Warbird Adventure Rides

Warbird Adventure Rides, Auckland Central: Address, Phone Number, Warbird Adventure Rides Reviews: 5/5

Warbird Adventure Rides
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Paduan_67
Auckland, New Zealand78 contributions
Great flight with Frank in the P40
Dec 2020 • Solo
Had a great flight with Frank in the P40. I have had a few flights in warbirds and trainers, and I have to say that the package Frank put together for the P40 was superb. This consisted of lots of low level through the Hunua Ranges, a "strafing run" against an enemy position and then some aeros. They also have non aerobatic scenic options. I cant speak highly enough about Frank, Liz, Ben and the team at Ardmore. The whole experience was professional and friendly.

Highly recommended.
Written 15 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Malcolm G
Auckland Central, New Zealand36 contributions
Aerobatics in a Harvard
May 2019
A birthday present from my family. A stunning ride complete with aerobatics and a low level ride through the Hunua's to the dam. A must do for any enthusiast, my pilot Gary was very skilled and considerate of my well being and comfort. I'm hoping to go again one day.
Written 15 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jonathan D
Wellington, New Zealand2 contributions
Awesome Experience !!
Oct 2018 • Couples
Superlatives run thick and fast when trying to describe this experience. I have been for a flight in the Spitfire and oh, what a ride! The booking was easy as, and the team kept me up to date with conditions and schedules as we got closer to the flight itself.

The Spitfire experience was sublime, the purpose built cockpit and crystal clear canopy made for a great experience allowing it all to be soaked up with a degree of comfort not usual for Warbirds, and I cannot describe how it felt to be flying over the lovely countryside looking out over that elliptical wing, all the while in the skillful and sure hands of a great pilot.

This could not have been more perfect, thank you.
Written 28 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Addicks10
London, UK60 contributions
Amazing People, Amazing Experience
Jun 2017 • Family
Unfortunately, I am too heavy to fly in a Spitfire, so I thought a visit to have a look around would be the best I could do. However, my family and I got far more than we could have expected. As MH367 was not doing any flights on the day we visited it was not on display but away in a separate hanger. When I asked about it one of the team offered to take us over to the other hanger for a private close up viewing, what a special experience. Additionally, the owner of the hanger also owned the adjacent aircraft restoration company and was kind enough to to show us a Mosquito he was building brand new to original spec for an American customer. What a bonus!! Wonderful people, great welcome. Great experience. Seeing a P51 Mustang fly off and return was also pretty cool. Thank you 😀
Written 12 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

elleg1726
United States106 contributions
Was in NZ for a month and this was the biggest HIGHLIGHT of them all!
Nov 2015 • Solo
BOOKING- it was super easy. I went to their website and was provided with the history of their planes along with the prices. I contacted them through email and quickly scheduled a date to fly on the Harvard T6. I also payed in person.

TRANSPORTATION-Auckland -> Ardmore
You have 2 options: Train or Bus and Taxi
The train is obviously faster but be aware that certain tracks are known to not work sometimes. This happened to me, so I took the bus instead. At my bus stop is where I took a taxi which took about 15 min long to the airport. I contacted John Kelly via email regarding the delay and worked things out with me. *phew

SUMMARY OF FLIGHT- Once you arrive, they provide you a comfy green suit and answer questions/concerns you may have. They also will prepare you of what to expect and ask you what kind of aerobatics you feel comfortable with doing in the sky. I first declined any, but felt so comfortable and safe during my flight that I asked for a spin! So much fun.
During your time on the air, John Kelly gave me a tour. You really get to take in the island's beauty. I also was taught how to fly and given a lot of chances to fly it which was cool.
After the flight, I was given a personal tour of the company by the pilot. I got to see two other pilots working on a different plane. He really takes his time showing you around. You can feel how much he loves what he does.

FOOD- conveniently, there is a cafe around the corner.

GO PRO- in case you want to bring it consider using a wrist holder so you can film how scared you look and also the beautiful scenery.

