Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Airdrome Aeroplanes Fokker Triplane Replicas (Only One) of New Zealand

We are nearly completely up to date with this series of sport aircraft of New Zealand, well at least the fixed wing variety, with a couple of first of types that were registered here in 2020:

The Airdrome Aeroplanes Fokker Dr 1 Triplane replica is a blind rivetted aluminium framed (with some chrome moly steel for the hard points), and fabric covered aircraft that is a full sized replica from Robert Baslee's company based in Holden, Missouri.  Airdrome Aeroplanes builds kits for many types of WW 1 and earlier aircraft in 75% scale, 80% scale and full size.  They offer the full size Fokker Triplane and also a 75% scale version, which is tiny!

Specifications for a full size Fokker Triplane are:  length 18 feet 11 inches (5.77 metres) and the upper wingspan is 23 feet 7 inches (7.19 metres).  However the Airdrome Aeroplanes aircraft is much lighter than the original at around 532 pounds (as against 895 pounds) and in New Zealand the MAUW is 870 pounds (395 Kg).

We have had one Airdrome Aeroplanes Fokker Dr 1 Triplane replica in New Zealand to date:

Peter Walton of Whitianga built his Airdrome Aeroplanes full size Fokker Dr 1 Triplane replica ZK-CCO2 (c/n F1 02) and it was registered to him on 22/1/20.  It is powered by a Lycoming O-290 engine of 140 HP.

It is shown here with Peter Walton commencing the take off roll for its maiden flight, at Whitianga on 24/1/20.  It can be seen that it is marked with the serial F1 102/17 which was an early pre-production model before the Dr 1.

Thanks very much for the photos Peter - your Triplane looks great!

Remarkably, ZK-CCO2 is the ninth Fokker Triplane replica to fly in New Zealand but it is the first Airdrome Aeroplanes replica.  The others are all quite different although looking similar externally, but that is another story...

Tuesday, 7 July 2020


After giving up on Ardmore due to horizontal rain and wind a brief visit to Auckland International proved more fruitful with GCH Aviation's 1980 model Cessna 441 Conquest ZK-NFD2,  the rainbow behind indicating another imminent downpour..

And Airwork's Boeing 737-42C ZK-TLM which was imported from the US in 2019.

Monday, 6 July 2020

Flying Over and Under North Head on 3 July

I had cause to be in Devonport last Friday afternoon and as it was a nice day I headed up to North Head to see if I could get a glimpse of Team New Zealand's latest foiling monohull "Te Aihe" (which translates as Dolphin).  I was not disappointed.

Just as I arrived, the nice sound of an approaching Gipsy Major heralded the flyover of the Warbird's Chipmunk ZK-RFS/WB693 with its lovely de Havilland lines.

Then in the distance the Team New Zealand flotilla headed my way.

Te Aihe is a spectacular sight when it is low flying on two foils.

It looked to be very fast as it came closer to North Head

And then it sprinted up the harbour to its base in The Viaduct.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Taylor J 2 Cub ZK-AGD to NZYP

Ron Day reports that he has now relocated the classic Taylor J 2 Cub ZK-AGD to its new base at Waipukurau.  The ferry flight took place one week ago, on Sunday 28 June.

Ready to go, once the fog had lifted,

Lift off from Bridge Pa aerodrome,

And climbing away.  The J 2 Cub is flown solo from the rear seat.

On the ground at Waipukurau.  Ron plans to do a photo shoot with the other Hawkes Bay based classic J 3 Cub ZK-AHD soon.

Saturday, 4 July 2020


Noted at Airbus Helicopters at Ardmore this week was the Palmerston North based EC120B ZK-IZG with Greentech Robotics script replacing its previous Frog Parking titling.   This was imported from the US back in 2006.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Overdue Pie Run

Meteorological conditions have prevented my regular Friday pie run to Rangiora - but today was a real winter cracker of a day.
Here we see a few of the aircraft worthy of note.
 The Rowan Rudd Denney Kitfox ZK-FYM (c/n 1113/AACA/770) was returned to the register on 26th of June.
See HERE for an earlier post.
It is now powered with a 90hp Rotax 670 onto a carbon fibre Warp Drive propeller
It was inspected by the 'men from the ministry' this morning.
 The Guimbal Cabri G2 ZK-HLU (c/n 1101) of Christchurch helicopters has featured here previously but I think this is the first time in this scheme.
 New to the register on the 26th of June was the Flying Road Cone Syndicates Australian Aviation Works Karatoo J6 C ZK-KTW (c/n 004MS). 
It also had its CAA inspection today.
 A new paint job for the ICS Savannah S ZK-MYN (c/n 14-11-54-0359). 
Vanessa's Pride and Joy.
It has featured here several time - see Here.
Below - the sunny side shows the colour better.

