Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Zenith CH 300 Tri-Z(s) of New Zealand

The next type of multi seat homebuilt aircraft to appear in New Zealand was the Zenith CH 300.  The Zenith CH 300 is the 3 seater big brother of the CH 200 that I posted earlier at www.nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/zenith-ch-200s-of-new-zealand.html .  The CH 300 was also designed by Chris Heintz, and the prototype first flew in Canada on 9/7/77.  We have also had one single seat CH 100 in New Zealand, see www.nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/zenith-ch-100-mono-zs-of-new-zealand.html .

The CH 300 is bigger all around than the CH 200.  It has a length of 6.85 metres (22 feet 6 inches), a wingspan of 8.10 metres (26 feet 7 inches) and a wing area of 129 square feet. It has an empty weight of 499 Kg (1,100 pounds) and a MAUW of 839 Kg (1850 pounds). With 150 HP it cruises at 140 mph.

Our only CH 300 is Murray J Bensemann's ZK-MJB (c/n AACA/297) which he built at Nelson.  It was first registered on 16/12/82.  It was named "Golden Bay" as can be seen in the above photo which was taken at the 1983 AACA flyin at Paraparaumu.  ZK-MJB was sold to PD Chrystal of Onga Onga on 19/12/86 and then to MJ Saunders of Rotorua on 3/1/97.  It failed to get airborne from a strip at Ngakuru near Rotorua on 20/6/98 due to icing on the wings, and it was written off by the insurance company.  The wreck was bought by LA Heard of Rotorua on 4/12/98.

However Murray Bensemann now enters the story again, and he purchased the wreck on 11/5/04 with Roger Price of Takaka and set about rebuilding the aircraft.  It can be seen from the above photo that Murray repainted the rebuilt  ZK-MJB in its original colours.  The photo was taken at the 2009 SAANZ flyin, in a hangar at Ashburton.  Murray Bensemann now owns the aircraft outright and it is based at Takaka.


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