Thursday, 29 April 2010

Druine Turbulents of New Zealand (2)

The first Aerocraft kits.

On 4/5/61 a block of 8 registrations ZK-CAC to ZK-CAJ was reserved for Turbulents, I guess by Aerocraft. Some of these were bult by Aerocraft and some were built from kits by early post-war homebuilders, and these formed the nucleus of the Amatuer Aircraft Constructors Association of New Zealand (AACA) which was formed in March 1964 based around the Wellington area with homebuilders such as Rob Gentry, Stan Smith and Robin Hickman.

The photos in these posts are nearly all from the Keith Morris collection and I have taken most of them. However, some of the photos were taken by others and I do not have a record of who took them. The early photos of Turbulents at Wanganui were taken by Ray Deerness in the early 1960's.

ZK-CAC (c/n PFA/505) was registered to Aviation Sales and Service Ltd of Palmerston North and its first flight was on 6/10/62. It was delivered to Len Hunter of Christchurch on 11/11/62 and it was hired to the Canterbury Aero Club from July 1963. This photo was taken at Kaikoura in the mid 1960's when ZK-CAC was on its way to an airshow at Omaka.

It was then owned by John Caston of Auckland from 26/6/68, J A Smith of Hamilton from 23/5/73, Chris O'Brien and William Power of Frankton from 25/11/75, and then it went to Peggy Perry of Hamilton on 1/9/76.  The above photo was taken at Ardmore on 20/3/68.

It was repainted in this yellow colour scheme at the time that Peggy Perry owned it and earlier on it had Kowhai flowers painted on the fuselage and rudder - maybe a reference to Te Kowhai?. This photo was taken at the 1990 AACA flyin at Waipukurau. Ownership then transferred to Adam Barrett of Lower Hutt on 25/2/87, Brian Shears of Upper Hutt on 15/6/88 and finally Peter Small of Cust on 24/6/91.

And this most recent photo was taken at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton. ZK-CAC was redesignated as a Class 1 microlight on 18/3/96.

ZK-CAD (c/n 1001K) was registered to L W Hunter of Christchurch but was not completed. It was cancelled on 25/5/90.

ZK-CAE (c/n 1002K) was built in Wellington by Robbie Gentry and first flew on 20/1/63. The above photo was taken at an airshow at Hamilton on 27 March 1966, and the photo below was taken at Ardmore showing ZK-CAE's colours.

Robbie Gentry was a driving force behind the formation of the AACA and was its first secretary. The AACA allocated a membership number to all its members starting from Number 10 to recognise earlier homebuilders. Robbie Gentry was AACA member number 10.
ZK-CAE was flown by Jack Inder of Dargaville early on and was then owned by B Harvey of Napier from 9/11/67, N C Wood of Frankton from 20/1/69, the Piako Aero Club from 7/9/71, Hugh McDonald of Waharoa from 23/6/77and then back to Robbie Gentry on 20/2/87.

This photo was taken at the 1982 AACA flyin at Taupo when it was owned by the Piako Aero Club. It is looking a bit worse for wear.

So when Robbie Gentry bought it back he refurbished it to this very smart colour scheme. Robbie has gone on to be one of our most prolific homebuilders and he has built Turbulent ZK-CGU, Taylor Monoplane ZK-CPC, Jodel D-11 ZK-DGA, Jodel D-9 ZK-FLI and Jodel D-18 ZK-JPK (and probably others). Robbie was living at Masterton by this time and this photo was taken at an airstrip alongside the Masterton racecourse, just North of Masterton. Robbie then sold ZK-CAE to A Surtees of Auckland and its registration was revoked on 18/6/98.
When I met up with Robbie Gentry at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga he told me that he is now building another Turbulent!

ZK-CAF (c/n 1003K) was built by Peter Dyer at Christchurch and first flew on 16/12/62. Peter was a leading light in the AACA in the South Island. He is AACA member number 15 and has also gone on to built multple homebuilt aircraft. This photo was taken in the Christchurch Aero Club hangar in the mid 1960's. After Peter Dyer sold it, it was owned by Mick Holland of Christchurch from 5/4/68, R M T Bruce of Christchurch from 7/2/78, F Renwick of Christchurch from 24/6/80, Brent David and J B King of Mosgiel from 28/10/83 and finally H C Ross of Dunedin on 22/4/87.

The above photo of ZK-CAF was taken at the Mt Hutt AACA flyin in 1981.

And this photo was taken at Wanaka on 14/3/89.

It was damaged at Gore Bay on 19/2/92 and its registration was cancelled on 27/7/92.


  1. You can buy a couple of kits if you like -

  2. as of 4 30 today the kits are now sold