Tuesday 31 July 2012

USA's office.

A belated photograph of the Fletcher Fu24-950 ZK-USA's cockpit just prior to its departure for the States in November of 1977. Another classic pic from the CMM collection.

Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (6) - Williams Mark 4

This aircraft represents the final chapter in a very interesting story of homegrown homebuilt aircraft of New Zealand.  Geoff Williams of Dunedin was a cabinetmaker by profession who built his own design aircraft.  He also apparently had an aversion to officialdom as he did not register any of his aircraft, although at least 3 of them flew.   He flew his aircraft from a farm airstrip on the Otago Peninsula.

The first was a biplane which proved to be difficult to handle and was wrecked after coming into contact with a hedge.  His second aircraft was based on a model aircraft called Tom Boy and was a high wing, taildragger  monoplane which he flew quite widely afield, to at least Queenstown and Omarama.  Mr Williams failed to heed official warnings from the CAA to desist from flying the aircraft, and it is believed to have been finally grounded when CAA officials confiscated the engine.  I understand that both the Williams Mark 1 and Mark 2 aircraft were destroyed in a shed fire in the early 1980's.  There is a photo of the the Williams Mark 2 in an article by Murray Kirkus in the Winter 2011 edition of Sport Flying magazine, and I have based my comments on this article.  Mr Williams built a third aircraft but it was apparently never completed.

Does anyone have any photos of the first 2 Williams aircraft?

Which brings us to the Williams Mark 4 shown in the above photo.  It can be seen that it is a high wing microlight design with a pusher Rotax 447 engine.  It first flew in 1991 and it apparently flew around 160 illegal hours.  It was acquired by Bob Gibson of Mosgiel in 2002, after Geoff Williams' death, and he refurbished the aircraft and registered it as ZK-JPA (c/n 001) on 25/2/03.  Finally it was sold to M J Nicholson of Otautau on 11/5/04, with whom it is still current (and it has a registration painted on the tail).

Thanks very much to Bob Gibson for the photo.

Monday 30 July 2012

Long Beach Fletchers.

Jean210 has very kindly sent in these three photographs of Fletchers seen at Long Beach, California, in the early 1980's. All three are in spray configuration.
Above is N212FA c/n 253 as seen at Long Beach, California in July of 1980.
It was first flown at Hamilton as #253 on 19-02-1980.
It gained its US CofA on 16-06-1980 with Frontier Aerospace Inc.
I believe it eventually migrated down to Venezuela and became YV-2221P


The N.Z.A.I Fletcher FU24A 950 with the construction number 240 was built at Hamilton and initially listed as ZK-EGR to NZAI Ltd on 12-07-1977. It however was not completed as such and it was re-registered on 16-09-1977 as ZK-USA, still with NZAI at Hamilton.
The photo below shows ZK-USA at Hamilton in November 1977 with the long range tank fitted in the cockpit, and comes from the CMM collection.
It flew out from Hamilton and spent the night of 18-11-1977 at Norfolk Island; moving on to Nandi the following day; and then on to points northeast. It was destined for display at the US National Agricultural Aviation Association Convention.
Below is a small clipping from Flight International dated 19-11-1977.
WHEN the National Agricultural Aviation Association convention opens at Las Vegas, Nev, on December 5, New Zealand Aerospace Industries will be among the exhibitors with the current Fletcher FU-24-950. The aircraft will be ferried over by Aerospace chief test pilot Cliff Tait and will have its spraying equipment installed on arrival in the United States. Fletcher will make a sales tour following the three-day convention and will be sounding the market for its forthcoming Cresco turboprop version of the FU-24, now under construction.

Another pic can be seen here :- http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/319812.html

Its NZ registration was cancelled on 07-12-1979 and it became N4917Q with Frontier Aerospace Inc at Long Beach on 21-12-1979. It went to Paine Air Service Inc of Brawley, California during 1980 but was back with Frontier in 1981
Above is N4917Q c/n 240 taken in February 1982, with some real nice background airframes !
My next reference mentions that this Fletcher was written off when it struck a tree on 26-09-1982 in Mexico.


