Monday 27 May 2024

DH Chipmunk Birthday Celebration at Ardmore

The 22nd of May 2024 was the 78th birthday of the first flight of the DHC-1 Chipmunk at Downsview, Ontario in Canada.  Each year this anniversary is celebrated with gatherings of Chipmunks and the 75th birthday was a big one, especially in England.  But any birthday will do for a gathering of Chipmunks and that is what Vaughn Davis organized at Ardmore on Saturday 25th of May.  The weather was not helpful for Chipmunks to attend from long distance but four Auckland based examples gathered outside the Warbirds main hangar:

The line up - Vaughn Davis' ZH-CHP3 (callsign Chipmunk 65), the NZ Warbirds ZK-RFS, Doug Sinclair's recently acquired ZK-LOM and the Chipmunk Syndicate's ZK-SAX.

Later on in the day the four Chipmunks went for a formation flight.  This photo is from ZK-LOM.

It is only two years until the Chipmunk's 80th birthday and that will no doubt be another big one.  We have 15 Chipmunks currently on the NZ Register plus there is N861WP with Bevan Dewes in Masterton.

Thanks to Vaughn Davis for supplying the photos.


Sunday 26 May 2024

Eipper Quicksilver MX IIs at Galatea 25-5-2024

Mark Pattenden was at the flyin held at Galatea yesterday where there were a remarkable four of the first generation Quicksilver MX II microlights (albeit one was deregistered):

Quicksilver MX II Sprint ZK-UMC (c/n 0652) was originally registered in June 2006 and has been owned by the Uruwera Aero Club since 3/10/19.  Obviously it is active.

The second MX II was a Sport model, being ZK-CWT2 (c/n 99120) is a very recent registrant, having been on the register for G G Iles of Murupara since 21/2/24.  It would be interesting to know where it came from.

ZK-MXJ (c/n MAANZ/288) is one of the early MX IIs to be registered here in November 1984 - one of a remarkable 23 MX IIs to be registered in the ZK-MX batch of registrations.  It has been registered to W N Iles of Galatea since 6/5/20.

And also in the hangar was the unregistered example which is ex ZK-JBR (c/n MAANZ/482) which was first registered in December 1992 but was withdrawn and cancelled on 12/6/15.  However it still looks complete.

With other MX IIs flying at Feilding and Rangitata Island and up North do I detect a renewed interest in first generation microlights?

Thanks for the use of the photos Mark.


Thursday 23 May 2024

Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels (5) - Departures

After an excellent but hugely busy day there were lots of departing aircraft to photograph (these are just the vintage display aircraft - in total we had more than 40 visiting aircraft in addition to the aircraft on display that are based on the airfield):

Cessna Bird Dogs ZK-FYA (which is registered as a Cessna O-1G)

and ZK-DAJ2 (which is registered as a Cessna 305A)

Stearman ZK-RJS2 back to Ardmore

Stan Smith flying his DH Dragon ZK-AXI, back to North Shore


Followed by Michael Bach in the DH Moth Minor ZK-AKM.


Next was David Wilkinson in his Pitts S 1S ZK-MPM, with smoke!


Then Rob Fry in his recently imported Yak 52 ZK-BJK2, still in its Jurgis Kairy's colours.

And last away of this lot was Graeme Woods flying the Beaver ZK-CKH back to Ardmore.

I reckon that is just about all from the Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels 2024 - a great day!



Wednesday 22 May 2024

Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels (4) - DH Beaver ZK-CKH

The sound of another radial engine overhead heralded the arrival of the NZ Warbirds DHC 2 Beaver ZK-CKH arriving from Ardmore flown by Graeme Woods with 6 passengers including Flyernzl:

Over the threshold for Runway 07.

For a nice wheeler landing.

Later on in the day here she(?) taxying for takeoff.  The smoke clearing in the background is from David Wilkinson's takeoff in his Pitts.

We have covered this Beaver lots in the past (see HERE for its history), but I am still a fan of brightly coloured aircraft against the green backdrop of Kaipara Flats airfield.  And you can get close to the action!


Tuesday 21 May 2024

Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels (3) - Stearman ZK-RJS

After the arrivals of the Dragon and Moth Minor the next aircraft to arrive in the lovely sunshine was Russell Jenkins' immaculate A 75 Stearman ZK-RJS2:

On approach over the threshold for Runway 07 (there was no wind).

For a nice wheeler landing.

And rollout showing the Flying A Aero Type Gasoline logo and registration on the top wing.

