Monday, 29 April 2013

Rand KR 2s of New Zealand (2)

The 1990's KR 2s.

Our seventh KR 2 was ZK-KRJ (c/n AACA/454) which was built by John Jewell of Kirwee, and was first registered on 22/4/91.  I understand that this aircraft started out with a retractable tailwheel undercarriage, the was converted to t fixed tailwheel undercarriage, and then to a tri-gear undercarriage.  Does anyone have photos of it in these configurations?

It was cancelled on 22/4/98 but was restored on 13/8/99 to the M&T Syndicate of Christchurch.  It was re-designated as a microlight on 15/7/03.  Ownership changed to WJ Shapcott of Rangiora on 16/7/03 and it was stored at Rangiora where the above photo was taken on 14/10/06.  Finally it was sold to RE McDonald of Christchurch on 9/12/06 where it is undergoing a major rebuild including having flaps fitted, and the installation of a HAPI 1835 cc motor.

The next KR 2 to be registered was ZK-CCK (c/n AACA/2008) which was started by G Wilson and was completed by Walter Reinauer of Auckland.  It was registered on 8/10/91 but it did not fly until 1996.  It was re-designated as a Class 2 microlight on 11/7/00.  It was damaged at Hokitika when it nosed over in soft ground on 6/2/07, but it was repaired and it is still current and based at North Shore.  The above photo was taken at the 1998 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.

Our next KR 2 was ZK-JAY which was built by Lionel Day of Alexandra and was first registered on 23/2/92.  It was sold to JD Grant of Oamaru on 28/2/95.  Tragically it crashed at Hildethorpe near Oamaru on 17/1/97 with the loss of the pilot and passenger.  It was cancelled on 18/6/97.  I do not have a record of who took the above photo.

Our tenth KR 2 was our second ZK-TWO (c/n AACA/582) which was built by DJ Brown of Hamilton and was first registered on 16/11/92.  It suffered an undercarriage collapse at Hamilton on 3/7/93 but was rebuilt and it was re-designated as a Class 2 microlight on 29/6/00.  It was sold to AJ Brizzell of Westport on 18/10/02 and then to SH Hyde of Feilding on 22/10/03.  It was damaged in a landing accident at Raglan on 11/3/05 and has not flown since.  The damaged aircraft was sold to IP Huntley of Feilding on 5/5/06 and it is currently undergoing  a major rebuild with a new canopy and conversion to a tailwheel undercarriage.  Thanks to Stan Hyde for the photo.

And our final KR 2 for the 1990's was ZK-KRZ (c/n 001).  This aircraft was built in Zimbabwe where it was registered VP-WUB and Z-WUB.  It was damaged in a take off accident in Zimbabwe in the late 1980's.

Marcus Mewett of Whangaparaoa rebuilt the aircraft over a 4 year period and registered it as ZK-KRZ on 19/7/93.  It was damaged at North Shore on 31/8/93 by a wind gust but it was rebuilt, as evidenced by the above photo taken in a hangar ar Ardmore in 2004.  It was sold to JL Ainsworth of Christchurch on 29/3/05 and it is still current.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Rangitata Island Sunday. 28-04-2013.

 A distant visitor - from Silverdale - was Des Barry's Vans RV7 ZK-DES3 (c/n 70334) which was listed to Spectrum Trade Ltd on 03-11-2010. This had a previous life in the US as N174RL.
 The Airdrome Airplanes Fokker D-VII ZK-FKG arrives from Ashburton.

Below : I believe that this is the first occasion that these two have been seen together.
Greg Burt's Airdrome Airplanes Fokker's D-VII ZK-FKR2 (c/n NZ101) and Graham Ritchie's Fokker D-VII ZK-FKG2 (c/n 25022010).

 Above we see ZK-FKR climbing out, and below it returns from its mission. Allan Bowman pics.

 The two aviators being Chuck "von" Berry above and "Baron" Ritchie below.
Allan Bowman pics.

Another grass roots day at NZRI

Thanks to Russell and Lynda Brodie for opening their airfield for the masses today.
The northwesterly across the Canterbury Plains kept some of the punters away - but as is often the case - Rangitata Island remained near calm for most of the day.
 It was a neat chance for the kids to have a poke around. Try that at your average local.

