Monday, 20 August 2012

Fletcher ZK-CQB

Fletcher Fu24 c/n 7 was created as a Mk11 and initially registered to the Fletcher Aviation Corp of Rosewood, California as N6506C. Its first flight being 08-02-1955. I believe it was used as an engine test bed airframe for various upgrades. About the time it came to NZ it had a geared Continental GIO-470A engine of 310hp fitted which according to my notes "blew up" on 01-07-1967.
It was registered as ZK-CQB to James Aviation Ltd of Hamilton on 31-05-1966.
The above photograph, in the James Aviation scheme, comes from the CMM collection but I believe was taken by Tim Frederickson.
Below we see it at Hamilton on 05-02-1969; just three days before -
- it was damaged by its loader at Te Mata on 08-03-1969.
No doubt it has had several other scrapes during its career.
Below we have it taxiing around at Tauranga on 27-09-1972
 And then two shots of her parked at Whangarei on 15-10-1972.

On 20-06-1973 I spied it at Tauranga again.

The above pic, from CMM, shows it as in July 1975 - In James Aviation markings, although it was officially listed with Farmer Aerial Top Dressing Co Ltd of Invercargill on 13-03-1975.
To add to the confusion it is seen below at James Aviation's Hamilton base in November of 1977, marked in Farmers Aerial Top Dressing script and with large CQB letters on the fuselage.
I suspect it did more than one stint with Farmers down south.
Below it is at Hamilton, date unknown, with the "James" script on the tail in a different format - larger white letter "J" instead of the Swirly black "J" and black "ames". of the earlier pics.

Above : on 09-09-1978 It was lurking at Roxburgh
On 06-11-1978 it was re-classified as a FU24-950M and was re-listed to James Aviation on 25-11-1982.
In November of 1984 an ownership change to P J Harrex Ltd of Milton took place.
Ten years later it transferred from Peter to Willow Air (NZ) Ltd - still of Milton.
It returned to Hamilton to join Super Air Ltd on 18-03-2002.

Pic below, taken by Peter Lewis, shows her at Hamilton on 20-04-2008 - still in Willow Air colours but with Super Air on its fin.

Below is CQB at rest at Hamilton on 23-02-2009.

Kerikeri based Super Air Fletcher FU24-950M ZK-CQB (c/n 7) was taking advantage of a break in the moist weather to work the Urea heap out of Dargaville on 17-08-2012.
These two lower pics from Jean210


  1. And, despite her rego, she's the oldest (or at least lowest serial)still flying?


  2. Is Cresco DUJ still at Kerikeri with Lester Mason, or is CQB an additional mount for him?

  3. Oops, that should have been Walter powered Fletcher DUJ

  4. do you have any photos of ZK BYC ?

  5. The Walter-powered DUJ went south a few months ago; Lester is now flying CQB


  6. Super write up and pictorial history, thank you Blue Bus

  7. These Fletcher thumbnails are excellent. More please.

  8. Wondering if this has an eight-pot engine now? What a veteran, nearly as old as I! ;)