Then taxying to its display spot.  That is one immaculate aircraft!


Monday 20 May 2024

Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels (2) - DH Moth Minor ZK-AKM

Another super rare aircraft that flew up to Kaipara Flats on Sunday with the DH 84 Dragon ZK-AXI was Stan and Gilly Smith's DH 94 Moth Minor ZK-AKM which was flown by Michael Bach.  I don't know how many Moth Minors might be flying worldwide but it would be very small.  And I reckon the chances of seeing a DH Dragon and a DH Moth Minor flying together would be unique in the world.

Another flat approach with no flaps, but there is that huge belly mounted speed brake.

To a three point touchdown.

Taxying back showing the long wingspan (the wings however are foldable for hangarage).

Looking lovely in the Autumn sun.

And Michael taxing ZK-AKM to her display parking spot.


Sunday 19 May 2024

Kaipara Flats Wings and Wheels (1) - DH Dragon ZK-AXI

The Rodney Aero Club and the Waitemata Vintage Car Club held a very successful Wings and Wheels event at Kaipara Flats airfield today.  It was a fantastic Autumn day and the turnout of both aircraft and cars exceeded everyone's expectations.

There were some wonderful aircraft there that deserve a separate post so I will start off with Stan and Gilly Smith's amazing DH 84 Dragon ZK-AXI which is one of only a very few flying worldwide (maybe only three?):

The Dragon flies a flat approach with no flaps - rather like my Jodel D9.

A wheeler touchdown...

and the tailwheel is nearly down.

Taxying back - the airfield was manicured and the backdrop is nice.

Stan Smith holding while taxying to his parking spot.  He flew the Dragon with just himself as Pilot in Command and that gave a sprightly take off performance!  Such a wonderful sight.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Warming up for Wings and Wheels at Kaipara Flats

There is a Wings and Wheels event happening at Kaipara Flats airfield tomorrow, hosted by the Rodney Aero Club and the Waitemata Vintage Car Club, and the weather forecast is great!  There were a few interesting vintage arrivals today ahead of the event tomorrow:

Stan and Gilly Smith's Piper J 3C-65 Cub ZK-AIR was an early arrival.

And their Auster J5 ZK-DBU had arrived on Friday.

Next in were 3 Tiger Moths - Alan Coubray in his and Martin Farrand's Tiger ZK-ATM2, from Whitianga.

Then Peter Ryan in ZK-AUE from Matamata..

Followed by Kermit Ryan, also from Matamata, in ZK-BLM2.


ZK-BLM2 tucked up  in the hangar with Jim Schmidt's Tiger ZK-CCH.  There are 5 Tiger Moths hangared on the field tonight, as well as the Cub and the Auster, which is a pretty good effort.


Rangiora on Friday the 17th.

Initially assembled here at Rangiora in September of 2011 - the Ibis Magic GS-700 ZK-MGC c/n GS-05-08-700-69 has recently been delivered to its new owner Wayne Wilson after attention at Custom Aviation at Taieri.
Four of our five examples are now based is this area.
The early story of the NZ Ibis Magics can be seen HERE

About to depart after a fuel stop is the Vans RV-7 ZK-TEZ c/n 73885 as listed with Gary Julian of Whataroa.
It now carries addition trail markings.
See an earlier photo HERE

Below two shots of the Cessna 182D ZK-MJP c/n 18253552 of Malcolm and Morgan Price
Pic above shows it in loose formation with an avian friend.
And below the companion breaks up and away.

Thursday 16 May 2024

Newly Refurbished Robertson B1-RD ZK-RSN

I was interested to see that Robert McNair recently registered his refurbished Robertson B1-RD microlight ZK-RSN recently, and now David Wilkinson has supplied a photo of it.  David has recently been flying the B1-RD and loving it - no doubt quite a change from his One Design and Pitts!

ZK-RSN (c/n 1S036) was registered to Rob McNair on 23/11/23 and Rob told me that restoring the microlight was a big job as all of the 6061 aluminium had to be replaced due to corrosion and Rob sourced all original tubing from the US.  It is powered by a Rotax 503 engine.  

The original B1-RD was a 2 seater that was registered ZK-STU (MAANZ/283) to Alan Stewart from Taupiri in October 1984 and was registered until May 2001.  Rob has restored it as a single seater.

Thanks to Rob McNair for the information and to David Wilkinson for the photo.

Below - two more recent photos of ZK-RSN from Rob McNair.