Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dyn Aero Aircraft of New Zealand (1) - MCR 01 ULCs and Clubs

The Dyn Aero MCR 01 family of aircraft were developed from Michael Colomban's earlier MC 100 Ban Bi (Michael Colomban also designed the MC 15 Cri Cri of which we have had two in New Zealand).  It is a lightweight 2 seat all composite (mainly carbon fibre) aircraft that has tremendous performance with a top speed approaching 300 kph, but with a stall speed around 80 kph on a 80 HP Rotax engine.  This is due to the double slotted flap wing design (similar to an airliner wing).

Dyn Aero was formed in 1992 by Christophe Robin (the son of Robin Aircraft founder Pierre Robin).  It produced kits and ready to fly aircraft.  Unfortunately it went into bankruptcy in early 2012, but it was bought by the French Artzaimak Industrial Group who still offer the aircraft for sale.  The current range of aircraft include the MCR 01 ULC (which has a longer wing to comply with French microlight rules), the Sportster (similar to the Club with a shorter wing which complies with new Zealand microlight rules) and the four seat MCR 4S.  There are more than 500 Dyn Aero aircraft flying worldwide.

The specifications for the MCR 01 series are as follows for the ULC (and with the Club specifications in brackets):  Length 5.4 metres (same for both), wingspan 8.64 metres (6.63 metres), wing area 8.13 square metres (5.20 square metres), empty weight around 260 Kg (230 Kg) but add 20 Kg for other equipment such as a Ballistic Recovery parachute.  The MAUW is 450 Kg for the ULC model and 490 Kg for the Club model.  The performance is spectacular with cruise speeds of up to 300 kph for the short winged Club model on a 100 HP Rotax 912 engine.  The aircraft also boasts a very long range with over 1500 kilometres possible.

We have had two MCR ULC models and two MCR 01 Club models in New Zealand to date, plus one MCR 4S.

ZK-TFB (c/n 87) is an MCR ULC model and was built from a kit by Evan Gardiner of Upper Waitohi.  It was first registered to him on 14/3/01 and he still owns it, although it is based at Parakai now.  It is photo'd above at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata and it has not changed much over the years.

MCR 01 Sport model ZK-WIK (c/n 342) was imported by Leading Edge Aviation of Helensville (Harvey Lockie), who were the New Zealand agents for Dyn Aero.  It was first registered on 22/5/07 and ownership transferred to Harvey Lockie on 29/11/09.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 6/12/08 where it wears the Race Winners wreath for the 2007 Wanaka Airgames and Demonstrator titles.

Photo'd again at Parakai on 19/2/11, now with Parakai Airfield titles.

Showing the very short wing, ZK-WIK over the Kaipara Harbour 29/3/14.

And at the Dargaville Aero Club lunch later that same day, now with Flybook titles (Flybook is an on-line aircraft booking system) 

MCR 01 Club model ZK-SML (c/n 393) was imported by Leading Edge Aviation for Geoff Smale of North Shore  It was registered on 14/7 09 and first flew on 7/8/09.  It was very well equipped with a glass cockpit and hydraulic CSU propellor.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 17/9/09.

It is photo'd above at its base at North Shore, now wearing the name The Magic Carpet and with a magic carpet mural.  Tragically it was lost on 9/4/11 and Geoff Smale was killed when the aircraft flew into Mt Duppa near Nelson, on a North Shore to Ashburton flight.  Geoff Smale was 86 years old.  ZK-SML was cancelled on 11/5/11.

MCR ULC model ZK-ORR (c/n 224) was first registered in 2002 in France as F-PDAI and was imported into New Zealand by Leading Edge Aviation in 2011 with 290 airframe hours.  It has an 80 HP Rotax 912 and an electric MT propellor.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 19/2/11.  It was first registered on 2/3/11 to Robert L Orr of Rakaia and ownership changed to Ross A Dawson of Tauranga on 25/7/15.

ZK-ORR and ZK-WIK at North Shore on 7/4/16.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Let out for a couple of hours.

