The only flying RE8 reproduction aircraft in the world - once deemed a WWI death-trap - is the latest addition to the Vintage Aviator collection in Masterton.
Vintage Aviator production manager Gene De Marco said the plane took four years to build at the Hood Aerodrome workshop.
"It took two years to research and two years to build. That's lengthy because there was so little information still around about it. But it is the only one in the world that's flying, and that is impressive."
The Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 was a two-seater biplane originally built as a replacement for the vulnerable and outmoded BE2, and served as a bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.
It was designed for stability and speed for spotting enemy artillery and positions, but earned the distrust of some WWI pilots, Mr De Marco said, who found the aircraft sluggish and difficult to control.
"Some found it slow and not very maneuverable and a lot were shot down. They were flown by pilots in Britain, New Zealand and Australia - no doubt all around the place - but the Australians seemed to be the only ones who flew it with any success."
Mr De Marco said he likewise had no trouble with the RE8 when he took the aircraft for test flights in Masterton skies.
The RE8 was built in relatively large numbers at over 4000 and its operational history spanned the period of the World War I.
Three squadrons of the Australian Flying Corps crews were renowned for their skill and aggression in combat while flying the RE8 and destroyed 51 enemy aircraft for the combat loss of only 11 of their own machines.
Mr De Marco found ample evidence that an experienced pilot could fly the RE8 without any difficulty and discovered statements from an Australian pilot that: "It came to us with a reputation for spinning but that was not our experience.
"The cruising characteristics of the RE8 were quite good. It was extremely stable and, with the correct adjustment of the tailplane incidence, the machine could be flown hands off."
Mr De Marco declined to reveal the construction costs, but said the aircraft was "very valuable".
The RE8 will be flown at the Vintage Aviator airshow at Hood Aerodrome on April 28 to commemorate Anzac Day.