The RNZAF took 299 of these aircraft on strength (NZ250-290, NZ1201-1399, NZ2100-2157, and four others) between 1938 and 1952. Originally ordered as trainers for the Wellington crews which were to form the nucleus of the RNZAF, with the outbreak of WWII and the establishment of the British Empire Air Training Scheme, the number of aircraft and their roles were increased . The aircraft were used by all three FTS, No1(B)OTU, the Gunnery Training school, the Instrument Flying school, the Flying Instructors school, as well as 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 42 SQNs. From 1944 many of the aircraft began to be put into storage. Post-war, smaller numbers of aircraft were used for training (Wigram), twin-engine conversion (Ohakea), and communications. Six aircraft were converted to Consuls, 72 were lost in accidents, 36 were broken up due to unservicibility, and 112 were sold in 1947. The remainder were disposed after their withdrawal in 1952, when their role was taken over by the DH 104 Devon.
Two RNZAF Oxfords appeared on the Civil register - NZ1336 (c/n 1604, exBF857) became ZK-APX and NZ1377 (ex HN368) became ZK-APY, before they were returned to the RNZAF for disposal.
One complete ex-RNZAF Oxford remains, although this is currently only partially assembled. Percival built NZ1332 (c/n228, formerly AP414) was part of the 1947 disposal sale. Passing into the hands of Les Bergenson, the aircraft was eventually disassembled and placed in storage. In 1994 the aircraft was located by Don Subritzky who now has possession and has begun reassembly. The aircraft has been described as 'being like a kitset' and was only missing the box spars, and an engine (both of which have been sourced elsewhere). Engine mounts and propellors have been supplied by the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society. (The outer wing panels have been found to belong to a different, unknown aircraft).
Pieces of several other aircraft remain. Parts of Oxford NZ277 (c/n499, formerly P2030), recovered from the wreck site in the Poukai ranges are on display in the Taranaki Aviation Transport And Technology Museum (illustrated below), along with various parts assembled from other sources. The nose and components of NZ2144 (c/n3765, formerly NM630) are held by Philip Burns at Dunsandel. The RNZAF Museum also holds components of NZ1289 (c/n2915, formerly V3267) for eventual restoration.
Last Update:- 26 March, 1999
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