Yep - the Blue Bus was let out for a couple of hours this afternoon and managed a quick goosie around Rangiora Airfield.
A place where there is always some interesting action is Hangar # 72.
STOL Performance NZ works from there and today I found the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-NVY (c/n 5770) nearing completion with its new rear fuselage and the Aero Design Pulsar XP ZK-MIV (c/n 294) is on the hoist having its wheel brakes worked on.
Still pounding the circuit after some forty four years is the Canterbury Aero Club's Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser ZK-DUP (c/n 28-7425382).
Mind you - it's not exactly the original machine having received a donor fuselage in 1995 following an incident at Loch Katrine.
ZK-JOR (c/n WAS0893530) is a Rans S-6ES Coyote belonging to the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club Inc (CRAC). 
This was built in tail dragger form but following an incident in 2007 resurfaced with a trainer wheel up front.
It is currently listed for sale.

JOR is on Trademe - a great way to get into ownership of an extremely well maintained aircraft at $25k. 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Down memory lane.

Here we have a pic from a few years back - sent in by Allan Bowman.
I am thinking that Memorial Avenue is coming down from the top of the picture with the golf course in the pine trees. The change in direction is now the roundabout with Orchard Road heading out to the left to pass behind the ODF hangar under construction.
Johns Road/SH1 runs alongside the pine trees. 
The Canterbury Aero Club hangar is on the right hand edge with maybe an Auster and a C47 parked nearby.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Titan Mustang ZK-WZY.

A view of the Titan T51 Mustang ZK-WZY (c/n 0076) as captured at Ardmore by Tony Smith at the end of last moth.
It was well covered by Sir Minty previously at :-

Douglas DC 3 Memories

My memories of early exposure to aircraft were further jogged by the recent post on Bristol Freighters.  So I thought that an evocative early colour photo of a New Zealand National Airways Corporation DC 3 from the Neville Drake collection was worth posting, if even for the neat old Vacuum Oil fuel truck in the foreground.  The photo was taken at Paraparaumu and is undated, but must have been in the early 1950s.

ZK-AWQ (c/n 16565/33313) was built as a C-47B-35-DK and was bought on charge with the RNZAF as NZ3546 from June 1945.  It was demobbed in July 1952 and was registered as ZK-AWQ on 15 July 1952 and was named Patarai.  (Actually this is the identification point in the above photo as the camera unfortunately went out of focus at the left of the photo and the registration is indistinct).

ZK-AWQ was withdrawn from NAC service on 18/4/61 and returned to the RNZAF where it was re-allocated the serial NZ3546 and was fitted for target towing.  It served with the RNZAF until late 1977 when it was demobbed again,  It was then sold by tender to K B Neely of Christchurch and was again registered as ZK-AWQ on 6/12/78 for ferrying to Christchurch where the photos below were taken.

 In its ferry scheme with RNZAF marking painted over.

The aircraft was then caught up in international politics, as the New Zealand Government suspected that the aircraft was going to be sold to Rhodesia which at that time was under strict international trade sanctions, and refused it an export permit.  So it sat at Harewood along with 3 other DC 3s purchased by Mr Neely.

It was repainted as shown in the above photo and eventually flew out from New Zealand on 8/12/80 for Singapore after the sanctions were lifted.  It became D6-CAG with Islands Associates of London on 1/1/81 and was leased to Air Comores of Moroni which is the capital city of the Union of Comores, a 30 square kilometre archipelago in the Indian Ocean.  By 1982 it had made its way to South Africa where it became 6863 with the SAAF.  At a later date it was converted to PT 6 turboprop power as a C-47-TP.  Finally it was de-mobbed (for the third time!) and sold to Dobson Aviation of Ottawa, Kansas and allocated the US registration N81907 on 14/7/98 but this was not taken up.  It was registered as to Dobson International Parts SA as ZS-OJL on 15/2/01 and ferried to Wonderboom Airport, North of Pretoria where it was placed in storage.  But she still lived on! as can be seen in the 2010 photo at where she looks great.  

That is one interesting aircraft history!  Thanks very much to Flyernzl for the above information.

Flyernzl has posted another excellent and comprehensive history of all of New Zealand's 42 civil DC 3s at

And a final footnote.

The Warbirds DC 3C-S1C3G ZK-DAK2, (owned by Flight 2000 Ltd of Auckland), while painted as NZ3546 has no connection with NZ3546/ZK-AWQ/NZ3546/ZK-AWQ/D6-CAG/SAAF6863/N81907/ZS-OJL at all! (Apart of course for the colour scheme).