Below is Fletcher FU24-950 N37509 c/n 251 as seen on 18-02-1981.
It first flew at Hamilton using is c/n of 251 as its "registration" on 07-12-1979.
It was first listed with Frontier Aerospace Inc at Long Beach, California on 18-02-1981.
It later went to YV-426A with Fumigadores Aereos, Los Condores.
Thanks to Jean210 and RJD for details and pics.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Alpi Aviation Pioneer 200 ZK-LPI

Seen yesterday visiting Dargaville was the Alpi Pioneer ZK-LPI/2 c/n 2022
Under the ownership of Peter Randall of Te Kopuru since new in late 2007, this tidy aircraft is based at his farm.

ZK-LPI/2 at Dargaville 28July2012

However, this aircraft is not the first Alpi to carry this registration.
ZK-LPI/1  c/n NZ200-1 was registered to ALPI Aviation NZ Ltd. of Whangarei in August 2002. They were the agents, and ZK-LPI/1 was utilized as their demonstration aircraft.
Sold to R B Trotter, Fairlie in early 2004, it then passed to Peter Randall at a later time.
Apparently the aircraft was damaged beyond repair sometime in 2007 and was cancelled as 'Destroyed" on 20/12/2007.
The question: what actually happened to ZK-LPI/1?

ZK-LPI at Hamilton 2003

Piper L18C ZK-KEZ

In the early 1950's Piper Aircraft produced numerous Cub variants under the Mutual Defence Air Pact. (MDAP). This is where the US Government supplied aircraft to foreign nations for military use. One such aircraft is now registered as ZK-KEZ.
This was built as an Piper L-18C for the USAF and was given the US military serial number of 51-15628. Its Piper construction number was 18-1628. Under the MDAP scheme it was supplied to the French Army (ALAT) and received the French military serial of 181628 (the same as its Piper c/n).
By early 1970 it had been withdrawn and appeared on gthe Belgian civil register as OO-SPL with the Aero Para Club at Spa. On 24-06-1982 it turned up on the UK civil register as G-BKEZ to Anthony Nicholas Gouvenot-Gardiner of Hitchin (I suspect via Cliff Lovel who is a well known restorer of - especially DH aircraft). In OCtober of 1984 it passed on to Goeff Harfield of Newbury and then to David Marwick, down Farnborough way.
For a pic of her in its UK marks look here :-

David imported the aircraft, and himself, to NZ and registered the Cub here - using the last three letters of its UK registration - nto create  ZK-KEZ on 30-01-1998. It was sold to Paul and Philippa Hally on 30-10-2009 and then to Rivendell Trust 61 of Waddington  (West of Christchurch) on 29-06-2011.
Below it is seen at Rangiora on Friday 28-07-2012 - thanks to Allan Bowman.
Top pic was taken at Wanaka on 10-04-1998.

Cessna 172RG Cutlass 11 ZK-NAC.

The Cessna 172RG Cutlass was developed from the Cessna 172N but introduced a retractable undercarriage, and the 180hp Lycoming O-360 engine. Just short of twelve hundred where manufactured.

ZK-NAC2 is c/n 172RG-0620 which tells us that it was built in 1981. It was allocated N6316V to Cessna for testing and then went to Australia and became VH-TNU on 25-09-1981 with D R Bigger of Sunshine Beach in Queensland. Three owners later is was with E Miglas at Tonimuk in Victoria from 06-07-1989 until being sold and ferried into Auckland, via Norfolk Island on 11-04-1993.
It became ZK-NAC2 on 01-06-1993 for the Air New Zealand Sports and Social Club Southern Inc of Christchurch, which is where it still resides.
 The photo below shows it at Christchurch on on 28-03-1994.
 The lower view was taken at Rangiora on 27-07-2012 by Allan Bowman.

Sighted in Christchurch area this day 29-07-2012

Refuelled at Rangiora and heading home to the Hakataramea Valley was the Cessna 172L ZK-DAW (c/n 17259737). It belongs to the Small's and lives with its bigger cousin, Cessna U206G ZK-EJH
Sitting at Garden City Helicopters was the Robinson R44 Raven 11 ZK-IWF (c/n 13075)
This was originall ZK-IZA with Izard Pacific Aviation before taking up the initials of its new owner Wayne French of Dunedin. Photo from Bargeldo1
At West Melton was the Cessna 180 ZK-MUZ c/n 30612 as captured by Bargledo1.
See previous blog on this one at:-
Catch for the day was the Jabiru J400 now registered as ZK-ZMA (c/n 114).
Below is what NZ Aviation News Magazine had to say about it when it hit the register on 15-05-12.
"Between August 2003 and January 2004 Brent Christiansen of Bright East, Victoria, Australia built a Jabiru J400 with a Jabiru 3300 engine and registered it as VH-ZMX on 20-10-2003. It was sold to Alan Warren of Resebery, Northern Territory on 08-054-2010. Alan has recently imported the aircraft into NZ and it has been registered here as ZK-ZMA."
It is currently undergoing its NZ certification at Rangiora.

