new zealand Royal New Zealand Air Force


rnzaf nh90

Military flying in New Zealand began in 1923 when two civilian flying schools passed into Government ownership. The New Zealand Permanent Air Force was formed in Jun 1923. A reserve organisation, the New Zealand Air Force (which had no aircraft of its own) was established at the same time. In Feb 1934, these two organisations were merged into the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), but still as part of the Army. On the recommendation of an RAF adviser, Wing Commander R A Cochrane, the RNZAF became an autonomous organisation on 1 Apr 1937. Like many other organisations, a dramatic contraction occurred at the end of WWII in Aug 1945.
Following a major review, replacement of obsolete types was authorised in1962 and by the mid 1960s, the new fleet began to be delivered, together with the first RNZAF helicopters, the Bell 47G Sioux and the UH-1D Huey.
In line with the New Zealand Government's policies of de-regulation and contracting out, budget constraints and the Defence Strategy Review of 1991 initiated a contraction of the service which has continued into the 21st century.


New Zealand NH90 Almost Back to Full Duty, 07-May-17 : Royal New Zealand Air Force eased limitations on its NH90 fleet that have prevented them flying over water, at night, and over mountainous terrain since 20 April

NH90s Bring Supplies to Kaikoura After Earthquake, 15-Nov-16 : Eight aircraft along HMNZS Canterbury (L421) and HMNZS Wellington (P55) ships deliver vital supplies of immediate aid and evacuate stranded tourists and residents

NH90 Supports New Zealand Earthquake Response, 13-Nov-16 : Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) 3 Squadron NH90 dispatched to support emergency management after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit North Canterbury

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List of Units

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Rotary Wing Aircraft UnitCreatedDisband
    3 squadron1930 --
    6 squadron1942 --

Bases and Locations

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Base / HeliportUnits on this Location
   Ohakea3 squadron 2002/   
   Whenuapai6 squadron 2005/   

Model Types

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  NHI NH90 TTH92011
  AW A109LUH 62010
  Bell 205 1719662015
  Bell 471319652010

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