The countdown has begun to what is expected to be the most successful Wings Over Wairarapa Air Show yet, says event manager Liz Pollock.
Ms Pollock said the three-day biennial air show will run at Hood Aerodrome in Masterton in less than three months' time over Wellington Anniversary Weekend from January 18 to 20.
The theme of the show will be Honouring the Past, Celebrating the Future, she said, and up to 40,000 spectators are expected.
A first for next year's show will be the introduction of a military re-enactors camp at the airfield, which is expected to attract military enthusiasts from across New Zealand.
The popular military vehicle rides that have been a feature of the show in the past will also run and an encampment will be established by the combined Defence Forces, featuring contemporary military vehicles, interactive areas and the opportunity for visitors to get close up to some of the RNZAF's feature aircraft.
"Above there will be a mock battle with pyrotechnics and aircraft shooting each other and below will be the ground theatre - right down to re-enactors using German accents," Ms Pollock said. "They take their part in the grand finale very seriously and it is an enormously popular part of the show."
There also will be agricultural displays, gliding, commercial and helicopter displays, home-built aircraft, microlights, gyrocopters, jet formations and aerobatics.
Ms Pollock said the flying each day would be capped by the dramatic pyrotechnic display and mock air field attack "lighting up the skies and entertaining the crowds".
There had also been an unprecedented level of interest in the Motorhome Park located next to Hood Aerodrome, which last year hosted more than 200 vehicles, she said.
Preparations are well under way "to ensure the exciting action in the skies is equally matched by a memorable show on the ground" that will include the mock battles, static displays, children's entertainment, contemporary and vintage military vehicles, a trade site village and a food and wine festival.
"We have confirmed a large number of retailers exhibiting already and have had a lot of interest from local eateries and vineyards for the sites in the wine and food festival."
Ms Pollock said the air show would feature some of the world's rarest vintage aircraft, including replica World War I aircraft alongside some of the classics from World War II.
Tickets to Wings Over Wairarapa 2013 are available through all Ticketek retail outlets, by phoning 0800 TICKETEK or purchasing online through www.ticketek.co.nz.
For more information visit www.wings.org.nz.