Saturday 9 October 2010

Clutton Tabenor FRED's of New Zealand

Following from my previous post on Luton Minors of New Zealand, my thoughts turned to another English parasol that in some ways is like a modern Luton Minor. That is the Clutton-Tabenor FRED. The FRED was designed and built by EW Sherry and Eric Clutton, and the prototype first flew in England on 2/11/63. FRED stands for Flying Recreational Experimetal Design. It is a bit heavier the the Luton Minor and it has a much thicker wing section which contains the fuel tank. The FRED is 17 feet long and has a wingspan of 22 feet 6 inches. It has a wing area of 111 square feet. Its empty weight is 550 lbs and MAUW is 800 lbs. It cruises at 70 mph behind a VW engine and its flying characteristics have been described as "slow but sure"!

There have been 3 FRED's in New Zealand. All of them are still with their original owners which may say something about owning a FRED?

The photos are from the Keith Morris collection unless otherwise noted.
The first FRED was ZK-FRD (c/n AACA 279), which was built by Alan and Evan Belworthy at Masterton in the late 1970's. It was registered to Evan Belworthy in 10/79 and has been owned by him ever since. The Belworthy's left the Wairarapa and moved to Cust in Canterbury where ZK-FRD is still active. The above photo was taken at Masterton in 1981.
This photo of ZK-FRD was taken at the 1987 AACA fly-in at Omaka, and it now features wheel spats and Fred Flintstone on the tail.

And this photo of ZK-FRD was taken at the fogged out AACA fly-in at Rangiora in 1983.

Our next FRED was ZL-ELJ (c/n AACA 361), which was built by Alex Armstrong of Dunedin, and was first registered on 9/9/80. This photo of it was taken at Taieri in 1981.

ZK-ELJ was re-registered as ZK-LXA on 15/6/88 when ownership transferred to the Armstrong Family Trust of Dunedin. It is photographed here in a hangar at Taieri on 25/3/81. Alex Armstrong went on to built Sisler Cygnet ZK-LXB and Vans RV-4 ZK-LXC, all of which are owned by the Armstrong Family Trust. I don't think ZK-LXA is currently active as it was photographed by Blue Bus partly dismantled in a hangar at Taieri in October 2008. Thanks to Blue Bus for this photo.

And our final FRED is ZK-RSJ (c/n PFA 028-10753) which was imported into New Zealand and first registered on 24/11/00 by Mr RF Jopling of Barnard Castle, UK. ZK-RSJ was registered G-BSSJ in the UK. It is still owned by Mr Jopling although it is based at Ashburton where Blue Bus took this photo on 2/2/01.


  1. I run the Clutton FRED web site at I wonder if you would mind if I reblog your post to that site? I am already in touch with Evan Belworthy (ZK-FRD) but I would also like permission to add the photos of the other NZ FREDs the gallery of FREDs around the world. Perhaps you could put me in touch with the photographer to get his permission? Thanks!

    1. Did you ever get contact info for rights to the "Keith Morris Collection" of images? I'd like to verify the authenticity of an image.