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In today’s busy world, holidays need not be a mad rush from one place to the next trying to pack in as much as possible. Quality is more important than quantity. And that’s where a flight in a biplane comes in.
The heyday of the biplane was in the 1920’s. Sometimes referred to as the Roaring Twenties, this was the time of the Great Gatsby, the Charleston, Art Deco, flappers and the blossoming of jazz music. It was also a time of sustained economic prosperity and entrepreneurial endeavours such as barnstorming where pilots who had flown in WWI took “ordinary folk” for their first flight in an aircraft.
The romance of that time lives on in New Zealand with Red Cat Biplane Flights basing their aircraft at Pukaki Airfield near Twizel and Mt Cook on the main tourist route from Christchurch to Queenstown. The experience they offer is as much about getting dressed up in period flying clothing as about taking a scenic flight over some of the South Island’s most spectacular scenery. All passengers get to wear leather flying jackets and helmets, goggles and a white scarf – perfect for photographs!
The Red Cat biplane gets its name from its bright colour and design – a Grumman Super Ag-Cat. Powered by a Pratt and Whitney nine-cylinder radial engine, what makes the aircraft special is that it takes two passengers in addition to the pilot. This means you can share the experience with a family member or friend.
Chris Rudge, chief pilot for the company, enjoys sharing his love of flying with visitors. “People routinely tell us the experience was better than they imagined. Flying slowly in an open-cockpit aircraft means you get to experience the scenery, not just fly over it.” Visitors can select one of six standard flight options or choose their own destination.
For those who want to step back in time for a quality aviation experience over tussock grasslands, turquoise lakes, beech forest, glaciers or New Zealand’s highest mountains, a scenic flight with Red Cat Biplane Flights is a "must do"!.