Sunday 5 April 2009

Heard of COWs?

I guess a few people who follow this blog would know that the first ZK-COW was a Victa Airtourer 115 first registered to the Waikato Aero Club on 4/4/67 (thats 42 years ago!). After a series of owners in Kaitaia, Waikanae, Kaukapakapa and Canterbury it was cancelled on 19/5/98 and now is in the Wanaka Transport Museum.

Meanwhile on 5/57 (thats 52 years ago!) Aeronca Champion 7FC ZK-BUL was registered to Middle Districts Aero Club at Palmerston North. I remember seeing it quite often when I was growing up and I remember it had a duck egg blue/green fuselage. It was cancelled on 6/92.

I don't know if BUL and COW ever met, but on 25/9/01 another ZK-COW was registered. This one was a SG Storm 300 which was built from a kitset by CA and MH Schadler of Waimana which is South of Whakatane in the Western Bay of Plenty. The Storm series of aircraft is manufactured by SG Aviation of Sabaudia, Italy.

I guess the new ZK-COW could be descended from an Airtourer as both are low wing, all metal, sprung steel tricycle gear aircraft with about 100 HP motors. ZK-COW is now owned by The Flying Cow Ltd of Christchurch, and is based at Rangiora.

However in the intervening years, dairy technology advanced and soon a herd of COW clones arrived! All of these aircraft were built by CA and MH Schadler or in one case by RF Van Beek who also comes from Whakatane. For your interest I have posted them below.

ZK-OCW was first registered on 27/1/06 and is owned by R F Van Beek of Whakatane

ZK-WOC was first registered on 16/3/05 and is now owned by R L Walker of Whitianga.

And ZK-WCO first registered on 16/3/05 is still owned by CA and MH Schadler at Waimana.
All of the above photos were taken at SAANZ fly ins at Tauranga in 2004, 2006 and 2008. I scanned these photos into digital format by scanning them on my basic Hewlett Packer printer/scanner and modifying them in Picasa, and I was very pleased with the results. They are better than taking a photo of a photo that I had done before.
There are/were 3 other Storm 300 aircraft in New Zealand and I might post them on another post.


  1. Just as well the RSPCA doesn't take notice, poor old COW has not seen the light of day in so long it's forgotten what sky looks like I think.

  2. I actually caught the BUL by the horns at Milson 30Aug1964. It was greeny/blue as you describe, with a dayglo flash on the tail.
    I have a note that it went from Rolfe Industries (the agents) to the Southland AC before going to the Middle Districts AC. Did this actually happen, or was it just an allocation?

  3. You may be right flyernzl but I do not have detailed records - I will have to call for help from Blue Bus!

    Was that link at the bottom of your post a link to a photo of ZK-BUL? I tried the link but it didn't connect

  4. I see I made an error in the registration date of ZK-WCO. It was actually first registered on 8/11/07.

  5. Neat aircraft, and nice pics, thanx for the great background info too. I saw ZK-OCW at the Waikato Microlight Club open-day in Hamilton last weekend, here's a pic:

  6. To the best of my knowledge BUL went to Southland as a Tri-Traveller; ie, with the reversed tricycle undercarriage, but was converted to a conventional tailwheeler not long after. I had heard that after its fence argument in August 1980, that it was sold as a rebuild project (to persons unknown by me) but this was not completed.