Opened in November 2016, the exhibition Dangerous Skies broadens the Omaka experience into the more familiar territory of World War Two, even while breaking new ground. As well as the Battle of Britain, visitors are taken on a journey through the lesser-known stories of the war on the Eastern front, including that of the world’s top-scoring female fighter ace Lydia Litvyak and the most famous of all women regiments, the Soviet 588th Night Bombers or ‘Night Witches’ as the Germans called them.
Like World War One’s Knights of the Sky, Dangerous Skies features mannequins made by Weta Workshop, and original, static and flyable aircraft in larger-than-life dioramas, capturing specific snapshots in history.Dangerous Skies underwent a refresh in 2019, with further alterations since. The main exhibition area now holds four additional aircraft, all originals and never seen before at Omaka. The first a Messerschmitt Bf108 once owned and flown by German ace Franz Stigler, the second a Lockheed Hudson, an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft which has been suspended in a dramatic crash scene in the depths of a Pacific island jungle. Two aircraft from the John Smith Collection have also joined the exhibition; the magnificent de Havilland Mosquito and the famous ‘Gloria Lyons’ P-40 Kittyhawk.
The Griffon-powered Spitfire Mk. XIV (one of fewer than a handful of flying Spitfires in Australasia), is still in residence, as is the Focke Wulf Fw-190. Russian Yak-3Ua ‘Steadfast', Built in Romania during the 2000s, but based on the original prototype, this high-performance speed machine first started its racing career at the Reno Air Races in 2006 and holds nine world records. These include the under 3000kg World Speed Record at 416 MPH (669 KPH) along with several ‘time to climb’ records.!
One of the highlights of Dangerous Skies is the Stalingrad Experience, which utilises CGI, laser projectors, surround sound and lighting effects to immerse the visitor in one of the most brutal battles of the Second World War. Considered by many historians to be the turning point of the war in Europe, visitors will find themselves looking out at a heavily damaged Stalingrad from within a ruined factory building as it is bombed by the Luftwaffe. This immersive experience is followed by an excerpt from Neil Halloran’s SXSW award winning data driven documentary highlighting the ‘Fallen of the Second World War’, particularly those of the Eastern Front.
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If you're interested in hosting an event in the Dangerous Skies Exhibition, visit the Venue page for more information.