Monday 31 December 2012

2012 - A Vintage Year, Nelson

To complete the vintage year for vintage aircraft in New Zealand that was 2012, one more outstanding aircraft must be added:

Bill and Robyn Reid's immaculate Avro Anson Mk 1 bomber ZK-RRA test flew from Nelson airport on 18 July 2012, following a 10 year restoration effort.  The Anson Mk 1 is powered by twin 350 HP Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah IX engines, and I understand that it is the only Mk 1 Anson flying in the world.

Thanks to Grant Newman of the Wings Over New Zealand website for the above photo, which was taken at Nelson on 18 July, just after the restored Anson's second flight.

So what a year 2012 has been for vintage aircraft in New Zealand!  (and remember that we are a country of just over 4 million people which is smaller that most large overseas cities).  How about this for a list of first flights during 2012?:

Avro Anson Mk 1 ZK-RRA
DH 98 Mosquito ZK-MOS
Sopwith Pups ZK-PPD and ZK-PPY
Albatros D Va ZK-TVD,
RE 8 ZK-RES, and

Amazing! truly amazing!

And to all readers of the NZ Civair blog - Happy New Year.


2012 - A Vintage year, The Vintage Aviator, Masterton, (3)

To complete my posts from The Vintage Aviator Armistice Day airshow at Masterton, I will post about the English reconaissance/observation/fighter bombers below:.

The Royal Aircraft Factory BE 2 model existed at the outbreak of war, and it was quickly pressed into service, even though it was pretty much a sitting duck for newer Gerrman fighters such as the Fokker Eindecker.  This early model BE 2c reproduction, ZK-TVA, built by The Vintage Aviator, is painted in the early Royal Flying Corps colours featuring the Union Jack.  It was only in 1915 that red white and blue roundels were used.

BE 2f ZK-BFR above, is an original airframe, making it a very historic aircraft.  It also has an original Royal Aicraft Factory Model 1A air cooled V8 motor of 90 HP, that was reverse engineered and manufactured by The Vintage Aviator, as no serviceable RAF Model 1A engines existed in the world.  That's pretty amazing!

The Royal Aircraft Factory RE 8 was designed as the replacement for the BE 2 and ZK-RES above is The Vintage Aviator's second flying example (after their first was a static airframe that is displayed at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre).  It is powered by a Royal Aircraft Factory Model 4A air cooled V 12 motor of 160 HP, that has also been reverse engineered by The Vintage Aviator.  Doubly amazing!

The Bristol Fighter or "Brisfit" was also designed as a replacement for the BE 2, and was arguably a better aircraft, however it was hampered during the war by the lack of Rolls Royce Falcon engines. ZK-BRI, photo'd above, is an original example powered by a Rolls Royce Falcon of around 14 litres!  It was found that the Brisfit could foot it against single seat fighter types by going on the attack and having the rear gunner protect the rear - it must have been a hell of a ride in combat!  The Bristol Fighter was produced between 1916 and 1926.


Sunday 30 December 2012

2012 - A Vintage Year, The Vintage Aviator, Masterton (2)

Continuing with my posts from The Vintage Aviator Armistice Day airshow at Masterton, here are some of the foes:

A couple of Albatros's taking off for a raid...

Albatros D Va ZK-DVA was a revelation when it first was introduced in 2009.  With only 2 original D Va's in existence - both in museums and not flyable, no-one had expected to see an example flying again, but The Vintage Aviator amazed the vintage aircraft community by building a flyable one that was completely original in every detail.  Now they have built and flown four of them, each with original 15 litre! 6 cylinder Mercedes D 111 water cooled motors which produce 160 HP.

ZK-TVE is The Vintage Aviator's fourth Albatros, and it was a unique sight that could only happen in New Zealand to see two of them flying together.

Fokker DR 1 Triplane ZK-JOC was one of 3 Fokker Triplanes flying on the day.  All the seven New Zealand DR 1's are replicas with radial motors.

But The Vintage Aviator Fokker D VIII's are powered by original Oberursel rotary motors which have been made in house by The Vintage Aviator by reverse engineering an original motor.  How amazing is that?  Photo'd above is ZK-FEV.

The D VIII was called "The Flying Razor" because of its single wing.  Photo'd above is ZK-FES.  I guess these 2 flying together with Oberursel motors would also be a unique sight in the world.


ZK-MVB arrives Christchurch Runway 29.

 Bargeld01 was on site at Christchurch Airport this morning to catch the delivery arrival of the ATR ATR 72-212A ZK-MVB (c/n 1065) on runway 29.

Christmas Question Time # 160 revisited.

