Sunday, 24 May 2015

Rangiora today. Sunday 24th

 With the southerly change lurking in the distant background - Cessna 180H ZK-DBX (c/n 18051872) arrives back at Rangiora.
 Not often seen out in the daylight is the Chris O'Brien T.E.A.M Z-Max ZK-JGM (c/n 666/MAANZ/556. This was first listed with J A Gray of Christchurch on 07-02-1996.

This Denney Kitfox IV ZK-KIV (c/n 1642) was built up by Charley Lamb and Arthur Ainsworth of Christchurch and entered the register on 01-12-1994. It transferred into the sole ownership of  Arthur Ainsworth on 04-10-2005 - was re-designated as a Ultralight on 11-10-2012 and it joined its current owner Michael Godfrey on 28-12-2014.  
Soon to depart from Rangiora to its new home in Alexandra is the Airdrome Aeroplanes Fokker D-VII Replica ZK-MKE (c/n NZ006). 
This is the Mike Kindon built machine with its Hirth G40 engine.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26B and Other Aircraft at Loburn Abbey

Back in February I had the chance to visit Ivan and Sandy Campbell's Loburn Abbey property on a lovely summer's day, with Blue Bus.  What an interesting place it is!  Ivan and Sandy have developed it as a WW2 themed destination with the aircraft as the stars.  We were most fortunate that Ivan pushed his new Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26B out into the sunshine for its first airing - thanks Ivan.

The Mk 26B mates the 75% wing of the earlier Mk 25 Spitfire with a 90% scale fuselage.  And the name Supermarine is officially approved by the family owners of Supermarine who were most impressed with the aircraft and gave approval for the use of the Mk 25 and Mk 26 marks.  (The final variant of the original Spitfire was the Mk 24).  Power is from a 6 litre 420 HP V8 Chevrolet Corvette LS 2 engine with a belt drive propellor reduction unit.

Ivan's Spitfire is not yet registered but is painted in the colours of the Mk XIV Spitfire RM 787 of Group Captain Colin Gray DSO and DFC, who was the highest scoring New Zealand born WW2 fighter ace,and who served with the RAF.  Ivan has done an immaculate job of the aircraft and has put a lot of effort into the details including refining the canopy which looks really great.

Colin Gray returned to new Zealand after the war and worked for Lever Brothers in Petone before retiring to Waikanae where he died in 1997.  Ivan has put a lot of effort into making his Spitfire a memorial to Colin Gray, and he would like to share his tribute to their father with Colin Gray's four children.  Ivan has tried to track them down but without success to date so if any blog reader knows of any of Colin Gray's descendants please contact us at the email in the blog header.

At first glance the pilot looks to be right at home with the 90% scale and the Campbell Aero Classics helmet that Ivan is wearing also looks right at home.

And the colour scheme is accurate too, as seen in this photo of the original RM 787 taken from Colin Gray's book Spitfire Patrol.

The cockpit also looks quite authentic, (refer to my photo of the cockpit of Mk XIV Spitfire ZK-XIV at ).  However the Mk 26B is a two seater aircraft with the passenger sitting snugly behind the pilot and under the original lines of the canopy.  You can see the rear seat rudder pedals in the photo.

The Spitfire is but the latest in a line of spectacular scaled replica WW2 aircraft to come out of Loburn Abbey, and above is a line up of Ivans aircraft:  the Spitfire, the Fisher Tiger Moth and the Titan Mustang - Impressive!

Fisher R80 80% scale Tiger Moth ZK-LAS was first flown in 2005.

And Titan T51 75% scale Mustang ZK-MSY "Loburn Lady" was first flown in 2006.  Both of these aircraft were built by Ivan.

In the hangar was Sandy's plane, the Ragwing Storch ZK-RWB, now re-engined with a Rotec radial engine.  It is also soon to fly.

And finally, also in the hangar was Ivan's original weight shift microlight the Campbell Sky Ski ZK-SSI which was first registered in 1992 and is still on the register.

Oh, and there were also several other real interesting projects in the hangar which we shall see out in the sun in the near future.  Watch this space!


 Mike and Sue Visser of Ngahape have given their initials to their Tecnam Astore UL ZK-MSV (c/n 036). 
It was seen today outside Solo Wings at Tauranga. Pic from Hairy Mole Rat.

The Enfield Holding [Mainlandair] Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain ZK-VIP (31-7405482) was noted at Auckland today by Magnaman - having arrived up from Dunedin yesterday.
As you can see it is a 1974 model - which flew into Auckland on 07-03-1993 for V.I.P Air Charter Ltd followed by Air West Coast Ltd from October 2002.
It became part of the Mainland Air fleet in June last year.

Odd shots.

A few pics to help clear out my 'pics on hold' box.

 Three views of the Fokker scourge at Omaka during the Easter gathering.

This Agusta Bell AB206B JetRanger ZK-HPB3 (c/n 8002) spent it early years in Sweden from 1967 followed by a time in Norway from 1982. Then back to Sweden again in 1989 before fronting up in Fox Glacier for K P Demonkos to do his magic on it for it to become ZK-HPB on 18-03-1987.
It moved to Helicopters (NZ) Ltd in January of 1999 but fell over on landing on the Fox Neve on 06-07-2002. It eventually made its way to the ANZ Tech Training School in Christchurch.
It is seen above on 23-05-2015 waiting to be moved to the ANZTTS new building.
 Two views of the North American P51D-25NT Mustang ZK-TAF.
The above view was captured at Wigram by Bargeldo1 on 20-09-2008.
The lower view was taken at Ardmore on 19-05-2015 by Magnaman.
A few years between the two shots.
Now be advised that there is an open day with the Warbirds at Ardmore on the 31st of May.

Dargaville visitors 20-05-2015

Jean210 reports from Dargaville.
A long way from home was the Cessna A152 Aerobat ZK-MDO (c/n A1520974)
Formerly based at North Shore, initially with Paul McSherry of MDR Aviation and then with the North Shore Aero Club ,Cessna A152 Aerobat taildragger ZK-MDO has been with Ivan Krippner’s Southern Lakes Learn to Fly Ltd at Wanaka since March of 2012.
 On 20 May it transited Dargaville heading home after a cross-country training exercise to take in Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua.
The Herman Ahrens Airborne Windsports Edge XT 582 ZK-XHA (XT-582-0114) and P & M Aviation Quik GT450 ZK-MAZ (c/n 8583) of the Matieu Family Trust are two of a contingent of trikes based in the Whangarei area.