The sound of howling jet engines will echo across the Hawke's Bay skyscape this weekend as the annual Warbirds over Awatoto event takes to the air.

As will the familiar propeller sounds from aircraft of earlier military ages when they roll down the runway off Waitangi Rd.

"We have had 40 pre-registration of flyers as of Monday and I would imagine we will be up to around 55 by the weekend," Harvey Stiver, the secretary of the host club Model Flyers Hawke's Bay, said.

That would likely equate to a large number of aircraft as many pilots flew more than one.


More than 60 aircraft from all eras had already been lined up as of yesterday.

"So we are looking at a good turnout because this is one of the premium shows in the country," Mr Stiver said, adding that as well as a good number of local flyers there were "pilots" arriving from all over the North Island.

Among them will be Wellington jet enthusiast Paul Buckrell who has been to several past Warbirds events which have been staged since the late 1990s. Mr Buckrell specialises in the building of jets - big jets like the latest addition to his squadron, an F15 Eagle painted in the 50th anniversary colours of the post-war Japanese Air Force.

The jet, which weighs about 30kg and has two 60lb thrust Jet Cat turbine engines, is one of the first to have to comply with new Civil Aviation Authority rules due to its weight and power.

"It needs to be certified and is one of the first under the new rules," Mr Stiver said.

As Mr Buckrell was still building up his hours the jet will be flown over the weekend by Mr Stiver's son Andrew, who is an instructor and certified examiner.

He had effectively picked up the task of getting it certified and Mr Buckrell would "co-pilot" it alongside him on the ground.

Andrew Stiver has flown the F15 on a couple of previous occasions.

"It has everything on it that the full size aircraft has," Mr Stiver said.

"Ailerons, elevators, rudders, two turbine speed controls, working undercarriage, wheel brakes and flaps to assist slow-down at landing."

There is also a control to release the pilot's cockpit hood upon landing.

Mr Buckrell bought the kit last July and had been building and refining it since.

It will be one of several jets which will appear at the Saturday and Sunday displays.

"There will be quite a lot of good jet aircraft here this year," Mr Stiver said, adding that among them would be a Vampire and a Venom.

There will also be WWI and WWII aircraft, along with military aircraft which flew between the wars, as well as several early New Zealand military planes like Chipmunks, Ansons and Tiger Moths.

Top aerobatics flyer Frazer Briggs from Hamilton will also put on show - flying his aircraft to choreographed music.

The displays will take place between 10am and 4pm on both days with parking available along with food and refreshments on site with visitors able to make a small donation to the club upon entry.