Thursday 9 December 2010

First of Type, Husky ZK-TWA

Thanks to Blue Bus for the blurb:

A first of type is the Aviat A-1C-180 Husky ZK-TVY as listed to Redrock Aviation Ltd of Whakatane. There is quiet an interesting history to Aviat. If you cast your mind back to the first of the factory built Pitts S-2A Specials as built by Aerotek; a Company that was set up by Herb Anderson, (formally of Callair), in the old Callair factory at Afton, Wyoming, for repair and maintenance of aircraft. In 1977 Curtiss Pitts sold his interests to Doyle Child who in turn sold it to Frank Christensen. Christensen who had previously tried unsuccessfully to purchase the Pitts programme went out and designed and built his Christensen Eagle which was then sold as kits. He did eventually acquire the Pitts rights and continued producing both types but by 1982 the demand for Eagle kits faded. To fill the production line gap Christensen tried to acquire the Piper PA-18, the Champion and then the Arctic Tern rights and even looked at the Aero Commander Lark. Herb Anderson enters the scene again by designing the Christen A-1 Husky. To the great unwashed – this appears to be just another Piper Cub – the biggest change being the 180hp Lycoming O-360 engine and Hartzell constant speed propeller. This first flew in 1986 with limited production continuing since. The Company was renamed Aviat Inc in 1988 and sold in March of 1991 to Malcolm White and then to Stuart Horn. Upgrades have now got us to the A-1C-180 and -200 series. NZ’s first example has since been re-registered as
ZK-TWA/2. Jack felt that the initial ZK-TVY allocation was a bit presumptuous for an American made aircraft and pilot in NZ. ZK-TWA being more benign, also that TWA was once an international carrier in happier times – extinct now – but perhaps remembered by some. Jack’s other home is at Alpine, Wyoming near the Aviat factory at Afton where he keeps his other Husky (N77WY I think).

It is a 2008 model having been registered as N82MA on 21-10-2008 and was with RMM Developments LLC of Las Vegas when its US registration was canceled on 05-10-2010 for its transfer to NZ. It should be being assembled at Nelson as we go to press.

At Nelson 09Dec10, Peter Campbell photo

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