The long way home: 'Kiwi' Corsair back where it belongs!

Following a six-year hiatus, Goodyear FG-1D Corsair NZ5648 has taken to the skies of New Zealand once again – as Gavin Conroy reports

“When it returned to New Zealand in 2004, the Corsair became my favourite aircraft – but I didn’t think I’d ever have the chance to obtain and operate one,” were the words of New Zealand businessman Mike Jones when it was announced he was the new owner of Goodyear FG-1D Corsair NZ5648 in late 2023. A type with a historic connection to New Zealand’s campaigns across the Pacific during World War Two, it is an aircraft hugely admired across the Oceanic Island nation…

Frank Parker guides the unmistakable lines of Goodyear FG-1D Corsair ZK-COR through Kiwi skies on November 21, 2023
Frank Parker guides the unmistakable lines of Goodyear FG-1D Corsair ZK-COR through Kiwi skies on November 21, 2023 All images Gavin Conroy unless stated

Gone, but not forgotten

New Zealand ordered 424 Corsairs from the United States under lend-lease in 1944 to replace the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) war weary Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks being used across the South Pacific theatre. The first 30 ‘Kiwi’ Corsairs arrived at RNZAF Base Depot Workshops (Unit 60) on the island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides during March that same year.

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