Thursday 25 April 2013

Squirecraft SA 102.5 Cavaliers of New Zealand

The Squirecraft Cavalier was a redesign of the Minicab by Stan McLeod of Calgary, Canada.  The SA 102.5 model first flew in February 1971, and features a swept tail, wingtip tanks and a spring steel undercarriage that could be built in tailwheel or tri-gear configuration.  The tri-gear version is faster.

The length is 6.70 metres (22 feet) and the wingspan is 8.32 metres (27 feet 4 inches)  The wing area is 118 square feet,  Empty weight is 409 Kg (900 pounds) and MAUW is 682 Kg (1,500 pounds).  The Cavalier 102.5 can be powered with engines of up to 135 HP, and with 135 HP a top speed is 150 mph (I guess with the tri-gear).

We have had 4 of these aircraft built in New Zealand as follows:

Our first Cavalier was ZK-DYC (c/n AACA/252/1) which was built by Ron Longley of Tauranga, and was first registered on 3/9/80.  It is photo'd above at the 1982 AACA flyin at Taupo.  It was damaged on 31.10.87 near Masterton but was rebuilt. .  It was sold to BC Stimpson and DJ Smith of Kawerau on 10/6/02, and ownership changed to BC Stimpson on 8/3/06.  It is still current.

The next Cavalier to come along was ZK-CZF (c/n AACA/77/1) which was built by John Danaher of Auckland, and was first registered on 14/7/83.  It is photo'd above at Ardmore in 1985.  Ownership changed to the Venturing Skywards Syndicate of Auckland on 20/3/94 and to PC Small of Cust on 2/5/96.  It is still current.

Our third Cavalier was the tri-gear ZK-DJS (c/n AACA/250) which was built by Dave Stewart of Te Aroha, and was first registered on 2/2/84.  It is still current and registered to Dave Stewart, but I think it is now flown by his son.  The above photo was taken at the 1986 AACA flyin at Matamata.

And our fourth Cavalier was ZK-DJJ (c/n AACA/199) was built from plans by Gunter Barthel of Auckland. 
 It was first registered on 15-04-1986 and its first flight was at Hobsonville on 5-07-86. 
It was photographed above at the 1988 AACA flyin at North Shore.  
Gunter moved to Australia and flew ZK-DJJ from Kerikeri to Norfolk Island on 12-01-2009 and on to Lord Howe Island the following day.
It was cancelled from the New Zealand register on 2-03-10, and was re-registered in Australia as VH-EJJ on 17/3/10.  It is still owned by Gunter Barthel.


  1. The late Rob Mackey, a joiner from Christchurch made a substantial start on a Cavalier project in the early to mid 90s, his fuselage was well advanced and he had done some work on the tip tanks. This project appeared (and I think sold) on trademe roughly 5 years ago, unsure where it went. Being a joiner it was a work of art.

  2. Just brought ZK- DYC will have it flying soon