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Classic Flyer Museum – open cockpit flights, attractions, things to do

  • 2 minutes

Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

Grab the opportunity to suit up and enjoy the thrill of flying a vintage World War I fighter plane. The Classic Flyer Museum is outstanding. It is not a polished museum rather a living place where restoration takes place in front of visitors. The Classic Flyer Museum and complex sums up the experience aptly as a place aiming higher than first class.

Exhilarating open cockpit flights with the wind in your face, the goggles protect you as you find out what it’s like to fly a World War I vintage plane with a qualified pilot. The thrill starts with the flight suit, helmet, goggles. Then you climb aboard to be securely strapped into the cockpit. These aircraft are based at Classic Flyers and can be booked any day of the week, weather permitting.

Classic Flyer Museum is a great place to take the kids. Get the kids to climb into the cockpit of a World War II fighter jet and capture the moment. Little kids can try scooting around in miniature planes.


Apart from the exhilarating open cockpit flight there is plenty to do and see. Kids and adults alike will be intrigued by the interior of a World War II surveillance plane that flew the Pacific ocean monitoring enemy activity. Nearby are the innards of a vintage engine with its maze of cables, piping and engine. There are models depicting the uniforms and equipment carried by air personnel. Stories of individual courage and sheer determination are told. Throughout the displays in the hangers are volunteers intent on maintaining the spotlessly kept hangers. Volunteer engineers pore over machinery and the sense of pride in what the Classic Flyers Museum has achieved as a repository of aviation history is palpable.

There is a small gift shop adjoining a popular cafe serving classic brunch / lunch meals and snacks. The cafe opens out into the Torpedo playground overlooking the hangars and displayed aircraft.

This is a must-go destination for visitors to the Bay of Plenty and for aviation enthusiasts an unmissable attraction.

Museum Display Areas:

  • Main Legacy Jet Hangar
  • Restoration Hangar 3
  • Flight Operations Hangar 5
  • Outside Flight Apron
  • Armoury Conference Room

Entry fees apply, open every day however check beforehand to avoid disappointment.


9 Jean Batten Drive, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty

BONUS – Tauranga Gliding Club Glider flights

Join a qualified instructor from the Tauranga Gliding Club and discover whether you’ve found your passion for the silence of the sky. Soaring above the Mount, Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty enjoy hands-on glider instruction. Conveniently based near the Tauranga Airport at Classic Flyers.


Do not forget to check out Mount Maunganui, activities, events, attractions – Best Bits as you’re a hop, skip and jump from the iconic Mount Maunganui Main Beach and the Mount.


Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


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