We still await the correct identification of clues  , # 7, # 11, # , and # 15.
I will now give additional photo clues for these.

The original Post can be seen at this link :-


Original question #3 photo clue
Additional photo clue 3A.
The question was :- Name the aircraft manufacturer and model.
Correct answer received from QW: Rans S-12 Airaile ZK-KII.
Original photo clue # 7
 Additional photo clue 7A
 The question was :- What is this used for and where would you expect to find it.
An added extra would be if you could name the glider type !
 Not a self launcher.
Original photo clue # 8
 Additional photo clue 8A.
 The question was :- What aircraft type is this ?   Any comment about the possible use of this aircraft !
Half correct answer from QW. It is indeed float plane. 
Correct answer received from Anonymous: Maranda Seaplane at Invercargill.
Original photo clue #11
 Additional photo clue # 11
Original question was :-
Amateur built to professional standard.
 What type do you think we have here -
 and any idea what engine lurks within that cowling ?
Original photo clue # 12
 Additional photo clue # 12
The original question was :- Who manufactures these hinges ?
Correct answer received from Anonymous at 30: 0911pm: Meeker is the manufacturer I was looking for. Your 0914pm answer added the correct (but not required) ZK-HWH registration.
Original photo clue # 15
 Additional photo clue # 15
The original question was :-
What purpose does the bear serve ?
What markings does this aircraft wear ?
(apart from that obvious roundel)
Original photo clue # 18
 Additional photo clue # 18
The original question was :-
What on earth (or in the sky) is this then ?
Knowing that - tell me the type and model of aircraft that you would expect to find this object ?
 Correct answer received from bobgod. Bell 205 (UH1-H) Iroqouis
Go for it.
Quiz will close on my birthday.

Saturday 29 December 2012

2012 - A Vintage Year, The Vintage Aviator, Masterton (1)

Another facet of the vintage year that was 2012 (for New Zealand vintage aircraft), was provided by The Vintage Aviator.  Their Armistice Day airshow at Masterton's  Hood Aerodrome was the first one of their airshows that I have attended, and I was even more impressed than I thought I would be.  Fantastic weather for a start, and then amazing aeroplanes displaying close to two crowd lines which made for excellent photo opportunities.  I have already posted about the 5 new WW 1 aircraft at the airshow at

I took so many photos that I didn't post at the time, and I post some of them now as a celebration of a vintage year, and to give enthusiasts an idea of what could be in store for Wings Over Wairarapa 2013.

Sopwith Camel replica ZK-JMU (marked up as B3889), seemed to leap into the air on take-off.

And then put in an impressive display with amazing bangs and pops from its rotary engine.

Sopwith Triplane replica ZK-SOP marked up as N533 and named "Black Maria"on take-off.  The Sopwith Triplane pre-dated the better known Fokker Triplane.

The impressive sight of 3 Vintage Aviator SE 5A's taxying in, from left ZK-SEO, ZK-SES and ZK-SEV.  These aircraft are essentially as they would have appeared from The Royal Aircraft Factory in 1917, with 180 HP Hispano-Suiza motors.

Finally for this post, the remarkable appearance of not one but two Vintage Aviator FE 2b's.  One flying was unique in the world - but two??!!  The first FE 2b, ZK-FEE, is marked up as 6341 and named "Zanzibar 1", but also marked up as "The Scotch Express" on the starboard side, as photo'd above.

While the new FE 2b is ZK-FEB, which is marked up in the colours of A5650 as a night bomber and named "Jess".  You can see the large "bomb" behind the undercarriage in this shot.  The original of this aircraft was built by G & J Weir in Scotland and operated by 100 Squadron in late 1918.  Both aircraft are powered by original 160 HP Beardmore motors.  I think both of these aircraft are "as new" builds.


I remember even more.

Another shot from an unknown photographer. Date also unknown.
 Above we have the Douglas DC-3C DQ-FBJ (c/n 32899/16151). It started life as a C-47B-30DK for the USAAF with the serial 44-76567 before becoming NZ3539 with the RNZAF from April 1945. Post military it became ZK-AOF with N.Z.N.A.C from 30-05-1947 and was given the name "Pukeko". It got the "Skyliner" treatment and became Skyliner "Blenheim" on 12-12-1963.
 Above is Skyliner "Blenheim" parked up at Christchurch on 17-02-1969.
It was withdrawn from use (early 1969 ?) and became VQ-FBJ on 10-06-1969 with Air Pacific.
With Fijian independence the registration was changed to DQ-FBJ in 1972.
It returned to NZ and was re-registered as ZK-AOF on 28-04-1972 - So I assume that the colour photo above, taken at Christchurch, would have been at about this time.
It was renamed Skyliner "Waitaki" and operated with NZNAC again until being withdrawn from use in December of 1974.
Below. ZK-AOF "Waitaki" as seen at Christchurch on 01-09-1972
It was sold to P R Wieland Aust Pty Ltd of New South Wales on 01-09-1976 and it departed NZ for the States on 29-10-1976.
Its NZ registration was cancelled on 25-01-1977 and it became N99435, as seen below.
I have five US owners listed to her until about ten years later it was abandoned at Aruba in the West Indies and eventually dumped in the sea.

