Thursday 7 October 2010

Luton Minors of New Zealand

The Luton Minor was a product of the Luton Aircraft Company, and the first example flew in 1937. The aircraft was developed following the Flying Flea craze and after dabbling with some different layouts the designer Cecil Latimer-Needham reverted to the tried and true formula of a standard layout with a long fuselage for stability and a large wing. It flew very well. The wingspan is 25 feet. the length is 19 and a half feet and the wing area is 125 square feet. The performance on the original motor was a top speed of 80 mph and a stall speed of 30 mph. The empty weight was 380 lbs and the max takeoff weight was 600 lbs

Following the war, the Luton Minor was resurrected by Arthur Orr-Hume and the type was one of the early stalwarts of the post war British homebuilt aircraft fleet.

Two Luton Minors have flown in New Zealand, as follows:

ZK-CLL (c/n 1153) was built at Napier by Kip Netherclift, and was registered on 18/9/74. It was a regular at AACA fly-ins and this photo of it was taken at the 1983 AACA fly-in at Paraparaumu. I think it had a JAP motor. Kip sold ZK-CLL to Messrs K Garrett and R Naylor of Havelock North on 11/6/03. It was then sold to MH Kindon of Rangiora on 6/5/05 and he sold it to Mike Fleming , also of Rangiora on
21/11/07. It was redesignated as a Class 1 microlight on 23/11/07.

Mike has refurbished ZK-CLL and it is now flying again from Rangiora in an all silver scheme.

ZK-FSU (c/n AACA 713/PAL 1101/ PFA 1101), was originally G-APVI and was imported into New Zealand by Mr JT Hayes of Boston, Lincs, England. It was first registerd here on 15/2/89 and the above photo was taken at Rotorua in 1989. Mr Hayes sold ZK-FSU to Tony Rawlinson of Inglewood on 6/11/95, and its registration was cancelled on 31/8/99. It was re-registered on 19/11/03, and is still owned by Tony Rawlinson. It is currently complete but inactive.

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