Huge crowds turned out in the Manawatu to celebrate 80 years of service of the Royal NZ Air Force - the guests including former All Black Richie McCaw.

This year's RNZAF Air Tattoo was held at the Ohakea air base, near Palmerston North.

Lovely day at Ohakea 🛩#airshow

A post shared by Gemma McCaw (@gemflynn) on

Just a week after helping to fight massive flames in Christchurch, McCaw - now a wing commander for the Air Force - was at the event with wife Gemma.

Pictured together with a fleet of planes behind them, the new Mrs McCaw wrote about their day at the airshow on social media:

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"Lovely day at Ohakea,'' she said.

The event saw civilian-owned warbirds and vintage aircraft coming together to join military aircraft to show off some of aviation's best technological advances.

A total of 64 aircraft were at this weekend's show and included aircraft from the US, Japan, Great Britain, New Caledonia, Singapore, Canada and Australia.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownless was also at the show today.

He earlier paid tribute to those who had been involved with the Air Force over the years and their service to the country.

"Today's RNZAF is a highly functioning, professional and versatile Air Force and this is a great chance for people to be able to look through the aircraft and see what the New Zealand Air Force does on a daily basis.''