Iron Maiden's front man is upgrading his pilot's license so he can fly the heavy metal group's new jumbo jet to New Zealand for a show next year.
Bruce Dickinson plans to fly the band's branded Boeing 747-400 Jumbo Jet for the duration of the group's world tour, which will see the jet fly 88,500km and visit 35 countries.
While dates for the group's New Zealand visit aren't yet confirmed, the British veterans confirmed it will be in "the first half of May".
Full details would be announced "in a few week's time".
Dickinson said the band's new jumbo jet was needed to carry all the band's crew and gear, and his license upgrade was required because of the size of the plane.
"The greatest benefit of travelling in a 747 is that because of its colossal size and freight capacity we can carry our stage production and all our stage equipment and desks in the cargo hold without having to make any of the immense structural modifications needed to do this on the previous 757," he said.
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"Even though we have worked out the logistics of taking a plane of that immense size out on tour, I still have to learn to fly it before we can go anywhere! So, I'm currently doing my training to qualify as a pilot and Captain on a Boeing 747."
Iron Maiden, who last performed here at a Mt Smart Stadium show in 2009, will be playing on the back of their new album The Book of Souls, released on September 4.
Their first new album in five years, and 16th record in a career spanning five decades, Dickinson said the five-piece was looking forward to hitting the road for their mammoth world tour, which begins in the US in late February.
"We're all really excited at the thought of bringing our brand new tour to fans who have never seen us play live before, and of course re-visiting all our old friends again too.
"You can rest assured we are all working hard to put together a spectacular show for our fans."
The tour will include the group's first ever shows in China and El Salvador.