In 1986 the Bristol Freighter ZK-CPT ('Merchant Courier') was flown into Omaka Aerodrome (Blenheim, New Zealand) and retired. The aircraft engines were subsequently run on several occasions, but this has not occurred for over 20 years.
Enter Alastair Marshall - ex RNZAF Engine Technician, now commercial pilot, and a piston engine enthusiast. Over the past few months, Al has been working on the two Bristol Hercules engines on the aircraft, with the goal of getting the old girl to come to life once more.
On 27th September 2008, both engines were fired up, and the aircraft taxied about on Omaka Aerodrome for the first time in approximately twenty years. Congratulations to Al and his team of willing helpers.
In September 1956, the RAF received its first Vulcan B 1, XA897, which immediately went on a fly-the-flag mission to New Zealand. On 1 October, while approaching Heathrow to complete the tour, XA897 crashed short of the runway in bad weather conditions, the two pilots ejecting successfully although the rear crew was killed.
This 11 minute video from 1990 explains the story of the Armstrong Whitworth Argosy in service with Safe Air of New Zealand. The video also explains the company's history along with the Bristol Superfreighter. The video footage is spectacular. Safe Air ceased operations when the Argosy was retired in 1990.