New Zealand has long held a passion for its aviation history - the bravado, ingenuity and trailblazing spirit says a lot about who we are. Classic Planes celebrates that legacy, from the first fledgling beginnings to the present day. With eloquence and colour, bestselling author Ivor Wilkins itraces the story of planes in New Zealand, beginning with the exploits of Richard Pearse and shining a light on other local pioneers, Jean Batten and Tim Wallis among them. He also examines the machines from bygone eras, celebrating those who lovingly restore planes in the modern day, and revels in our ongoing love affair with winged wonders. Tiger moths and taperwings comingle with staggerwings, spitfires, mosquitoes and Mustangs, all figures of our airborne past. In Classic Planes, breathtaking new photography is complemented by archival imagery, revealing a truly special and important celebration of planes and people. As the author notes in his preface- 'love is in the air' . . .
Ivor Wilkins is a widely respected freelance writer and photographer. His most recent book, Classic- The Revival of Classic Boating in New Zealand, was published in 2010. In addition, he has written extensively on the New Zealand marine industry, superyachts and yacht racing, with a particular and abiding interest in the America's Cup. Born in South Africa, Wilkins worked as a news photographer, journalist and political writer, including a stint as a foreign correspondent based in London. Two years after the seminal 1976 student uprising in Soweto, he co-authored the book SuperAfrikaners, an exposU of the secretive and influential Afrikaner Broaderbond, which underpinned the apartheid government. In 1983, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. In 1987, he and his wife, Elspeth, arrived in New Zealand after sailing from Scotland. Intending a brief stopover as part of a circumnavigation, they find themselves still happily ensconced three decades later. Although he has thoroughly enjoyed his immersion in the classic aviation scene and the flying experiences through the writing of this book, his feet remain on the ground and are likely to stay that way.