  (In my opinion a dreadful policy that still exists to this today) When the RNZAF, as it was renamed, was divorced from the army the New Zealand government thought it prudent to get advice on how to set it up. So asked the British air ministry to send out a qualified officer to write a report and make recommendations.

The officer concerned was Wing Commander The Honorable Ralph Cochrane AFC RAF. This report was accepted and implemented unreservedly and new aircraft were sought. Unfortunately the airplanes on hand to the RNZAF at this time, before the new aircraft arrived, were obsolete and well past their best by dates.

However, they were all that could be had and allowed a small nucleus of  pilots to be put through initial training and then on to advanced training under the auspices of the RAF (Empire Air Training Scheme). Some had gone to England to take up training in the RAF, gained commissions, and were present at the outbreak of hostilities. These included Al Deere, Colin Gray and Sir Keith Park (Sir Keith flying as a fighter pilot in WW 1!).

Sir Kieth Park being credited with the RAF’s victory in the battle of Britain, as by the time the battle rolled around Sir Kieth was in command of one of the most heavily contested sectors of British airspace. His husbandry of his meagre aircraft stocks and his tactics saving the RAF from destruction.

Adolf Hitler also played his part by ordering the Luftwaffe to switch their emphasis from the RAF to London because of a retaliatory raid made by RAF Bomber Command on Berlin effectively taking the Luftwaffe foot off the throat of the RAF.

So here’s a list of Airplanes of the RNZAF in alphabetical order.


Royal New Zealand Air Force Roundel

Airplanes owned by the RNZAF

  • Aerospace CT/4B Airtrainer
  • AESL Airtourer T6/24
  • Airspeed Oxford
  • Airspeed Consul
  • Auster J5
  • Auster T7
  • Avro 504K
  • Avro 626
  • Avro Anson
  • Bac 167 MK88 Strikemaster
  • Bell 47G -3B-1 Sioux
  • Bell 47G -3B-2 Sioux
  • Bell UH-1D Iroquois
  • Bell UH-1H Iroquois
  • Blackburn Baffin
  • Bleriot XI-2 Monoplane
  • Boeing 727 100c
  • Bristol F2B Fighter
  • Bristol 170 Freighter
  • Cessna 421C Golden Eagle
  • Chance Vought F4-U1 Corsair
  • Chance Vought F4U-1D Corsair
  • Goodyear FG1-D Corsair
  • Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
  • Boeing PB2B-1 Catalina
  • Curtiss P40 E/K/L/M/N Kittyhawk, Warhawk
  • DeHavilland DH4
  • DeHavilland DH9
  • Dehavilland DH50A
  • DeHavilland DH60G/M Moth
  • DeHavilland DH80A Puss Moth
  • Dehavilland DH82A Tiger Moth
  • DeHavilland DH89 Dragon Rapide and Dominie
  • Dehavilland DH98 Mosquito T3, T43, FBIV, FB40
  • DeHavilland DH104 Devon/Dove
  • DeHavillandDH100 Vampire FB52, FB5,
  • DeHavilland DH115 Vampire T11, T55
  • DeHavilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
  • DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter
  • Douglas Dauntless SBD3/4/5
  • Douglas C47A/B Dakota
  • Douglas DC6
  • English Electric Canberra B(I) 12/T13
  • Fairey IIIF
  • Fairey Gordon I/II
  • Fokker F27 Friendship
  • Gloster Grebe
  • Gloster Meteor III
  • Grumman TBF-1 Avenger
  • Handley Page Hastings
  • Hawker Tomtit
  • Hawker Hind
  • Hawker Siddeley Andover C1
  • Lockheed Hudson III, IIIA, V, VI
  • Lockheed Lodestar C60A
  • Lockheed RB-34/ PV-1 Ventura
  • PV-2 Harpoon
  • C130H Hercules
  • P3B Orion
  • McDonnell Douglas A4-F/K
  • McDonnell Douglas TA4-K
  • Miles AeroVan
  • North American Harvard II, IIA*, IIB,  III
  • F51D Mustang
  • Saro CuttySark
  • Short Singapore III
  • Short Sunderland III, IV
  • Vickers Vincent
  • Vickers Vildebeest
  • Wellington
  • Westland Wasp HAS 1

Royal New Zealand Air Force Ensign

Hired Loaned or Leased Airplanes

  • Avro Anson XII
  • Bell UH-1H Iroquois
  • Brewster Buffalo Mk1
  • DeHavilland Vampire DH100
  • DeHavilland Venom DH114
  • DeHavilland Vampire T11 DH115
  • Douglas Dauntless SBD5
  • English Electric Canberra B2/T4
  • Gloster Metoeor T7
  • Hawker Hurricane MKIIIB
  • North American Harvard IIB
  • Supermarine Walrus

These lists are as per published in “RNZAF The first decade” by Mr Charles Darby and “Aircraft of the RNZAF” by David Duxbury, Ross Ewing & Ross MacPherson. These two books are extremely good sources of information and pictures of the Aircraft operated by the RNZAF.

So there you have it, my to do list as it were some of these are not made in injected plastic some are resin others Vacuformed  some not produced at all. I can tick off some of these kits already, the rest I’m on the look out for, I’ve got plenty of time yet.

Well that’s all for now




Avid WW2 aviation enthusiast and modeller. Been making model kits since age nine and I now model mostly ww2 model airplanes. (my wife is an understanding one!)

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