Sunday, 16 August 2009

Teenie Little Metal Aeroplanes

Following my previous posts on BD 5's, I started doing some research on other very small metal aircraft in New Zealand. Most have been only rarely seen so I thought it might be of interest to readers to post some of them. The ones I will post all derive from the Cal Parker Teenie Two of the 1970's. The Teenie Two was further developed by Gary Watson who called his version a Wind Wagon, and then Morry Hummel further developed the design into the Hummelbird.

I think that the first Teenie Two in New Zealand was ZK-TTO which was built by D McGill at Blenhiem in the mid 1980's. However it was never officially registered and I think it never flew because it was too heavy. However it was completed as shown in the above photo that I took at Blenhiem in 1987. D McGill later owned Quicksilver ZK-JMD which he re-registered as ZK-TTO.

The next Teenie Two in New Zealand is the most recent of this bunch, ZK-DUO built by Julian Thornton of Hamilton which was first registered on 25/1/07 and flies very well. It was sold to R G Muir of Christchurch on 11/6/09. Julian Thornton has built 2 other aircraft - his first being Zenith CH 701 ZK-JRT, his second being ZK-DUO, and his most recent being the Just Aircraft Escapade ZK-SKP. Julian has a homepage which has links to really neat YouTube videos of all of his aircraft flying (with good soundtracks too!). Thanks to Julian Thornton for this photo.

Next is the Johnston Sky Bird ZK-JFT, built by Cliff Johnston of Hastings, which was first registered on 10/95. I think this is Cliff's version of a Hummelbird. Note the half VW engine. I understand that this aircraft also never flew as it was destroyed in a testing accident. It was cancelled on 10/98. Cliff also has been a prolific aircraft builder, having built Piel Emeraude ZK-CBH, TEAM Minimax ZK-JRC, and having rebuilt a Piper Commanche. He is currently building an Alpi Pioneer 300 in Hastings. Thanks to Cliff Johnston for this photo.

Next followed this Hummelbid ZK-WEE which was built by Perry Husband of Bulls and which was first registered on 6/4/00. It was sold to John Cranstoun of Kirwee on 4/5/04 but was cancelled as WFU on 28/5/05. It also had a half VW engine. Does anyone know why it was cancelled? Thanks to Russel Millar for this photo, which was taken at Stratford.

And finally in this group is this Hummel Windwagon ZK-JHN which was built by Errol McNeil of Coromandel and was first registered on 11/01. This is currently hangared at Matamata but has not flown to date although high speed taxi runs have been carried out. This aircraft also has a half VW engine. You can really appreciate how small these aircraft are in comparason with Errol. Thanks to Errol McNeil for this photo.

And finally for now Michael Wilkins'Teenie Two ZK-MSW is resident in his hangar at Matamata.  It is not yet registered.  Mike's Teenie Two was built by Johan Brink in South Africa where I understand it completed one test flight. Johan brought the aircraft to New Zealand.

Does any reader out there have any other information on any of these small metal aircraft in New Zealand?


  1. Hi Sir Minty
    By chance I stumbled across the picture of Hummelbird ZK-WEE, which I built. As mentioned, it was sold to John Cranstoun in Kirwee. He has never flown it (unfortunately), but it is still complete. It's an amazing plane to fly. The engine is a Mosler 1/2 VW, 1100cc 40hp. Incidently, the engine came out of Cliff Johnston's Skybird (ZK-JFT), which is pictured also.
    The Skybird did fly, but with a full sized VW engine. There was an incident however, whereby it took off sans pilot. (the tether rope snapped whilst carrying out engine runs and it hit a fence) I subsequently purchased the aircraft and am currently rebuilding it. It will be registered ZK-WEE. (my previous Hummelbird registration)

    Regards. Perry Husband

  2. Perry

    Also by chance I stumbled across your comment about ZK-WEE. Do you have any other photos of it? (as the one I posted was of quite small resolution). My email is I hope you enjoyed the blog - we have been able to do quite a lot on sport aircraft in New Zealand.

  3. I bought Julian Thornton's Teenie Two without the engine. I have bought an engine for it - a Jabiru 2200 identical to the one that came out of it. I have just replaced the flywheel bolts and have a few more things to do before it is back in the air but am working on it. I have a couple of photos from my workshop but don't know how to post them here. I have started a blog at

  4. Saw TTO near Blenhiem today 18 3 2012 very sad but a project?

  5. Hi All ,
    My name is Gert Swanepoel from the town of Benoni in South Africa. I have a lot more information on the Teenie Two now registered as ZK-MSW , as this was one of a pair built by myself and Johan Brink during 1996 / '97. They were registered in S.A. as ZU-AYH (Johan's) and ZU-AYJ (mine). The engines were modified to aviation spec by myself and are 1835cc VW, with high volume oil pumps, full flow oil filters and magneto ignition. The carb. is a locally made SP Injection unit without float bowl and needs approx. 2psi to operate . Although no canopy is shown in the photograph, we draped the windshields and canopy
    over a mold painstakingly made by myself ! The main landing gear is an original design made from 4x4 leafsprings. I can go on and on , but this is some basic information that may be of interest to the Teenie clan.
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Gert, I would be interested in more information with Johans Teenie Two. It has been sitting for along time in New Zealand.
      Any issues that you are aware of etc
      Cheers Stan

  6. Hi , In reference to John Cranstoun, he is my uncle and when the WFU on his plane was cancelled he was in the very early stages of Alzheimers , Very sad as he was retired & lived for aviation , John is still with us however in the late stages now , My other Uncle & My Mum are POA for him & this plane is now for sale. Regards Mike Cranstoun.

  7. Hi Mike. Perry Husband here. I built the Hummelbird which your uncle John now owns. I have tried to track both him and you down, but to no avail. If you happen to read this, I'm interested to talk about the Hummelbird. My ph: 021 1845791. Thanks. Perry