Sunday, 2 September 2012

Homebuilt Gliders of New Zealand - DSK BJ-1B Dusters

The original BJ-1 sailplane was designed for homebuilding by Ben Janssen in the 1960's.  It was updated and improved to the BJ-1B by Hank Thor, and plans went on sale in 1971.  It is of all wood construction with fibreglass fairings.  It is 20 feet 6 inches (6.0 metres) long with a wingspan of 42 feet 8 inches (13.0 metres) and an aspect ratio (wingspan to wing chord) of 17.7.  It weighs 350 pounds (159 Kg) empty and MAUW is 580 pounds (281 Kg).  It had a reasonable glide ratio of 29 to 1.

The photos are from the Keith Morris collection.

Our first Duster was ZK-GKP (c/n AACA/317) which was built by Alex Taylor of West Dome, Southland and was first registered on 1/9/76.  Its first flight was on 18/12/76.  Later it was owned by Helen Taylor who may have been Alex's daughter.  It was withdrawn from use at Mossburn in May 1993.  I don't have a record of who took the above photo or the location.

Our next Duster was ZK-GVJ (c/n AACA/378).  This was built by JJ Van Giels of Timaru and was first registered to him on 13/1/78.  Unfortunately it crashed on a test flight at Timaru on 21/1/78 which must make it our shortest lived homebuilt glider.  I apologise for the quality of the photo, but considering how short a life it had, it is pretty good to have a photo at all.  Again, I do not have a record of who took the photo.

And our last and most successful Duster was ZK-GSR (c/n AACA/338) which was built by Stu Rogerson of Hamilton, and was first registered to him on 24/7/84.  It is still current and I assume is still based at Matamata where the above photo was taken.


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  2. My Grandfather is Stu Rogerson who built and flew GSR, he donated it to the Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga last year as it could no longer be flown. It is hanger up in one of the hangers at the museum.

  3. Hello there Tim.
    Many thanks for the update on this lovely little glider.