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First Of The Few - Commemorating the NZ Flying School

First Of The Few - Commemorating the NZ Flying School

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  • Fri 18 Dec ’15, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Mon 21 Dec ’15, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Tue 22 Dec ’15, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Wed 23 Dec ’15, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • Thu 24 Dec ’15, 10:00am – 4:30pm
  • View all sessions


MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology), 805 Great North Rd, Western Springs


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adults: $16.00
  • Children Under 17: $8.00
  • Students with ID: $8.00
  • Family Pass: $40.00
  • Children Under 5: $0.00
  • SuperGold Card Holder: $0.00



An Interactive exhibition commemorating NZ Flying School’s centenary.

MOTAT has opened a new multi-media exhibition commemorating the achievements of New Zealand’s first flying school and the First World War pilots who trained there. It marks the centenary of the school established in Auckland by Vivian and Leo Walsh in October 1915.

Titled ‘The First of the Few’, this poignant tribute to the Walsh brothers and their students opened on Monday 9 November. It is fittingly located in the Museum’s Walsh Memorial Research Library. Interactive screens featuring a cascading flow of images of the NZ Flying School are central to the exhibition. Visitors can enlarge visuals and find out more about their subject by touching the screens.

The exhibition will showcase collection items such as personal correspondence and artefacts from the Walsh brothers, stationery from the NZ Flying School, badges and other memorabilia. The photographs and objects on display focus on the personal stories of those involved with the flying school in context of a nation’s experience of war.

MOTAT’s Digital Experience Coordinator Luke Diggins was tasked with developing this two-stage digital project funded by the Lottery Grants Board. “The flying school and the pilots it produced made a huge contribution to New Zealand’s history,” said Mr Diggins. “MOTAT is home to a world-class aviation collection and we felt it was particularly important to share the stories of these little-known flight pioneers and wartime heroes.”

With headquarters on the foreshore of the Waitemata Harbour at Kohimarama, the flying school went on to train more than 100 pilots, 83 of whom qualified for Royal Aero Club certificates. Of these, 63 served in the British forces and saw combat in the Great War. Many gained honours, awards and decorations.

The First of the Few is open to Museum visitors and school groups from 10am to 4:30pm week days. Normal MOTAT admission fees apply

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