Monday, 29 June 2015

Tri-R Technologies KIS TR-4 Cruisers of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand  was the Tri-R Technologies KIS TR-4 Cruiser.

Tri-R Technologies was a company formed by Richard Trickel of Oxnard, California to develop composite homebuilt aircraft kits, and grew from manufacturing components for other aircraft manufacturers such as Lancair.  Their first design was the KIS TR-1 which first flew in 1991 (of which we have had one example, see  www.nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/tri-r-technologies-kis-tr-1-of-new.html ).  KIS stands for Keep It Simple (Stupid!).

The TR-4 was developed from the TR-1 and was introduced at Oshkosh in 1994.  The aircraft is a conventional low wing 4 seater with a tractor motor of between 150 and 200 HP.  Like the TR-1 it has neat gull wing doors, but they are much bigger in the TR-4.   Length is 25 feet (7.62 metres), wingspan is 29 feet (8.84 metres) and the wing area is 135 square feet.  Empty weight is around 1,550 pounds (700 Kg) and MAUW is 2,425 pounds (1,134 Kg).  With a Lycoming O-360 engine of 180 HP cruise is 165 mph.

We have had three KIS TR-4s in New Zealand to date.


ZK-TEL2 (c/n 4017) was the second TR Technologies aircraft from Roger Ramsay, Peter Elwood and Geoff Sheehan, following their earlier TR-1 ZK-KIS.   It was first registered to Scientific Management New Zealand Ltd of North Shore on 17/2/99.  It first flew on 3/3/99 and is photo'd above at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at Matamata, showing its large gull wing door.


As can be seen in the above photo taken at North Shore on 13/12/13, it has not changed during the ensuing years, althought ownership transferred to Scientific Management Associates (Vic) Pty of Whangaparaoa on 28/6/00.  Somewhere along the line it acquired the rather unflattering name of " Sheep Shagger IV " .

ZK-TUF (c/n 44) was built by Laurie N Tuff of Christchurch and was first registered to him on 10/4/00.  It was first flown on 20/4/00 and has been owned by Laurie ever since, although it has been advertised for sale for some time.  It was photo'd above at Rangiora on 20/5/11.

And our third TR-4 Cruiser ZK-PLN (c/n 4009) was built in South Africa by David P Bullen-Smith and registered there as ZU-BLN on 22/12/97 (It is therefore our oldest TR-4).  David Bullen-Smith imported the aircraft into New Zealand and registered it as ZK-PLN on 24/4/04.  However it does not seem to have been active here as I only ever saw in in the back of a hangar at Ardmore as photo'd above in 2004.  It is still owned by David Bullen-Smith at a Whangaparaoa address.


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