Saturday 28 July 2012

AXC Hokitika

Auster J4 Archer ZK-AXC

During World War Two Taylorcraft produced many military Auster 3, 4's and 5's.
For civilian purposes the military Auster 5 was referred to as the Model J from which came the very well known J1, J5's and their many sub variants, eg J5B, J5F, J5G etc.
One of the lesser known post war derivatives was the Auster J4. In 1946 Auster Aircraft (which had been renamed from Taylorcraft) build a lower powered aircraft similar to the pre war Taylorcraft Plus C. This became the Auster J-2 Arrow using either the Continental or Lycoming flat four engines from the States. But with import restriction in force post war, Auster fitted a 90hp Blackburn Cirrus Minor engine to one of these airframes and created the Auster J4 Archer.
One of these came to NZ in 1950.
It had been built as G-AIPK with c/n 2080 and registered with Auster Aircraft Ltd of Rearsby on 17-12-1946 and was delivered to the Cecil Kay Aircraft Ltd for onward sale to the Birmingham Flying Club at Elmdon 28-08-1947. Ownership transferred to the Warwickshire Aero Club Ltd, also at Elmdon, on 26-04-1948 and then to W S Shackleton Ltd of London on 14-08-1950 for sale to New Zealand.

ZK-AXC was registered on 22-09-1950 to W G Bradshaw of Chistchurch with its CofA being issued on 06-10-1950. Twenty years later (28-09-1970) ownership moved to Bruce Bonner of Christchurch.
This top view shows ZK-AXC in its original Cirrus Minor engine powered state. This was taken in   the back of the Canterbury Aero Club hangar on 24-12-1963.

Below we see it outside the Canterbury Aero Club hangar on 26-04-1973. I suspect this was during its engine conversion.

Above - ZK-AXC as seen at Hastings 26-01-1974. From the Allan Wooller collection.
As seen at Queenstown - in magnificent monochrome - on 13-03-1974
It struck a fence whilst taxying at Ohoka on 03-04-1983 and I seem to recall Bruce having difficulty finding replacement wings struts for it at that time.

Next move was in mid March of 1997 to Peter Turvey on 16-03-1997 with whom it became "Clayton" because it had been re-engined with a Lycoming O-320, giving it a complete new front end.
Check out the Claytons meaning at :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytons

Below we see it at Cust 19-05-1999 taxying out. Note the flaps,( at what stage did it gain these flaps ?), the clear lower door panels and the top of cabin window layout.
Below it is refuelling at Rangiora on 19-01-2000.
It was sold to Byron J Kelly, initially of Kaiapoi on 08-08-2006, and later of Springs Junction.
Below - It was captured departing Rangiora on 27-07-2012 by Allan Bowman.

Friday 27 July 2012

Aero Commander 680FL ZK-DBQ.

