Friday, 11 December 2009

Vans in the Vanguard of Amateur Built Aircraft in New Zealand

I have noticed a shift in the balance of amateur built aircraft in New Zealand. By amateur built aircraft I am referring to the kind of aircraft that you build in your garage over a period of several years (not to belittle the types that come as a kit with pre-sewn covers or as pre-moulded parts you understand!).

In November 3 new Van's RV types were registered, one of which was this RV 7 registered to S J Jones of Auckland and pictured here at North Shore last weekend. I reckon that these 3 latest RV's bring the total of RV models registered in New Zealand to 54. This includes 4 RV3's, 11 RV 4's, 10 RV 6's, 6 RV 6A's, 3 RV 7's, 8 RV 7A's, 3 RV 8's, 1 RV9A, and 1 RV 10 - nearly a full suite of RV types (There is a Light Sport Aircraft RV 12 now flying in America). I also include our 2 Harmon Rocket 11's as these are (essentially) extensively beefed up RV 4's. 5 RV models have been cancelled from the register being RV 4 ZK-RVS which crashed (but is being rebuilt), RV 3 ZK-DRV, RV 6 ZK-VGS and RV 6A ZK-NRV all of which have migrated to Australia, and RV 6A ZK-VBC which crashed in Australia killing owner/builder Bryan Knights who was preparing the plane for a flight to the UK.
And I reckon that there have been 53 amateur built Jodel's in New Zealand. The most recent Jodel D 11 is ZK-KSD built by Gary Williams of Otorohanga which was first registered on 12/10/04. I count the 53 amateur built Jodels as 7 D 9's, 29 Jodel D 11's and 4 D 18's ( I did not count D112 ZK-CGL and DR 1051 ZK-JOD as these are factory built examples - you can do anything with figures!). I also counted Falconer F 11 ZK-KEA and Falconer F 12 ZK-DBI as these are essentially Jodels built from Canadian plans. 11 Jodel models have been cancelled from the register (mostly having crashed), being D 9's ZK-CTW, ZK-DBM, ZK-DBS, ZK-DEV and ZK-EKC and D 11's ZK-DGA, ZK-ECX, ZK-EEH, ZK-EFK and ZK-FHB.
Our first D 11 ZK-CKG was registered in July 1966 and Jodel's provided the backbone of the homebuilt aircraft fleet for more than 40 years. I think that the fact that 29 D 11's are still flying is a tribute to the aircraft (well at least 29 registered, some have come back to flying status such as ZK-DGV at Stratford and ZK-MAU at North Shore).
Their reign has now come to an end and I am sure we will see many more RV types coming onto the register in the near future and in the process becoming New Zealand's most popular amateur built aircraft.


  1. For anyone interested in Vans aircraft, there's an RV fly-in planned for Motueka 30 Jan 2010

  2. like the tone of blue on nvs very nice oh yeah long live the jodel

  3. Well here's the Jodel page

    RV's nice but flashy and drink a lot more Gas........

  4. Thanks for your comments Nick. I am also a Jodel man at heart - but the RV's sure do look nice! I see there have been 6,527 of them completed worldwide!

    I have photos of all the NZ Jodels and I will make an effort to post them on the NZ Civair blog if it doesn't bore too many people. Can that then be copied to the NZ Jodels blog?