Classic Flyers Museum
History and museums
The The Classic Flyers Museum is an aviation museum located at the Tauranga Airport, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, owned by a registered New Zealand charitable trust, the Bay of Plenty Classic Aircraft Trust.
The museum has a range of flying and static aircraft displays as well as a cafe. The museum features a Hawker Hunter.
The museum was started in 2000 when several local businessmen, who were also aviation enthusiasts, decided to see if an existing World War II-era hangar at the Tauranga Airfield could be renovated for use. The hangar proved to be unsalvageable but the group decided to build a new facility instead and formed the Bay of Plenty Classic Aircraft Trust. The new hangar is at the entrance to the Tauranga Airport, on Jean Batten Drive, Mount Maunganui.
The founders decided to focus on creating a flying museum, as opposed to one that just had static displays, with the intention of having a high number of museum aircraft movements.
The museum was officially opened on Saturday 28 May 2005 with an air display and fly-past.
In October 2012, the museum launched the Legacy Jet Centre and celebrated the arrival of an Aermacchi aircraft to be restored. In recognition of funding from the Legacy Trust, the main hangar was named "The Legacy Jet Centre".
Currently, the museum is spread across three adjacent hangars, the first of which houses the visitor centre, cafe, and most of the museum exhibits, while the other two accommodate the bulk of the classic aircraft in working flying condition.
Additional airplanes are on display outside the hangars. One of them is an old New Zealand National Airways Corporation Douglas DC-3, which is open to the public, but not in airworthy condition.
The museum aims are:
The Trust focuses on preserving aircraft and memorabilia that has a connection to the Bay of Plenty area or New Zealand generally.
The museum aircraft collection includes:
The museum also has exhibits on loan from Andy Moreland's Tauwhare Military Museum in a "M*A*S*H Chopper Hangar" that is located behind the main museum building. This collection includes Unimog vehicles, Jeeps, uniforms and weapons.