Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Taylor Titches of New Zealand Update

I posted about New Zealand's Taylor Titches in June 2010, but a lot has happened in the Titch realm since, such that I thought it would be good to post an update.  Since my original post I have received colour photos of the original 1970's Titches from Don Noble, and of course we have had John Best's award winning Titch appear, and also we have had another Titch imported and registered to Rhona Calverley.  So I will now post an update incorporating these.

John Taylor's second design was the Taylor JT 2 Titch, which was designed to compete in a design contest run by the Tiger Club in the UK in 1964 (the winner of the contest was the Rollason Beta and the Taylor Titch came second).

The Taylor Titch was sleeker than the Taylor Monoplane and was all wood and featured a tapered wing. The length was 16 feet, 1 and a half inches (4.91 metres) and the wingspan was 18 feet, 9 inches (5.72 metres). The aircraft was designed to accept motors of between 60 to 105 HP, and with 85 HP the cruise was around 160 mph and the rate of climb was over 1000 feet per minute.

The Titch was named after "Titch" Holmes who did most of the test flying on the original Taylor Monoplane. The prototype Titch first flew on 4/1/67 but tragically it crashed on 16/5/67 killing John Taylor. However, plans for both the Taylor Monoplane and the Titch are still available. Around 35 examples have flown worldwide to date.

Three examples of the Taylor Titch were completed and flown in New Zealand in the 1970s, but sadly their story was not a happy one.  However we have now had 2 more Titches on the New Zealand register bringing the total to date to five.

The photos are from the Keith Morris collection or as otherwise credited.
The first New Zealand Taylor Titch was Reg Browne's ZK-DBH (c/n AACA/91) which was built at Kawerau. ZK-DBH appears to have not been officially registered but was completed as the above photo shows. It did also fly as it was involved in an accident at Kawerau on 8/9/72. Because it was never registered, it also was never cancelled, and the remains were sold to M Bridge of Warkworth. This improved photo of ZK-DBH is from the Don Noble Collection, and is the a clearer copy of same photo I obtained from Reg Browne after I specially travelled to Kawerau in 1974 and tracked him down.
New Zealand's second Taylor Titch was ZK-DFK (c/n AACA/112) which was built by Robbie Robson of Mt Maunganui and was first registered on 1/4/73.  I have a first flight date for it of 9/12/72 so something doesn't tie up. The construction of this aeroplane was detailed in the Sport Flying magazines of the early 1970's, and it had a Revmaster motor installed (the Revmaster was a modified VW, in this instance of 2100 cc capacity). The above photos were taken at the 1973 AACA fly-in at Omaka.
ZK-DFK was pretty active during 1973. The above photo was taken in the old hangar at Tauranga in late 1973, when it featured a larger registration (most likely as a result of officialdom not liking the original small registration letters). Tragically, Robbie Robson was killed in ZK-DFK on 1/12/73, at an airshow at Whitianga. It appeared that Robbie had taken off and pulled into a steep climb, then stalled and spun off the top of the climb. ZK-DFK was cancelled on 6/5/74.
New Zealand's third Taylor Titch was ZK-DGB (c/n AACA/113/1) which was built by Stan Andrews at Greenmeadows in Hawkes Bay, and featured a 1600 cc VW motor. ZK-DGB was first registered on 14/11/73 and its first flight was on 8/12/73. The above photos were taken at the 1974 AACA fly-in at Bridge Pa.
ZK-DGB also tragically crashed, on 25/3/79, killing Stan Andrews. The accident was caused by an engine failure on take off which resulted in a collision with a fence. ZK-DGB was cancelled on 25/3/86.
Our fourth Taylor Titch is ZK-RMC (c/n PFA 060-10725) which was registered to Rhona Calverley in the UK as G-MOLE in 2005.  It is powered by an O-200 motor.
Rhona Calverley imported the aircraft to New Zealand and registered it as ZK-RMC on 28/4/11.
ZK-RMC was assembled at Kerikeri with invaluable help from RAANZ inspectors Kevin Mangnall and Willie Morton.  It is photo'd above taxying for an early New Zealand test flight at Kerikeri in October 2012.  It will be fitted with wheel spats.  Thanks very much to Rhona Calverley for the above photos.
Interestingly, Rhona advises that she has 2 more Taylor Titches under construction in the UK, that will be shipped to New Zealand for completion in the near future.  So we can look forward to more New Zealand Taylor Titches appearing.
And our fifth Taylor Titch is John Best's grand champion award winning ZK-TCH (c/n SP 1027) which he built over many years at Blenhiem, and which was first registered on 4/8/11.  It is photo'd here at the 2013 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.
There has been one other Taylor Titch with a reserved registration in New Zealand, ZK-DNH (c/n AACA/194/1) was registered to John Byers of Christchurch on 26/3/73, but it was not completed and was cancelled on 2/3/94.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very interested in obtaining copies of pgs. 1-5 of the U.S. based Stits Poly-Fiber Procedures Manual No.1, dated Nov. 1975 and the STC that would be part of that manual. The procedures and materials have been used on a number of Titch a/c.