 Check out the following two links. The first link covers all the NZ civil DC-3s and the second show "AOF" at the end of its days.

Friday 28 December 2012

A Nelson selection today 28-12-2012.

Lord Nelson has kindly sent in the following shots taken at Nelson today 28-12-2012.
Two of a kind. Cessna 180A's.
Above is ZK-FDO2 (c/n 50017). It went new from the Cessna factory (as N9119B) to Australia and became VH-FDG with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (West Australia), Perth from 14-10-1957. On 20-12-1965 they changed the registration to VH-FDO; then sold it to private owners on 18-02-1970. It had at least nine further owners before coming to NZ to become ZK-FDO2 for H C McClellan of Queenstown. Next in line was Brian Coakley out of Cambridge from 06-03-2001. Southbridge Farm of Couts Island (northwest corner of Christchurch) are listed from 03-08-2005 and it is currently with Van Asch Grigg Partnership of Blenheim. 
ZK-BUG c/n 32960) has been around since Adam was a cowboy. It was listed with Rural Aviation Ltd on 13-06-1957 and served in the ag role for some years. It carried the "Bugs Buggy" title whilst with Rural. It migrated to Wanganui in late November of 1965 for Dalcom Aviation Training Ltd and then to Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd at Ardmore on 22-07-1971. After a brief period with Barr Brothers in 1971 it joined Urquhart, Gallagher and Pope before settling with Far North Aviation of Auckland from 23-11-1971. James McEwan of Auckland appears from 12-02-1985, but it it now Nelson based.
The Aerospatiale AS350 BA ZK-HWF3 (c/n 1646) was at rest. This is an early 1983 AS350B build: Being N5800T and then N28TM before being assembled by Airwork at Ardmore to become ZK-HZR from 23-09-1986 for Cadenza Motors and Hire Towers Ltd in Auckland. It was cancelled from our register on 03-12-1992 and then disappeared until returning to the listings as ZK-HST2 in AS350BA mode with Hele Tranz Ltd of North Shore on 03-05-1993. It moved down to Nelson for Anatoki Helicopters from 13-05-2009.
It got a mention previously at :-
Above is the Piper PA-34-220T Seneca ZK-BJM2 (c/n 34-48048)
This is what NZ Aviation News said about it on its arrival:- 
The Piper PA-34-220T Seneca N21GP flew into Kerikeri on 07-102-10 from Pago Pago and Christmas Island. It was constructed in mid 1994 and registered as N9249N before becoming N21GP. Its final US listed operator was BSM Leasing Inc of Wilmington, Delaware from 22-02-2006. It has joined Ridge Air at Omaka as ZK-BJM2. The original ZK-BJM was a Lockheed 18 Lodestar with Fieldair and Airland (NZ) Ltd between 1955 and 1963. 
Tied down was the SkyStar Kitfox VII ZK-ROX (c/n PFA 172D-14024) of Peter Akass of Wanaka.
Below is another quote from the NZ Aviation News Magazine.
This aircraft was bought to NZ by Peter Akass from the UK where it had been listed with him as G-ROXY from 23-10-2003. The first of Dan Denney’s Kitfox kits was built in 1984 in Boise, Idaho. It was a light weight, two seat aircraft with folding wings and STOL capabilities. The aircraft evolved with continued improvements up to the model 4.  SkyStar Aircraft Corp acquired the rights in June of 1992 and began developing a new aircraft, the Series 5, with certified engines, increased cockpit and baggage area. In early 2000 a group of the employees acquired the Company and continued to develop the airframe up to the series 7. Financial problems halted production in late 2005. The SkyStar assets went to John and Debra McBean in April of 2006 who trade as Kitfox LLC, they also operate Sportplane LLC which has been supplying Kitfox builders since 2003.

Its UK listing was cancelled on 10-09-2007 and it was registered in NZ on 20-03-2008.