 Maureen (aka Mrs Caribou) went for a ride in Tiger 43 (ZK-BRL) followed by a post flight inspection. (You will see more of Mr Caribou's photos on blog soon).
It was a great day to catch up with other blog contributors - Mr and Mrs CMM - Mr and Mrs Caribou - Matt Hayes - Bluebus - Colin Hay - John Nick - Paddy M - Russell Brodie - Allan Bowman and forgive me if I have overlooked others.

Check out Matt's site at

Below are two of the above.
No ! that is not a security fence - but where were security when these two characters showed up ?
Pic from Allan Bowman.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Rand KR 2s of New Zealand (1)

The Rand Robinson KR 2 followed on from the KR 1 which was a very innovative homebuilt design as it was the first to use foam and fibreglass composite construction. The KR 2 was designed by Ken Rand and first flew in 1974. The structure is basic wood and ply, but the surface contours are formed by polyurethane foam which is formed to the shapes required and then covered by Dynel fabric which is impregnated with resin. This allows compound curves to be easily formed, and after sanding a smooth surface results. The wings have 2 wooden spars with polyurethane ribs which are again covered with resin impregnated Dynel fabric. The flying surfaces are simply cut out and reattached with hinges. The original models featured a manually retractable undercarriage but it can also be built with fixed gear either tailwheel or tri-gear.  A later version, the KR 2S appeared in the 1990's and featured a 16 inch fuselage stretch and a new airfoil.  Plans for the KR 2 were sold in great numbers with 4,500 sets sold by 1979, and around 1,100 KR 2s had flown worldwide in 2011.

The KR 2 is a rather cramped 2 seater and is more of a roomy single seater.  It is a very small aircraft having a length of 4.42 metres (14 feet 6 inches) and a wingspan of 6.30 metres (20 feet 8 inches).  It has a wing area of 80 square feet.  The empty weight is 200 Kg (440 pounds) and MAUW is 408 Kg (897 pounds).  It can be powered by various VW engines and with a 2130 cc VW the top speed is optimistically quoted as 180 mph.

We have had 16 KR 2s registered in New Zealand to date, and there are still some being built, so we should expect some more.  I will start with the 1980's batch of KR 2s.

Our first KR 2 was ZK-JET (c/n AACA/607), which was built by George Thornton of Auckland, and was first registered on 3/9/80.  It first flew at Ardmore on 6/1/81 but was damaged on landing on 22/1/81 when its undercarriage collapsed.  It was never rebuilt and it was cancelled on 22/1/88.  It is photo'd above at Ardmore during its brief career, but I do not have a record of who took the photo.

Our second KR 2 was ZK-KRT (for Kermit) which was c/n AACA/600 and was built by Peter Walsh of Hastings.  It was registered to PB and JA Walsh of Hastings on 23/12/81 and it first flew a day later on 24/12/81.  It is photo'd above at Hastings early on in its life.  It was re-designated as a Class 2 microlight on 22/12/06 and it is still current with its original builder.

Our third KR 2 was ZK-CSR (c/n AACA/623) which was built by Peter Golding of Lower Hutt and was first registered on 21/5/83.  Its first flight was at Wellington on 24/8/84.  It is photo'd above at an airshow at Palmerston North in 1985.

It was sold to the Groot Syndicate (Case Groot, (of whom more later) and RL Groot) of Putaruru on 10/1/89.  Case Groot rebuilt the aircraft and incorporated a 17 inch fuselage stretch, a 3 inch wider cockpit and a taller fin and rudder as can be seen in this photo taken at the 1992 AACA flyin at Tauranga.  It was sold to DC Due of Tirau on 13/6/90, and then to DJ Stuart of Lower Hutt on 4/5/96.

Another photo of ZK-CSR taken at the 1998 AACA flyin at Matamata, where it now has a Dragonfly canopy fitted.

It was sold to KW Dobson of Ohakea on 26/5/01, and he later moved to Woodbourne.  The above photo was taken at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  Tragically ZK-CSR was involved in a fatal accident on 8/6/03, in the Waihopai Valley near Blenhiem.  The accident report found that the pilot was overcome by Carbon Monoxide after fitting a new cabin heat system.  ZK-CSR was cancelled on 1/9/03.

Our fourth KR 2 ZK-TWO (c/n AACA/317) also had a tragic history and a very brief life.  It was built by Brian Street of Queenstown and was first registered on 20/10/83.  The above photo shows ZK-TWO with its original canopy, which Brian Street found too restrictive.

He then constructed this more roomy canopy.  Tragically Brian Street was killed on the test flight of ZK-TWO at Queenstown on 14/4/84.  The accident was caused by a fuel fire on take off.  ZK-TWO was cancelled on 29/3/88.

Thankfully our fifth KR 2 has had a long and successful life.  ZK-KRG (c/n AACA/547) was built by Case Croot of Putaruru, and was first registered to Case J Groot and RL Groot on 8/7/87.  It is photo'd above at the 1989 AACA flyin at Tairei with a retractable under carriage.

And here it is with a fixed undercarriage as photo'd at the 1998 AACA flyin at Tauranga.  It was sold to CR and PM Holmes of Te Awamutu on 22/9/98, and it was re-designated as a Class 2 microlight on 11/9/00.  It is still current but I think it may be under rebuild.

And our sixth KR 2 was ZK-FRB (c/n AACA/483) which was built by Kurt Neilson then Rudi Wenk then Charles Lake, and was registered to Charles Lake of Auckland on 1/6/88.  It is photo'd above in a hangar at Matamata I think, in the late 1990's.  It was re-designated as a Class 2 microlight on 21/8/00 and it is still current.

1080 poison carrot drop

Des Smith has kindly supplied us with another batch of photographs - this time taken during poison carrot dropping operations out of the Mangleton strip (to the west of Hastings) in July of 1973.
The first five photographs show the preparations.


Below - carrots ready to go.
Below we have several loading shots

Finally looking down the strip.
Thanks Des.

Friday, 26 April 2013

FOX and STU at NZMS today

Geoff Lloyd was poking around at Masterton today and sent in these two pics of a couple of strays.
 The "FOX" was out of its Scargill lair and dropped into NZMS today. ZK-FOX is a Socata MS893E Rallye 180GT (c/n 12573). Originally a Socata demonstrator (as F-BXYM) it came to NZ and was registered to Forbes McKenzie on 21-06-1978.

Cirrus Design SR22 ZK-STU (c/n 1900) dropped in from Auckland via points east under the command of Duncan Peters.
It has been listed with Cirrus One Ltd since being registered in NZ on 04-06-2008.

ANZAC Day patrol

Two photographs from Rangiora on ANZAC Day taken by Allan Bowman.
Above we have the De Haviland DHC-1 Chipmunks ZK-ARL (c/n 61) with Jim Chapman and ZK-XUK (c/n C1-0087) with Lou McAllister; and the Titan T51 ZK-MSY (c/n 0035) with Ivan Campbell waiting to line up on "07" at Rangiora. That will be Jabiru ZK-LEI on short finals.
Also out to play was Brian van der Velden in the Ultralight Aviation Thruster ZK-FHK (c/n MAANZ/229). This has been around since late 1983.

More on Dothistroma Spraying

 The recent blog about the 1975 dothistoma spray contract at Kaingaroa undertaken by James Aviation reminded me that the following year, interlopers from the south in the form of Pete Rowley's Aerial Sowing Ltd secured some 25% of the contract area. Four aircraft were used - two Rockwell Thrush Commanders ZK-DQA/DQB (flown by Colin Sutherland and Andrew Wheelan), Snow S-2D ZK-CPL (the late Barry Cowley) and Cessna A188 ZK-CSE (Alan Hackston). The contract was initially plagued by bad weather, but eventually completed in late December. Below are a few images from that time.

While Thrush ZK-DQA was based in Rotorua, the other aircraft were flown up from the South Island. Here, Andrew Wheelan and the accompanying Snow grind along north of Otaki on 30 October.
The Kaingaroa Golf Course /Airstrip got a serious working over while the spray systems were calibrated. Here is ZK-DQB again.

Once the weather came right, 12-hour days were not unusual. Colin Sutherland takes on another load on the Run 58 Airstrip on 5 December 1976. Pumice dust was ever present.
The Thrush was in its element when spraying - here Andrew Wheelan looks after the young pines with copper oxychloride at Low Level Road deep in the Kaingaroa Forest.


By this time, Snow ZK-CPL was the only airworthy example in country, but it proved to be no slug in the spray department either. Barry Cowley in action at Half Mile.

The baby in the team was A188 ZK-CSE, here taking on another load at the Waireka Strip, while in the background ZK-DQB waits.
Another strip used was Waipouri, the mixing and loading facilities of which can be seen behind Colin Sutherland in ZK-DQA.