Royal New Zealand Air Force

The A-4 Skyhawk has long been the premier aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.   Not only does New Zealand not have any fighter aircraft at all, the Skyhawk is the only ground attack plane in the force.    The A-4 first flew in 1954 and although it's sub-sonic, it remains a capable aircraft.   You can see photos of a Skyhawk solo display, the Skyhawk team display and the Skyhawk team's special tricks.

See the P-3 Orion submarine hunter, the Andover transport and some hair-raising low-level C-130 Hercules maneuvers.

The New Zealand Air Force is a pipsqueak by world standards.   The year 2000 was supposed see it extend its capabilities, when we anticipated delivery of a squadron of F-16 Fighting Falcons.  Originally intended for Pakistan, they were withdrawn from sale when Pakistan did something naughty (the details escape me).   They were then offered to Indonesia, whose economic train had the misfortune to derail in 1998.   Enter New Zealand, once again apparently going to pick up some classy military equipment at bargain basement prices.   However, a newly elected Labour government cancelled the deal, then went further and ordered the shutdown of the two Skyhawk squadrons.   As a sop to the opposition party's defense concerns, Labour then arranged for the Orions to be fitted with sidewinder missiles to give them an air-to-air attack or defense capability!