WW1 ‘Balbo’ in New Zealand

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Imagine the symphony of contrasting engine sounds, as a straight-six Beardmore-powered FE2b leads an orchestra of rotary and in-linepowered First World War reproductions at Hood Aerodrome on 28 April. NIGEL HITCHMAN

The Vintage Aviator Training Day at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton, on 28 April saw the world’s leading operator of World War One aeroplanes putting up the largest formation of First World War British aircraft types for nearly 100 years. All the aircraft are fi tted with original powerplants, or reproductions of them. The formation was led by a Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b reproduction, powered by a 160hp, six-cylinder Beardmore, followed by a Royal Aircraft Factory RE8, fi tted with a 150hp RAF 4A V12. Next up were two Sopwith Pups with 80hp Le Rhône rotaries and a 400hp Liberty V12-powered Airco DH4, followed by three SE5as with Hispano-Suiza V8 powerplants putting out 180hp each, and a 230hp Bentley BR2-powered Sopwith Snipe.