Composition with RNZAF Red Checkers (victory formation section, from 'New Artlands')


A series of specific new maneouvres were co-developed by RNZAF Red Checkers squadron Leader Scott McKenzie and artist Alex Monteith.

The flight routine incorporated five simultaneous HDV recordings shot over the tail of the five Red Checkers planes as they fly two separate routines specifically choreographed for five-channel reinstallation. A new formation of the "mirror" maneouvre was developed specifically for the artwork (the mirror is a formation in which a pair of planes flay above each other, but the top plane flys inverted / upside-down) and artwork is the first time in the world manouvres like the mirror, 5-ship spaghetti-break, 1/4 clovers and barrel rolls are viewable from onboard all five craft in a video installation context.

The works are five uncut takes of the red checkers flights, each filming rearward over the tail of the plane. The soundtrack is the engine note of each plane (diagetic only) with the addition of the lead planes communications (radio) of the manouvre instructions and timings.    

Recorded at Ohakea RNZAF Airbase, Aotearoa New Zealand. Performed 1st April 2009. 

A project collaboration between Alex Monteith, Royal New Zealand Air Force Red Checkers acrobatic display team and  New Artlands TVNZ7.  

Work details:
25 metre x 3 metre video installation with 5 -channel audio
Five-individual video channels projected at 5 metres x 3 metres   

There are three versions of the composition;
Composition no.1 - Victory formation (VIC), 8min looping cycle
Composition no.2 - Echelon formation (Line Astern), 12min looping cycle
Composition no.3 is the full version; continuous footage of both the Victory formation, planes repositioning on the runway into the Echelon formation, completing the Echelon routines, landing and returning to the control tower, 26min looping cycle.


Acknowledgements and arrangements:
New Artlands, commissioner & production development & support 
SQNLDR Kavae Tamariki, RNZAF SQNLDR Scott McKenzie, RNZAF - collaboration and development of the formtation composition
RNZAF Red Checkers Pilots Mckenzie, Cochran, Burns, Saville and Beetham
The University of Auckland & Elam School of Fine Arts | NICAI - HDV cameras
Sarah Munro - all production stills