Over the weekend of 25-26 February 2017, tens of thousands were thrilled by flying displays hosted at Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Base Ohakea on the eightieth anniversary of the founding of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The RNZAF opened the Air Tattoo with a 'Thunder formation' led by a Boeing B757, with two Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130 LEPs and a Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orion. They looked impressive as they flew overhead and remain very capable aircraft. But with the oldest of these aircraft now 52 years old, all three types are due to be replaced by about 2026. The importance of making the right decision cannot be overstated.