Following on from the blog on Aero Commander ZK-CDK I have been asked about the Grand Commander that came from Kenya.
The Aero Commander 680FL c/n 1330-15 was initially a demonstrator with Aerosales Pty Ltd of Johannesburg South Africa, with whom it was registered as ZS-CBB in February 1963. A potential sale as VQ-ZII to Swaziland fell through before it was acquired by Safari Air Services of Nairobi becoming VP-KTX on 12-12-1963. Ownership changed to the Kenya Police Air Wing and with the independence of Kenya a new registration prefix came into force in January 1965. So the Commander became 5Y-KTX. It was purchased by Geyserland Airways of Rotorua and was ferried back to NZ by their managing director Ian Palmer. It was damaged in a forced landing at Assab, Eritrea in mid July 1970. Some repairs were done and the aircraft arrived at Auckland on 26-08-1970 via Aden, Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, Darwin, Brisbane and Norfolk Island. It was first moved over to Air New Zealand for repairs but was then ferried over to Rex Aviation at Ardmore on September 1st for repairs.
It was registered as ZK-DBQ on 23-10-1970 to Geyserland Airways Ltd of Rotorua.
The lower fuselage had been extensively damage during the earlier forced landing and with spare parts having to come for the USA it took some time before the job was completed. I believe it first flew again on April 7th 1971. It then went down to Aviation Radio at Wellington for a few days from the 13th.
It had only been in service for a few weeks when it it suffered undercarriage damage and prop strike at Kaitaia on the metalled part of the vector on 28-08-1971. Temporary repairs were carried out on site and it was ferried back to Ardmore for permanent repairs.
ZK-DBQ at Wellington 21-09-1971 in Geyserland Scheme.

More damaged was sustained at Wellington on 16-01-1972 when it struck a heap of rubble with its port undercarriage following engine power surges on approach. Following temporary repairs it was flown to Christchurch for permanent repairs.
Its ownership changed to Air North on 28-06-1976 (an associated Company) and then to Akarana Air Ltd on 23-05-1977.
Sadly on the night of 31-10-1977 it was lost in the sea of Wanganui following double engine failure.
These two photos of ZK-DBQ in its Akarana Air, freight mode, were captured by CMM in October 1977, just a few days before it was lost.

For further details on the Geyserland operations, check out :-
And for some Akarana Air details, check out:

Thursday 26 July 2012

Wait, watch and wash. NZCH 26-07-2012

Waiting. Fokker F27 ZK-BXH (c/n 10190) is still awaiting attention from the dismantling crew - for its move to the Wanaka Transport Museum. There has been very little further progress on ZK-BXI in the last week.
Watching - throught the Pound Road security fence as Cessna 185B  ZK-CMV2 (c/n 185-0519) of Paul and Kate Macdonald and Tilmac Family Trust, does big lazy circuits on the sealed runway today.
Washed. The Mike Gray Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HMR3 (c/n 2119) from Kahutara Hills on the Inland Kaikoura Road, not too far west of  Kaikoura ; was in for some maintenance.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Aero Commander 680F ZK-CDK

NZ Aerial Mapping Ltd was formed at Hasting in 1936 using the Mono Spar ST-25 ZK-AFF.
During World War Two, with the increased demand for their services, the Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan ZK-AHO was added. See blog at  http://nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=aho
In the early 1960's came the requirement for greater altitude than what the Kansan could handle so an Aero Commander 680F was ordered. C/n 680F-1289-132 was built as N78395 and arrived in NZ on 19-09-1963 and was registered as ZK-CDK on 01-10-1963 to NZ Lands and Survey Department and NZ Aerial Mapping Co Ltd of Hastings. It was named "Matariki".
Below are a selection of photographs of this aircraft.
 Above, as seen at Queenstown on 15-03-66
It was recorded outside the "Government" hangar at Wellington on 09-09-1969.
It was captured again at Wellington. This time on 31-12-1973 parked between the Government hangar and the old De Havilland hangar.

Ownership passed solely to NZ Aerial Mapping Ltd on 28-05-2001 and then to NZAM Consulting Ltd of Auckland on 02-07-2003.
It was then leased to Aerial Survey Ltd of Nelson from 21-09-2009

Jump a few years now to 21-02-2006 when it was seen at Hastings.
The lower batch of five photographs have been supplied by Nick Furmage and were taken at Hasting in July 2011.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (5) - L M Harris Spitfire U/L

L M (Harry) Harris of Tauranga is an experienced homebuilt aircraft builder, having built KR 2 ZK-JLW and Lancair ZK-MHS as well as assisting in other composite aircraft projects.  In between these 2 aircraft he taught himself aircraft design and aerodynamics and designed his neat little Rotax 582 powered fibreglass microlight Spitfire replica.  It is loosely to scale but has the unmistakeable Spitfire looks, especially in the air when its undercarriage is retracted.

The photo from the Keith Morris collection shows the Spitfire elliptical wing and was taken at the 2002 SANZ flyin at Matamata.

ZK-JNM (c/n 002) was registered to Harry Harris on 29/1/02, and is still owned by him.  It is frequently seen at airshows and flies very well.

