Episode 134 – Forum Meet: Don Simms – RNZAF Skyhawks

Guest: Don Simms

Hosts: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 30th of October 2016

Released:  7th of February 2017

Duration:  1 hour 27 minutes 52 seconds

RNZAF Skyhawk historian and author Don Simms gave a fascinating presentation at the Wings Over New Zealand Forum Meet held on the 30th of October 2016 at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, in Christchurch. Don is a guide at the museum and he’s also well known and much respected in the Wings Over New Zealand community as he has been a Moderator on the WONZ Forum for many years. He is also co-author of the 2011 book SKYHAWKS: The History Of The RNZAF Skyhawks.

He gave a detailed talk on the history of the RNZAF Skyhawks from the process the RNZAF and Ministry of Defence went through to select the type for service, through its early career, its mid-life upgrade, and later service as the Kahu version. He talks about the purchase of the Royal Australian Navy’s Skyhawks to bolster the New Zealand fleet, and about the deployment of No. 2 Squadron RNZAF to NAS Albatross at Nowra, NSW, in Australia. Don covers various exercises the A-4K’s took part in and the various nations they trained with. And he details the highlights and lowlights of the Skyhawk’s career in New Zealand, from the RNZAF’s 50th Anniversary celebrations to the various crashes and losses of the type.

Don backed up his talk with 170 photo slides, which he has kindly provided to the Wings over New Zealand Show to accompany the audio recording, so you have the option of either listening to the presentation in an audio-only format as usual, or following the link below to a Youtube version with all the photos as seen during the original Forum Meet talk.

NB: Don Simms has previously appeared on the Wings Over New Zealand Show way back in 2011 for Episode 2, so if you enjoy this episode you may also like to go back to his original interview here

Video Podcast Version:

Above: Don Simms with his very popular Skyhawks book

Quick Links:

•  Link To Don’s Book “Skyhawks – The History of the RNZAF Skyhawk”

•  The Air Force Museum of New Zealand (Venue for this presentation)

•  The Wings Over New Zealand Aviation Forum

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