Originally imported by Dave McMillan of Greymouth this Rans S-6S Coyote II ZK-OFF (c/n 0895873) went up to Les Smith of Picton in October of 2015. 
It moved south to Swannanoa for Andrew McAllister last October.
It still totes its old US registration on its fin and under fuselage fillet.

Airplane Rides

Thursday, 2 July 2020

The front arrives at NZCH

Christchurch today.
Above  "out of the blue" ATR 72-212A ZK-MVZ c/n 1562 on short finals from the north
Below "into the black" on even shorter finals into the approaching front.

Then came the Emirates Boeing 777-36NER A6-ECO (c/n 37706)  freighter running down the lights in the pouring rain.

 A long shot of the Westpac Air Ambulance Mitsubishi MU-2B-30 ZK-KOH c/n 521 as operated by Search and Rescue Services Ltd of Taupo about to splash down.
Any olde iron ?
Parked up beside the ANZES hangar.

Chilton DW 1 Replicas (Only One) of New Zealand

Now we are on to 2019 new sport aircraft registrations, of which there were only two, the first being the Chilton DW 1 replica:

The Chilton DW 1 was a 1930s design for a light sporting monoplane.  It was designed and built by the Hon Andrew Dalrymple and AR (Reggie) Ward (hence the DW), who were both ex de Havilland Technical School graduates.  The prototype G-AESZ was constructed in an out building at Ward's parents stately home Chilton Lodge in Berkshire, hence the Chilton name.  The aircraft was designed to be cheap to build and easy to fly but to have exceptional performance on low power.  The prototype used a Carden-Ford water cooled modified Ford 10 car engine that produced 32 HP, and it first flew in April 1937.  It was an aerodynamically clean all wood design with mainly plywood covering (except for the control surfaces and the wing aft of the main spar).  Probably its most distinctive feature was the trouser leg type undercarriage fairings.  Dalrymple and Ward formed the Chilton Aircraft Ltd to manufacture the aircraft but only four were built before WW 2 put a stop to production.  All four Chilton DW 1s were put into storage and survived the war and the type went on to be well known as a successful air racer in the UK.  Here is a link to G-AFGI winning the 1951 Shoreham to Brighton air race:

I think it is quite remarkable that such a high profile aircraft was only built in such small numbers, and I reckon this is because of its looks - it just looks lovely! (Imho)

Specifications for the Chilton DW 1 are:  length 18 feet (5.49 metres), wingspan 24 feet (7.32 metres) and the wing area is 78 square feet.  The empty weight is 398 pounds (181 Kg) and MAUW is 640 pounds (290 Kg).  With the 32 HP Carden Ford engine the cruise speed was around 100 mph, although Chiltons with canopies and no doubt tweaked engines recorded several air race winning speeds as high as 129 mph.  The landing speed is quoted as 35 mph, helped by the split flaps.

Because of the appeal of the Chilton DW 1 there have been more replicas built worldwide than the number of original aircraft, and plans are still available from the excellent Chilton Aircraft website.  Most of the new build aircraft have been powered by Walter Mikron engines.

We have now had one Chilton DW 1 registered in New Zealand, as follows:

ZK-CHT2 (c/n NZDW1A/4) was built by John Gray of Rangiora and was registered to him on 13/11/19.  In this photo taken at Rangiora on 9/11/17 you can see the distinctive trouser wheel fairings.  It is powered by an 1830 cc VW engine.

It has been close to test flying for some time now, and has carried out engine runs.  The above photo was taken at Rangiora on 6/8/19.

I understand from John Gray that the Chilton is for sale.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

-Something Different at NZKF Today - 1-7-2020

Not civil but operating at a civil airfield,  a Royal New Zealand Navy Kaman SH-2G (I) Super Sea Sprite helicopter NZ3612 arrived overhead at Kaipara Flats airfield this afternoon and flew a couple of circuits.  It was well out of the ordinary to the airfield's normal movements!

I was fortunate to be on the spot doing some work on my Jodel's new canopy.

On approach seen over the big new hangar,

to a hover over the runway,

 then a half pirouette,

and climbing out back to Whenuapai.

It was pretty hard to see what the serial number but you can just see the 12 low down and ahead of the cockpit.