I understand that this might not be the last Spitfire replica to be built by Harry Harris.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (4) - Bruce Walker Custom Skylark

Bruce Walker of Tauranga designed and built this homegrown microlight which used some components from a Quicksilver that Bruce had previously owned. The wing is a high lift Australian Tyro kitset wing of 32 foot span, and the pusher engine is a Rotax 447 which gives a cruise of around 70 mph.

The photo below is from the Keith Morris collection, taken at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata 

Bruce Walker Custom Skylark ZK-MYT (c/n TY 6520, I guess for the Tyro wing) was first registered by Bruce on 1/12/00, and is still current.  Bruce says it has done around 200 hours and flies really well.  Bruce keeps it in a hangar on a topdressing strip near Te Puke.

Bruce advises that ZK-MYT is for sale.  If anyone is interested please add a comment to this post and I will advise him.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Yet more from Hastings for Saturday 21-07-2012.

A meteorological phenomena approaching Hastings this morning. A line of convergence - sea breeze front maybe - Where were the glider boys ?
A closer up nose view of the Trislander ZK-LGC as it taxies in. Note the old sign writing visible on the nose. A left over from its Rockhopper Aero days on the UK civil register.
Dropping in briefly from Stratford is the Sonerai ZK-SNW. 1 hour 15 minuted direct from Stratford to Bridge Pas on 17 litres of fuel. The return flight took only 55 minutes. Not too bad for 80hp.
Photos from Nick Furmage again.

Five more from Hastings

Nice to see the Piper PA-18A-150 Cub ZK-BRO (c/n 18-5530) in a much better state than when I saw her last time. It is now in the hands of S Eilers and T Smith.
The Piper PA-28-181 Archer 11 ZK-FQQ (c/n 28-181-809002) arriving back after an engine change.
Two multi engines arrivals on behalf of Aerial Mapping charter. Above is the Britten-Norman BN.2A Mk.111-2 ZK-LGC (c/n 1042) of Great Barrier Airlines Flight Operations Ltd, and below - from the same Company is the Embraer EMB-820C Navajo Chieftain ZK-RDT (c/n 820127). Brazilian assemble, it arrived at Auckland on 27-03-1994 for G J Rea and Great Barrier Airlines.
Currently on line with the Aero Club is the Tecnam P92 Echo Super ZK-THA (c/n 785) .It started its career with the Hawera Aero Club in September of 2003 but was damaged in January of 2006. After attention from Dale Trust at Thames it is now with Cliff Johnston of Hastings.
All pics fron Nick Furmage.

Six from Hastings today 21-07-2012

Nick Furmage has been actve at Hastings (Bridge Pa) this morning and sent in these six photographs.
The Piper PA-18 ZK-BPM (c/n 18-6380) feeling for the ground - with the back seater taking considerable interest in proceedings.
ZK-DVI is a Cessna 206 Super Skywagon and is c/n 206-0163. This arrived at Ardmore on 27-07-2974 for Terry Bindon of the Waikato Flying School. It is with the Salisbury Jensen Partnership, now of Hastings.
Above and below are a three more of the locals. Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk ZK-EQB (c/n 38-A0750) of Air Hawkes Bay Ltd. It has been Hastings based since new in 1979. In the background is the Jim Frogley DHC-2 Beaver ZK-BBX (c/n 324) from Havelock. This was a Fieldair original back in early 1953. Below is Cessna 172R Skyhawk ZK-JKA (c/n 17280414) also of Air Hawkes Bay.

Very model like !     Sky Star Series 5 Outback ZK-RJA (c/n 596110200) was originally John Anderson's at New Plymouth from 06-10-2005. It has been listed with the K Miller Syndicate of Havelock North since 12-01-2011. Today it was delivered from Hastings to a new owner at Waikpukurau by Ross MacDonald, the CFI of the Central Hawkes Bay Aero Club.
Above is the clasic Stinson 108-3 Station Wagon ZK-STN (c/n 108-3585). Cranked out in about 1948 it joined the ZK register on 20-03-1996 for Rex Evans of Agpower Sales and Services Ltd at Waipukurau. It moved to its current owners, J and N Partners out of Havelock North, on 30-05-1997.

More to follow: