Thursday, 31 July 2014

ZK-OXF comes and Goes.

 Air New Zealand's 10th domestic configured sharklet fitted Airbus A320-232 ZK-OXF c/n 6182 carried out its first revenue flights today. It arrived in country on the 25th.
Above it is just lining up on runway 29 at Christchurch - and below - flexing its wings into the nor'wester  for the first time.
Landing photos will no doubt appear on  soon.
I spied several aviation enthusiasts along the fence line waiting for her arrival.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Piper PA22-150 c/n 22-3592.

The Piper PA-22-150 TriPacer ZK-BLC is c/n 22-3592 and first appeared on our register on 30-01-1956 for the NZ agents Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch.
Above is a pic of ZK-BLC taken at Stratford in 1957 with Wanganui Aero Club titles.
Pic from the Allan Wooller collection.
It was first used by the Wanganui Aero Cub until it moved back to Christchurch with the Canterbury Aero Club from 15-03-1962.
 Photo above shows ZK-BLC outside the old Aero Club half hangar on 10-04-1964.
The other half of the hangar was used by Mount Cook Airlines for servicing their HS748's and the odd Cessna 185.
Above is a nice undated colour shot by Ivan Prince and comes from the Ed Coates collection.
 It suffered an engine failure near Tapanui on 12-10-1965 and overturned in the ensuing forced landing.
It was rebuilt and re-appeared on the register on as ZK-CPJ on 04-02-1966 with B Frazer of Christchurch with the modified c/n of R22-3592 (with R = rebuild).
A couple of weeks later (18-02-1966) ownership moved to William E Robb of Ashburton.
The next, and final, ownership changed took effect on 08-02-1983 when it transferred to A J Harmer of Mount Somers.
Pic below on an unknown date and site of ZK-CPJ from the Allan Wooller collection with the full registration and vertical tailplane chevron.
Below we have two pics of ZK-CPJ at West Melton on 23-03-1990. 
 Below ZK-CPJ at West Melton on 13-08-1996 with its turned down wingtips, larger abbreviated registration letters and all white vertical tail.
 It was withdraw and cancelled on 26-02-2014.
The two lower photographs were shot in the Ashburton Aviation Museum on 24-07-2014.
  Mind your cranium on that wing tip trailing edge !
Other photos from the Dave Paull collection.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Aircraft at North Shore That Have Seen Better Days

Every time I visit North Shore Airfield these two aircraft are there (obviously!).

Piper PA 23-150D Apache ZK-BUA is in fact still on the register, owned by the Apache Syndicate of North Shore.  It was first registered in New Zealand in November 1957 and was operated for many years by the Civil Aviation Division of the Ministry of Transport.  It must have many stories to tell - anyone want to post them?

And Cessna 172K ZK-WGS will never feel the wind under its wings again. It was first registered in New Zealand in August 1998 and was cancelled in May 2009.

Monday, 28 July 2014

A trio from Ardmore 28 July 2014

Brilliant blue skies after a rare hard frost across the Auckland region made for the ideal opportunity to catch a gaggle of aircraft strutting their stuff in the clear air.

Cessna 206 ZK-FWC has yet to reach the online NZCAA register having arrived in the country as VH-PMH on 20 June.
It is seen here returning to the Flightline facility at Ardmore.

Cessna 185C ZK-JHS came whistling in from the east still wearing its makeshift ZK- marks after a foray to Australia during late Spring 2008. 

Cessna A185F ZK-WHJ is registered to North Shore interests and it followed ZK-JHS into the circuit at Ardmore. 

North Shore Today - 28-7-2014

Finally a nice day, so a trip up to North Shore airfield was in order.  Mostly local aircraft but a good selection none-the-less.

The Northland Emergency Services Trust's Sikorsky S 76A ZK-IAL is based at North Shore.

Cessna 152H ZK-JFO was visiting from Hamilton.

Cessna 172P ZK-VCT is North Shore owned.

And locally owned Mooney M 20C ZK-RMM was out and about.

This A 380 cruised by to the South of the airfield...

While the John Black Skyline Cruiser ZK-VOK came in from the North prior to landing - both looked about the same size.

Hoffman Dimona ZK-GCB.

The Royal Thai Air Force purchased ten Hoffman H36 Dimona motor gliders in 1983 as cadet pilot trainers. They were disposed of in 1993. One in particular, C/n 3537, had been withdrawn from use in late February of 1992 (I believe it had been damaged).  It went to and was stored in Australia. This motor glider had the Thai serial number 537 (which was the last three numbers of it c/n) and is pictured below.
This airframe was obtained by Dave McMillan of Greymouth and was registered on 20-03-2004 as ZK-GCB2.
It came with a newly overhauled Limbach L2000 engine which drives a three position Hoffman propeller. It sat for some time at the rear of its Greymouth hangar until being purchased and listed to the GCB Syndicate of Drury on 30-06-2011.
With restoration now complete it flew for the first time in twenty three years at Drury on 14-06-2014.
It is the forerunner of the Diamond range of aircraft and is still manufactured as the HK-36 with a 100hp Rotax.
Photos supplied by Ian Williams.

 There is one other Dimona in New Zealand, ZK-GPH2 (c/n 3667) owned by Laurence Mathewson at Ranfurly Otago

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Royal Aircraft Factory BE 2 Developments

The original BE 2 aircraft (and the earlier BE 1) were designed by Geoffrey de Havilland who was at the time the chief designer and test pilot of the Royal Balloon Factory (which was later renamed the Royal Aircraft Factory in 1912).  Its tractor biplane configuration was not common at the time of its design in 1910 and led to the the tractor biplane becoming the dominant configuration for some considerable time.  Early  BE 2 aircraft used wing warping but later models used ailerons.  It was a very stable aircraft that was well suited to training and photo reconnaissance, but its stability did not make it suitable for aerial fighting so it was not used on the aerial frontlines of WW 1 for very long.  It was continuously developed during the early years of WW 1 from the BE 2c to the BE 2f (and on past the 2f).  An astounding number of around 3,500 BE 2s were built, by over 20 different manufacturers.