To conclude: I highly recommend doing this trip. I did hangliding, shark cage diving, rafting in the Kaintuna River, and did a 5 hour Waitomo Cave tour. As much as I loved them all, this flight was still my favorite. Thank you again John Kelly and Warbird Adventure Rides for giving me the best experience of my life.
Written 1 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Traveller08
Hong Kong38 contributions
Dream no more...fly a warbird!
May 2016 • Business
Anyone who flies light aircraft or dreams of flying should visit Warbirds at Ardmore. The volunteers and pilots who keep these gems flying are friendly and welcoming. These enthusiasts maintain the aircrafts to a high standard, judging by how clean and tidy they were. My ride on the Harvard AT6 was fantastic. The pilot was very professional and made sure I was briefed on what was going on during the flight.
A great way to see Auckland City from over a thousand feet up, in an aircraft that is over 75 years old.
Written 16 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Keithmac200
Peterborough, Canada6 contributions
Yeeehaww
Mar 2016 • Solo
March 26th 2016 I had the rare and exciting privilege of an acrobatic flight in MH367.
Loops , a victory roll , a simulated attack run and a few high speed low altitude runs over the Auckland reservoirs.We pulled 4G's on our loops.
Pilot Gavin Trethewey was a relaxed consummate professional . Sadly my go pro shut off as I pulled the canopy shut on run up, or you would be watching this on youtube instead of reading about it.
All in all , a well run professional organization and the trip was well worth the cost to me.
If you have a reasonably strong stomach , absolutely ask for the acrobatic ride. Gavin will taylor your ride to suit.
I did manage to find a few seconds in between manoeuvres to remind myself " YOUR IN A SPITFIRE ! "
A childhood dream realized
Written 4 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gumbyr
Helensville, New Zealand58 contributions
Trip of a lifetime.
Mar 2016 • Solo
Did the trip in the P51D Mustang, OMG what a ride. Fantastic aircraft and wonderful briefing. If you want to tick a second world war fighter off your list, this is the place to do it.
Written 23 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

IanStrat
St. Albans, UK257 contributions
A life changing experience - Flying in a WWII Harvard and a P40 flighter
Feb 2015 • Solo
What can I say - although it has been almost a year since I flew in the P40 and Harvard, I still remember every detail and think about these experiences often.

The title of the review is how I described the time that had flying with Warbird Adventure Rides to my business colleagues - a life changing experience.

I was in NZ on business and had a half-day free in the Auckland area. As a private pilot who flies in the UK, I had often read about the 'warbird' scene in New Zealand and researched on the web to see if there was any way that I could get to fly a WWII aircraft. Until very recently this was something that was very hard to do in the UK unless you were the owner!!!

My email exchanges with Warbird Adventure Rides were really helpful (Liz, whom I dealt with, is one of the warbird pilots) and made sure that I had all the information that I needed to enjoy the flying to the full. It was apparent that Frank Parker and his team are utterly professional in everything they do.

I opted to fly both the Harvard and the P40 to try and get a feeling for what it would be like to have been a pilot in WWII going from an advanced training aircraft onto a full strength fighter.

The safety briefing was excellent and my pilot for the day, John Kelly, took me for a detailed walk around of the Harvard that we were going to be flying. It is BIG! You dont get the impression of size until standing next to the massive two bladed prop! John kindly spent the time explaining all the details from the WWII 'pilot notes' that I had been reading on the long flight from London - how the pneumatics worked and tips on different techniques for flaps and wheel retraction. His enthusiasm and knowledge were fantastic.

Kitted up in our flight suits, we were ready to go flying. Climbing up into the cockpit to fly in this advanced trainer was something very special. It would take far to long to cover everything, but from the first bark of the radial engine to the end of the flight it was just absolutely brilliant, with John talking through everything that he was doing and giving me the choice of what we did in terms of type of flying and aerobatics. What a lovely aircraft and flight.

After a quick break we were ready to go out and fly the P40 Kittyhawk! Every pilot dreams of flying in a Spitfire - however, there are only about 12 Kittyhawks flying in the world, compared to almost 50 spitfires...flying in ZK-CAG was going to be a privilege as well as a real pleasure.

Once again John gave me a full walk around and briefing. Again, you are struck by the size of the propeller needed to use all that power from the Allison engine to make the P40 an effective fighter. What a wonderful piece of machinery - perfectly maintained - and looking pristine - even at 70 years old!

