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Steam focus at annual Mandeville Fly-in

There were seven steam traction engines at the Mandeville Steam Festival and Fly-in including the Roger K92 locomotive (on tracks). PHOTO: Maeva Smith

Vintage aircraft, cars and an old steam engine delighted the crowds at the annual Mandeville Steam Festival and Fly-in at the weekend.

The event, held at Mandeville Airfield, showcases vintage aircraft flights, museum and aircraft workshops, and traction engines to mark the anniversary of the first cross-country flight in New Zealand between Invercargill and Gore on February 20, 1914.

Mandeville Fly-In coordinator Maeva Smith said she was thrilled with how well the event ran.

"It was good. We had a lovely day on the Saturday, the weather was nice. There was lots of people."

A group of people from the local vintage car club even came along to the event with 50 beautiful old cars for the public to enjoy too, she said.

Mrs Smith said one of the highlights of the day was the Roger K92 locomotive, originally manufactured in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1878. 

"The train was doing its steaming up and down (the track), that's something interesting for the people to see."

After being dumped at Mararoa Junction the engine was retrieved in 1985 by the Fiordland Vintage Machinery Club whose members began restoring it. It was sold to the Waimea Plains Trust, which made it compliant to the latest standards, with the original boiler recently passing a 10-year survey. On the day there was a total of seven steam traction engines at the Fly-in.

Mrs Smith said Sunday (February 25) was a bit windy for the vintage aircraft flights to go ahead but organisers were pleased to be able to get a decent day on Saturday.

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