Saturday 25 August 2012

Thatcher CX 4's of New Zealand

The Thatcher CX 4 was designed by David Thatcher of Pensacola, Florida as a retirement project (he's 75), and his prototype first flew on 10 February 2004.  It is of simple construction, mainly from 6061 T-6 aluminium and requires no special jigs.  It looks right which usually means it flies right, and from all reports it is a sweet performer with good flying characteristics.  David Thatcher has now designed and built a tricycle undercarriage version, and a 2 seat CX 5 is under construction.

The CX 4 is 18 feet 3 inches long (5.56 metres) and the wingspan is 24 feet (7.30 metres).  Its empty weight is 543 pounds (236 Kg) and MAUW is 850 pounds (386 Kg).  With a 1700 cc motor it cruises at a respectable 109 knots (125 mph).

The CX 4 is the latest type of single seat homebuilt aircraft to appear in New Zealand, and we will see more of them as apart from the 2 flying examples there are at least another 7 under construction.

Our first CX 4 was ZK-TCX (c/n 178) which was built by Allan Jones of Levin, and was first registered on 8/11/10.  It is painted in a similar scheme to David Thatcher's prototype.  Allan mainly flies it out of Masterton, where Geoff Lloyd took the above photo on 11/12/11.

Th CX 4 is trailerable as shown in this photo from Allan Jones, taken at Waitarere in December 2010.  The wings can be removed in 20 minutes.

And our second CX 4 is ZK-CXY (c/n 189) which was built by Derek Dikstaal of Waiwera, and was first registered on 26/7/12.  Derek's aircraft features a Great Plains VW motor with a Lightspeed electronic ignition.  The above photo was taken at North Shore Airfield today, 25/8/12, following its first flight by Dave Simpson (whose Harmon Rocket lives in the same hangar as ZK-CXY).  Dave reported that the first flight went very smoothly and he was surprised by the cruising speed without a canopy.  A canopy will eventually follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment