Warbirds and Wheels Museum

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Sir Tim Wallis Story


Honour the exploits of local legend Sir Tim Wallis and tales of one of southern NZ's most colourful personalities.   Be inspired by the life of legendary NZ pilot, deer farmer, business entrepreneur, vintage warplane enthusiast and founder of the phenomenally successfull international air show Warbirds Over Wanaka.

In 1994, Tim Wallis was knighted for his services to the deer industry, for his support of numerous charities, for founding the Warbirds over Wanaka Airshow, and for his contribution to exporting and the New Zealand economy.

He is a pioneer in the establishment of deer farming both in New Zealand and internationally and was one of the earliest helicopter operators in the country. His love of flying and the rugged wilderness of the south-western area of the South Island form the backdrop to his remarkable story.

One of Sir Tim's original helicopters is on display, a Hiller UH-12E (photo below).  ZK-HBL was purchased by Luggate Game Packers in 1966 from Alexander Helicopters, Wanganui for use in deer recovery in the mountains of the South Island.  He chose these helicopters because of their reliability and heavy lift capacity. The pilot sits in the middle allowing crew members to operate from either side, and he also regarded them as being safe because the fuel tanks are underneath the pilot rather than being above as in a Bell helicopter.


This display can be found upstairs in the mezzanine area, which has disabled access.