Sunday 27 January 2013

The two P40 Kittyhawks

Above we have the Curtiss P40N-1-CU ZK-CAG2 (c/n 28492). This was cranked out for the USAAF as serial number 42-104730 before being sent out to the Royal Australian Air Force to become A29-448. To cut a long story short it was written off and later retrieved by Charles Darby and arrived in NZ in 1974 and stored. Restoration was begun by Pacific Aircraft Co and completed by Pioneer Restorations and it first flew here on 17-03-2000. It was listed as ZK-CAG on 08-03-2000 to The Kittyhawk Partnership (Charles Darby and Garth Hogan) and painted up as A29-448 on its port side and A29-1050 on the starboard side.
Ownership moved to Frank Parker and Liz Needham as Warbird Adventure Rides Ltd on 20-09-2012.
It has recently pick up a set of sharks teeth. (I seem to recall it had them at Wanaka in 2006).
Below is Curtiss P40E ZK-RMH (c/n 19669) which was allocated the USAAF serial of 41-25158 followed by the RAF serial of ET482. Instead it came down under for the RNZAF to become NZ3009 in April of 1942. It was withdrawn from use in mid 1945 and finally struck off charge on 02-03-1948. From the Rukuhia storage facility it moved over to Asplins Garage on SH1 at Rukuhia until shifting to MoTaT in February of 1968. Charles Darby and Jim Pavitt came on the scene in about October of 1992 and restoration was carried out at Pacific Aircraft Ltd with it becoming ZK-RMH (for Ray and Mark Hanna) on 04-12-1997 to Pacific Aircraft Ltd. First flight after rebuild was on 19-12-1997 at Whenuapai. A few months later (April 1998) it was listed to The Old Flying Machine C0 (NZ) Ltd (Ray Hanna) and shipped to England in April of 1999 to become G-CCBE from 10-03-2003 to Classic Aviation Ltd. This is where it picked up its Nationalist Chinese markings. It returned to NZ as ZK-RMH from 18-06-2003 and was converted to a two seater by Pioneer Restorations. Ownership moved to Air Tight Trust on 31-08-2005 and to The Old Stick and Rudder Co Ltd on 14-05-2012.

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