Sunday, 9 September 2012

Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (12) - Stanton Sunbird Motorglider

The Stanton Sunbird motorglider ZK-JEA was designed and constructed by Charlie Stanton over a 3 year period in the early 1990's, and it utilised various mechanical parts from Charlie's earlier American Eaglet ZK-GOE.  I have included it here in the series on Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand, but it also fits into the Homebuilt Gliders of New Zealand series.

It has a wingspan of 42 feet (12.8 metres) and was powered by a 27 HP Rotax 277 engine with a feathering propellor that could be restarted in flight if necessary.  It was self-launching and flew successfully for over 10 years.

 ZK-JEA (c/n 001) was registered as a Class 1 microlight to Charlie Stanton on 1/11/94, and its first flight was on 26/2/95.

From the above information, its final flight was on 16/4/05.  On 4/12/95 Charlie and his wife donated the aircraft to the Ashburton Aviation Museum where it is now on display as photo'd below.

Thanks to Blue Bus for the photos.

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