And the reason we are now privileged to observe these aircraft flying in New Zealand is because of The Vintage Aviator, who have built four BE 2s to exact replica status (one of them was built from an original airframe).  What is the difference between the various BE 2 marks?  I will attempt to explain.  The photos were taken at The Vintage Aviator Armistice Day celebration airshow at Masterton on 10/11 2012.

The photo above shows BE 2c ZK-TVC followed by BE 2f ZK-BFR.  This shows the difference in the wings between the two models.  The BE 2c featured equal span 2 bay biplane wings (2 sets of struts on each side) with rounded tips and rounded tailplane tips, whereas the BE 2f featured unequal span single bay biplane wings with swept back tips with similar swept back tips on the tailplane.

In this photo you can see the different engines.  The BE 2c has a 75 HP V8 Renault engine without much in the way of cowlings whereas the BE 2f has the 90 HP RAF-1 V8 engine (which was a development of the Renault engine).  In this view you can also see the slightly different shape of the fin and the different undercarriages with skids out the front of the wheels on the BE 2c.

And what of the BE 2e I hear you ask?  (the two recent TVAL built BE 2 aircraft ZK-KOZ and ZK-TFZ that have been sent to England were BE 2es).  Well, the new unequal span single bay wings proved superior to the BE 2c wings, but many BE 2cs were still being built by various manufacturers.  So the BE 2f is a BE 2c fuselge with BE 2e wings (and a few other modifications to the fuselage).  This can be found in more detail on the excellent The Vintage Aviator website and on their BE 2 pages.

Rescue Helicopter at Auckland Hospital 27-7-14

While on Grafton Road today I noted Kawasaki BK117 B2 ZK-HLN msn 1017 on the heliport on top of one of the carpark buildings at Auckland Hospital. Thought the image above and those below offer a slightly different view of this machine than usually seen. 


  I called in on the Ashburton Aviation Museum on Thursday and found three surprise additions to their collection.
The restored Lincoln Sorts ZK-BMV has been assembled in the main hangar beside the DC-3 ZK-AMY.
For more on this aircraft see :-
Below is the Piper PA-22-150 TriPacer ZK-CPJ (c/n 22-3592). This was originally registered in NZ as ZK-BLC on 30-01-1956. More on this one in a later posting.
It was withdrawn and cancelled on 26-02-2014.
 Third surprise was the Compton Gyrocopter Gyro Gnat ZK-RLC (c/n 001).
I suspect this is a rebuild/redesign of the original L A Compton Cyclone ZK-RCE.
It has never flown and was withdrawn from the register and cancelled on 23-11-2012
Again- more in a later posting.
Recently collected from its Rangitata Island storage was the Percival P.44 Proctor 5 ZK-AQK (c/n Ae.79 ). This awaits its turn in the restoration hangar.
See recent post at :- 
 On display was the tidy looking ex Burmese military Percival P.56 Provost UB232 (f/n PAC/F/451)
More at these two earlier posts :-
Filling space in the restoration hangar was the Beechcraft 77 Skipper ZK-ESC (c/n WA-175).
Check out :-

Saturday, 26 July 2014


Boeing Stearman A75N1 ZK-BWR msn 75-2055 of the Kaipara Aviation Trust.
Cessna 305A ZK-DAJ msn 22548 of The Strome Farm Trust of Drury.
Cessna P210N Pressurised Centurion N526CH msn P21000662 out enjoying the sun, not often you see this out and about.

Diamond DA20-C1 ZK-DAV msn C0566 of  Eagle FlightTraining Ltd out doing circuits.
The visitor from Palmy (above and below) Diamond DA40 ZK-MTD  msn 40.944 of the Massey University School of Aviation.
Murphy Rebel ZK-DKZ msn 724R owned by D.K Horton of Parnell, Auckland.
Piper PA-28-161 ZK-MBK msn 28-8416101 of the Auckland Aero Club (Inc) Ardmore was also doing circuits.This used to be operated by The Massey University School of Aviation in Palmerston North.

Friday, 25 July 2014

NZCH shots for 25-07-2014

 Beechcraft C90A King Air ZK-SKL2 (c/n LJ-1372) was parked such that I could do an orbit and get a shot from both sides.
Below is what the NZ Aviation News Magazine said about it at the time of its arrival in NZ :-
The influx of Beech King Airs continues with the arrival of the latest C90A model for Skyline Aviation of Napier. Built as N1562V in August of 1994 and delivered to Peidmont Aviation Services of Winston Salem in North Carolina. It went to Airplane Company Inc at Mount Gilead in December of 1994, was re-registered as N151JL on 09-01-1996. After a year with Design Programs of Raleigh it returned to Piedmont Services Inc and became N454P on 29-04-1999. There were two additional operators and by September of 2009 it was in the hands of Skyhawk Enterprises at Holden, West Virginia. It ferried out of Merced to Honolulu on 03-08-2011. Leaving Pago Pago for Tonga and Auckland on the 6th and then to Napier on the 8th to become ZK-SKL2 for the Skyline air ambulance and charter operation.
 Below we have a long shot from the other side of the paddock capturing the Boeing 737-3U3 ZK-NGD (c/n 28732) sans its Air New Zealand markings. It was withdrawn from revenue service on 13-07-2014.