2012 - A Vintage Year, Ardmore

It was a spectacular year for vintage aircraft at Ardmore headlined of course by the Jerry Yagen DH 98 Mosquito KA 114 coming together, being registered ZK-MOS and being finished off just in time for the Mosquito celebration airshow on 29 September 2012.   I had been watching this aircraft in the Avspecs hangar for several years, first posting about it when Jerry Yagen's lovely DH 89 Dragon Rapide G-ADDD was completed

I salute the confidence of Warren Denholm of Avspecs to announce the date of the airshow around 6 months out, and then to complete the complex project that was the Mosquito in the nick of time - with a test flight just 3 days before the airshow!  And all this under intense international interest.  However the aircraft performed almost flawlessly for an amazing airshow that no-one who was there will ever forget.  I was amazed at how much pilots Dave Phillips and Keith Skilling threw the Mosquito around the sky with formation flying and low passes, and the sound of the twin Merlins was amazing.

The Mosquito must be the most photographed aircraft in New Zealand aircraft history.  I took this photo in the late afternoon of 28 September, which I think was the first time that the painted engine cowlings had been attached - that's how close it was!  I posted photos from the airshow at

But that was not all the vintage aircraft action at Ardmore in 2012.  On 3 June 2012 NZ Warbirds staged their D Day commemoration airshow which featured the spectacular Yak 3 ZK-VVS, that was also completed in 2012.  Man! Can that thing go!  I posted about the D Day airshow at


Mosquito video clip from Scott Slocum

Mosquito lovers (and others). Feast your optics on this video clip.

I remember when.

During the year some slide copies from an unknown original source came my way.
Below are three photos selected from this small collection.
 The Beech AT-11 Kansan ZK-AHO (c/n 3691) seen here at Christchurch. More on this aircraft can be seen on an earlier posting at :-
 An aircraft well known in "The Gulf" was the Grumman G21A Goose ZK-DFC (c/n B-104). This was built in 1942 as a JRF-5 for the US Navy and carried the USN serial number 84809 before entering the US civil register as N1621A followed by N19DF for delivery to NZ. It trundlled into Auckland on 05-10-1972 to become ZK-DFC with Mount Cook and Southern Lakes Tourist Co Ltd on 06-10-1972. It is seen above at Mechanics Bay between 1972 and 1977. It transferred to See Bee Air Ltd on 03-03-1977 and then to Great Barrier Airlines Ltd on 18-10-1989. Withdrawn from use on 26-08-1991 it was exported as deck cargo on the "Direct Kea" and became N3116T in September of 1991. In December of 1992 it was damaged on the west coast of Grand Cocos Island. It was lost in very deep water during a later salvage attempt.
A less well known aircraft in NZ is this Percival P.40 Prentice T1 ZK-DJC (c/n B/3/1A/PAC/252).
This one was actually built by Blackburn Aircraft and became VS316 with the Royal Air Force before becoming G-AOMF on 03-05-1956. After several owners it was flown from the Channel Islands to Mangere over the March to May 1969 period. Reaching Auckland on 20-05-1969. It was then stored at Tauranga until being listed as ZK-DJC on 29-11-1972 with N B Cooper  of Kaiapoi. There was a plan to convert it to an eight seater and to replace the Gipsy Queen 50 engine with a 300hp IO-520 but instead it received a Gipsy Queen taken from a DH Heron. (this would have been about 1990). Ownership seems to have moved to Christian Partners and then to H Christian and I believe the aircraft moved over to Lake Haupiri on the West Coast South Island. Gerald F Rhodes became the registered owner on 09-02-1994. This registration was revoked on 19-05-1998 with the aircraft being tucked away in the Wanaka Transport and Toy Museum. See previous mention at :-

Thursday 27 December 2012

2012 - A Vintage Year, North Shore

On looking back at 2012, I am struck by the feast of vintage aircraft that we are blessed to have in New Zealand. So to celebrate a special year, I will start with posting the unique vintage trio of De Havillands operated by Stan and Gilly Smith at North Shore Airfield. They have been out and about during the year, starting with the vintage aircraft section of the North Shore flyin on 11 February 2012.

The trio are: firstly, DH 84 Dragon ZK-AXI named "Taniwha".

The second member of the trio is DH 83C Fox Moth ZK-APT. I did a comprehensive post on ZK-AXI and ZK_APT at the North Shore flyin at

And the third member of the trio is DH 94 Moth Minor ZK-AKM.  I have not seen it flying for a long time, so I was delighted to see it out and to post about a recent session of circuits at North Shore on 16 December 2012, at

These two events neatly book-ended the vintage aircraft year for me, but there were some pretty spectacular events in between!