Organisers of the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow have confirmed that a Polikarpov I-16 is to return to the show next year. The aircraft is one of the nine Polikarpov fighter aircraft restored by Sir Tim Wallis back in the 1990s. It will return to Wanaka from Germany for the 30th Anniversary Airshow at Easter 2018.
The recovery and restoration of the six Polikarpov I-16s (fondly known in Russia as Ishak or Little Donkey) and three I-153s is still regarded as one of the most audacious private warbirds projects ever undertaken in the world.
Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says “they have been working hard on getting a number of significant aircraft to mark the 30th year since the first airshow and also Sir Tim’s 80th birthday. With the support of the aircraft owners and major sponsors Hamburg-Sud and Mainfreight this is now possible.”
“We couldn’t think of a better birthday present for Sir Tim than to reunite him with one of his beloved Polikarpovs. It will no doubt be a special moment for Sir Tim and warbird fans everywhere when he gets to see the I-16 perform at Wanaka again.”