The P40 was a single seater and CAG has a rear cockpit added. Strapping into the snug back seat really makes you feel part of the aircraft. It was at that point that it dawned on me just how amazing this was going to be - flying in a thoroughbred fighter from WWII rather than the training and touring aircraft that I usually fly!

All the checks complete John primed the engine and booommmm... the engine noise was much louder, but smoother, than the Harvard. It felt strange taxiing out past the Harvard that we had just flown in an aircraft that was even more special. After carefully warming the engine and completing our pre-take-off checks we were ready to fly this wonderful beast.

The power was palpable as the throttle was edged forward and we accelerated with the growing noise of the Allison engine ahead of us. Climbing out everything happened so much faster than in the Harvard - gear up & checked, flaps up and checked, indicators away!

Climbing up into the same area where we had flown an hour or so earlier it was clear that we were much, much, faster this time!

This was where the fun really starts; medium turns, wing overs and the joy of being free in a WWII fighter! We swoop down into a valley, following the lines of a narrow river and enjoying the agility that this fighter allows. It was a wonderful sensation to feel the rapid roll rate of the p40 to jink left / right...all too easy to imagine having to dive low and out-turn an enemy on your tail, or using that gun-sight, so clearly visible on the front cowling, to target the enemy.

All too soon, we are heading back to Ardmore for our landing. Far from an anticlimax this was another wonderful experience. We flew a 'military' oval circuit with the gear and flaps coming down in perfect time to keep the speed just right allowing John to line us up for a perfect 'roller' landing. It was a wonderful feeling taxing past fellow fliers waving to acknowledge another flight of this wonderful machine.

I was struck by the precision with which john parked the P40 in ground formation with the Harvard typifying for me, the professionalism and perfection that it appears Warbird Adventure Rides seeks to deliver in everything they do, from the communication with a UK PPL they have never met, to putting the aircraft back in the hangar at the end of our flight. Everything was inch perfect, all documents completed and oil rubbed down from both aircraft!

All I can say is never have I felt so privileged to part company with my money!

The smiles on the day, the emotions I still feel welling up inside me at the thought of the pleasure and, as I say again, privilege, of flying in two such fantastic aircraft cannot be priced,

If you like flying or you love aircraft - JUST DO IT!

Thank you John, Frank and Liz - you made my day totally wonderful...sorry that it has been almost another year since I have had some time and write about it! Well done for keeping these special machines flying and allowing "normal" people like me the chance to share in that experience...as I said at the beginning - a life changing experience. I will be back to be sure - maybe this time it will be that Spitfire!

Ian H
Written 21 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EnthusiasmCurbed
Peterborough, UK62 contributions
Warbird Sptfire Flight : A “Money can’t buy experience”... which you can
Feb 2014 • Solo
For anyone with an interest in Spitfires I cannot recommend this experience highly enough. The team running Warbird are extremely experienced, enthusiastic and professional, though still managing to remain relaxed and easy going at the same time.

Although the Spitfire flight must be one of the most expensive ways to spend 45 minutes, just arriving at the airfield and seeing the two seater plane waiting for you, instantly makes any financial considerations go away.

I admit I had some concerns when initially planning the trip. The only "review" I could find was on “you tube”, and no reviews on trip adviser, which didn't seem right for such a unique experience. What you do find though is lots of references to a couple of landing incidents the aircraft experienced a few years ago. However, if you then search on the pilots you find they have a wealth of experience including being Captains at a number of major airlines, which balanced things out for me.

The flight provisionally arranged by email a few months before, flexibility was needed to allow for changeable weather....which was followed up with more emails as the trip got closer. No deposit was required, which was also reassuring.

We were in Auckland for just under a week, with the Spitfire being based at Ardmore Aerodrome a simple 30 min train ride to Papakura followed by a 10 minute taxi ride away.

Seeing the aircraft waiting for you, then meeting the team meant any nerves and apprehension turned rapidly into anticipation and excitement

Having got to know Auckland that week I chose the city flight. My only regret was I wasn't in the Sky Tower having lunch or at our hotel in the harbour so I could also see the Spitfire swooping around!

We even did a nice slow victory roll on the way back... before completing a seemingly perfect grass landing.

From leaving the hotel to return was probably a good 5 hours.... making it a mere £400 an hour... an absolute bargain.
Written 19 February 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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