Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Aerobatic Monoplanes of New Zealand (10) - Sam Fry Lazer 230

The Sam Fry Lazer 230 owes its origin to the Stephens Akro which was designed and built in America in the 1960s by Clayton Stephens.  This design led to a new type of aerobatic aircraft that could perform tighter routines than the Yaks and Zlins of the time, and its high point was American Leo Loudenslager's World Aerobatic Championships win in 1980 with his Akro Laser 200, and later Henry Haigh's win in 1988 in his Super Star - both heavily modified Akros.

This brings us to the Lazer which was built by Sam T Fry of Prairieville, Louisiana, and is also a modified Stephens Akro.  It was registered as N31LZ to Sam Fry on 16/3/95.   The engine is a Lycoming HIO-360-C1A of 230hp driving a whirlwind propeller.  On 07-11-1997 ownership was transferred to Fernando Zayas of Loveland, Colorado.  Its US registration was cancelled on the 3/3/11 for it to become ZK-LZR on the 9/3/11,  still with Fred Zayas but now of Rangiora.

That would have been about all we knew of this aircraft until the builder, Sam Fry, posted a comment on the NZ Civair blog, as follows:

"Hi, I'm the Sam Fry who built the Lazer.   The wing was built from the original Stephens Akro plan set #31, but was modified per Leo Loudenslager's advice to strengthen the spar center section and add an extra two bays to the ailerons (much larger). The fuselage was highly modified based on all the weak points that had been identified by 1990. Pitts plans were referenced for details including the cowl, fuselage shape, turtledeck; the cockpit canopy was streamlined per Leo and Henry Haigh's advice to keep it "very clean". The tailfeathers were the largest built at that time, again advice mostly from Henry Haigh. The entire airplane was scratch built from raw materials, no kit or kit components were used. I also rebuilt the engine after Monty Barrett had balanced and blueprinted the components, including the 10:1 pistons. It's a great flying airplane.

ZK-LZR (c/n 31) is photo'd here at Rangiora on 9/3/15.

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