Friday, 25 May 2018

Fly Synthesis Texans of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand was the Fly Synthesis Texan, the first example of which was registered on 17/2/06.  That was the same date that our first Fly Synthesis Storch ZK-FOS2 was registered and the Fly Synthesis local representative Alan Jessop told me that both aircraft were shipped to Lyttleton in the same container and assembled at Rangiora by Brian Taylor (who then flew ZK-FOS2 North to Dargaville).

The Fly Synthesis Texan was introduced in 1999 and is manufactured by Fly Synthesis S.r.l. of Mortegliano in Italy, who also manufacture the Storch as well as the Wallaby, the Synchro and the Catalina amphibian.  The Texan is an all composite low wing 2 seater with a tricycle undercarriage.  It comes in several models including a retractable gear model that we haven't had in New Zealand.   The Texan Top Class has a length of 6.90 metres (22 feet 8 inches), a wingspan of 8.60 metres (28 feet 3 inches and a wing area of 127 square feet.  Empty weight is around 290 Kg (640 pounds) and MAUW is 449 Kg (990 pounds).  With a 100 HP Rotax ULS engine the cruise speed is around 124 mph, while the stall speed is 40 mph.

We have had five Fly Synthesis Texans in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Texan Top Class was ZK-TXN (c/n 61) which was first registered to Aeroflight Aviation Ltd (Colin Marshall) on 17/2/06.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 27/3/06.  It did not hang around for long as it was cancelled on 17/07/07 and was exported to Australia where it became 24-5131.

Next up was ZK-TTX (c/n 000074), a Texan Top Class, which was first registered to the Northern Wairoa Aero Club at Dargaville on 7/3/07.  It is photo'd above at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga on 6/2/08.  It has lived all of its life in Northland as on 1/9/13 it was sold to Baden R Bickers of Ruawai.  It is hangared at the Ruawai airstrip but I have never seen it flying from there.

Then followed another Texan Top Class in the form of ZK-TKP2 (c/n F700960512/550) which was first registered to Herdhome Systems Ltd of Whangarei (Thomas G  and Kathleen Pow, hence the registration), on 28/2/08.  On 27/3/12 it was registered to Maikato Corporation Ltd of Whangarei.  It is another aircraft that has lived all its life in Northland but I have never seen it.  Nick Furmage took the photo, at Stratford on 6/6/10.

The next Texan to be registered was the upgraded 600 model, with ZK-TXS2 (c/n F80098202/600), which was registered to the TXS Syndicate of Whangarei (R P Miller) on 5/6/08.  It is photo'd above at a flyin at Parakai on 27/2/10.  On 14/6/16 ownership transferred to Michael C Hopper of Orewa and Mike flies his Texan extensively around the Northland area.

After a bit of a gap the Dargaville Aero Club replaced their previous Texan ZK-TTX with a new Texan Club registered ZK-TXN2 (c/n F2CH1500D17E - where do these c/ns come from?) on 10/10/13.  The Club model has an 80 HP fuel injected Rotax 912is engine.  The above photo was taken at Dargaville on 29/3/14 outside the Aero Club hangar where you can just make out the lettering Northern Wairoa Aero Club.

We might see more Fly Synthesis Texans in the future as they are still being manufactured, but there is a lot of competition in this aircraft class.

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