Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Volmer VJ 22 Sportsman Amphibians of New Zealand

The next type of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft to appear in New Zealand was our first amphibian, the Volmer VJ 22 Sportsman.  New Zealand is a great place for an amphibian with our many freshwater lakes and extensive coastline, and we have had quite a few types of amphibian as I will post in this series over time.

The Volmer Sportsman was designed by Volmer Jensen in 1957 and the prototype first flew in December 1958.  Its fuselage is derived from a scaled down Savoia-Marchetti hull which gives it good water performance, and the hull is covered with fibreglass.  The wings are from an Aeronca  Champion and the pusher motor can be between 85 and 100 HP.  Its length is 7.32 metres (24 feet), wingspan is 11.13 metres (36 feet 6 inches) and wing area is 16.26 square metres (175 square feet).  Empty weight is 454 Kg (1,000 pounds) and MAUW is 680 Kg (1,500 pounds).  Performance is modest with all that hanging out.  It cruises at 85 mph and stalls at 45 mph.

Our first Volmer Sportsman was ZK-EDB (c/n AACA/151/1) which was built by David Burgess of
Invercargill and was first registered in October 1974.  It first flew on 7/12/74 at Invercargill, where the above photo was taken.  Ownership transferred to VB Murray of Kingston on 4/3/82, then to JH Richards and MK Browning of Darfield on 25/6/85.

It was then sold to GAM Zondag of Nelson on 1/5/91 and it was repainted in the above scheme as photo'd by Don Noble at Nelson on 26/12/98.  It was withdrawn and cancelled on 22/10/04.

ZK-CTY (c/n AACA/15/2) was registered way back on 12/7/67 to Peter Dyer of Christchurch.  Peter
Dyer was a prolific aircraft builder but for whatever reason he did not complete ZK-CTY.  Instead he sold it to John Murray, also of Christchurch on 26/3/74.  Although he had previously built Jodel D 9 ZK-DEV, he did not complete it either and I have seen photos of the nearly completed fuselage as it was transported to Auckland for AK Lynch who purchased the project on 1/11/74.  It then passed to MF Brister of Auckland on 17/8/79, and then to both AK Lynch and MF Brister on 10/9/79.  Somewhere in between there it was completed but I don't know when.  I have a black and white photo of it at what looks like the 1980 AACA flyin at Te Kowhai... Later it was owned by AO Barrowclough of Auckland from 13/1/86, then by BL Hegley of Auckland from 4/10/88.  Finally ownership changed to AW Payne of Napier on 27/11/96 but it was cancelled on the same day.  Maybe it was bought in a damaged state?

There is an interesting video of ZK-CTY flying from Hobsonville and doing water landings near to Te Atatu on the Waitemata Harbour at  .  The above photo may have been taken at Hobsonville?

And our final Volmer Sportsman was ZK-FGL (c/n AACA/309) which was built by Gordon Fulcher of
Timaru.  It was registered on 18/11/83 and its first flight was on 2/6/84.  It can be seen in the above photo, taken at Timaru, that it is named "Sanderling".  It has spent the whole of its life in Timaru and ownership changed to SG Fulcher on 19/2/01.  ZK-FGL is still current as can be seen in a post by Mike Condon on this blog in May 2012 at:


  1. VH-CTY was owned by my friend Rob Germon of Ngatea for some time. It is my understanding he is the one who completed it. I have an article he wrote about it and some additional photos I can send you if you contact me at isserfiq at g mail dot com with an address I can mail the images to.

  2. Matter of fact the man flying CTY in the video is a much younger Rob Germon. Note the name on the youtube video. Rob is actually the one that posted that video on Youtube as he runs a small radio station in Ngatea these days. Rob is also the builder of Mignet HM-16 ZK-FLE

  3. I have a photo of CTY taken by my father at Hobsonville in June 1979 if you're interested.

  4. Apteryx00

    Thanks for the offer of a photo of ZK-CTY. Can you contact me on

  5. That's me with ZK-EDB. Unfortunately way too busy to enjoy her. Anyone interested in her?

  6. The video I produced on Volmer ZK-CTY I have up-loaded again. The U-tube link is with thanks Rob germon

  7. Nice to see ZK-DJH the Anderson Kingfisher on the list. Great to see this aircraft restored. I did the first water trials with Mac B in the Hamilton and Thames area.We had plenty of suprises !!!