Monday 21 March 2011

The Vintage Aviator Collection at Masterton

For my final post from Masterton, I thought I would scratch the surface of the amazing collection of flying originals and replicas of The Vintage Aviator. I have already posted about the selection of aircraft outside the hangar - 4 Fokker Triplane replicas, a Pfalz D III replica, and 2 SE 5A's (which surely qualify as modern originals). In addition to these were Tiger Moth ZK-ANQ and Chipmunk N861WP which has been based at Masterton for several years.

The hangar carries the logo of The Old Stick and Rudder Company and at the front were their Corsair ZK-COR and Kittyhawk ZK-RMH, plus a yellow and black Stampe biplane.

Then there were another 11 Vintage Aviator aircraft inside including the Avro 504K ZK-ACU which was restored by Stuart Tantrum at Blenhiem, and has a Le Rhone rotary engine. This aircraft is an original machine.

The other aircraft were often difficult to photograph as they were quite tightly parked, but what a selection! These aircraft were: the third SE 5A ZK-SEO, the Nieuport XI replica ZK-NIM, an original Bristol F 2b Fighter ZK-BRI which features a 14.2 litre! Rolls Royce Falcon engine, the Sopwith Triplane replica ZK-SOP and the Sopwith Camel replica ZK-JNU (which also has a rotary engine), the Curtis Helldiver static replica which was built by Peter Jackson to use in the filming of King Kong ( the list goes on!). In the corner was another amazing machine - the FE 2B ZK-FEE with its 50 foot wingspan and original Beardsmore pusher engine, and the the BE 2F ZK-BFR which is another original machine.

The BE 2C replica ZK-TVA is painted to represent an early Royal Flying Corps machine, before the roundels were used. What a massive propellor!

And finally The Vintage Aviators latest amazing re-creation, the Albatross D VA replica ZK-DVA which has an original 6 cylinder liquid cooled Mercedes engine and like the SE 5A's has been manufactured to modern original standard, being an exact replica down to the tiniest detail. There are only 2 original Albatrosses left in the world and none that can fly, one is at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D C, and the other is at the Australian War Museum in Canberra. This machine was laser scanned and digitised to produce data to build ZK-DVA to the exact original standard that has been attained.
What an amazing collection! - surely unique in the world under one roof, and all the more amazing is that all the aircraft except for the Curtis Helldiver are regularly flown. The lady in The Vintage Aviator shop told me that there are around 60 aircraft in the collection. She was coy about what is coming next, but I was assured that there are more surprising aircraft on the way. Watch this space!


  1. Hello Sir Minty,

    This is a very nice post. You've done a great job of the photos! Thanks for the regos also!



  2. Bad spelling! You're wecome!