Tuesday 29 October 2013

Denney Kitfoxes of New Zealand (1)

The Kitfox was developed by Dan Denney in the 1980's as a STOL homebuilt aircraft with folding wings to enable it to be trailered home.  It featured flaperons and a distinctive bump cowl under which it was intended to install a small radial engine.  However the radial engine never eventuated and the early Kitfoxes were powered by Rotax 2 stroke engines.  Dan Denney formed Denney Aerocraft at Boise, Idaho to manufacture Kitfox kits, and more than 5,000 have been produced over the years.

The prototype Kitfox I first flew in November 1984.  Only 6 were produced but the aircraft proved popular and the Kitfox II soon followed.  This had a wider fuselage and an increased MAUW of 950 pounds (436 Kg).  The Kitfox III followed in 1989 and featured a larger fin and rudder and finally the design was developed into the definitive Kitfox IV with a taller fin and rudder and a MAUW of 1,200 pounds (544Kg).  Variants of the Kitfox IV included the Kitfox Speedwing with a shorter wing, and the lightweight Kitfox Lite Squared.

In 1992 the rights to the Kitfox were sold to Skystar Aircraft and they continued with the Series 4, and developed a completely new design called the Series 5 in 1994, which could be built as a tri-gear or a taildragger.  This aircraft kept the kitfox philosophy but was designed for larger engines such as Lycomings or Continentals, and also for the Rotax 912.  The Series 5 had a MAUW of 1,550 pounds (703Kg).  The Kitfox Series 6 and 7 followed, each a further refinement with improvements to the undercarriage, flaps and elevators, and for engines such as the Jabiru 3300.  Now there is a version with the Rotec R 2800 radial engine which in a way has gone full circle from the original radial engine which never eventuated.  Skystar Aircraft filed for bankruptcy in 2005, and the assets were purchased by a former employee John McBearn in 2006 under the name of Kitfox Aircraft LLC, which is still producing Kitfox kits.

As can be seen above, the Kitfox series of aircraft has been continuously developed, getting bigger and carrying more payload, however the Kitfox IV Classic has a length of 18 foot 6 inches (5.6 metres), a wingspan of 32 feet (9.76 metres) and a wingspan of 132 square feet.  The speed depends on the engine fitted, but with a Rotax 912 the Series 5 cruises at 110 mph.

We have had 18 Kitfoxes of various models in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Kitfox was ZK-PKE, a Kitfox II (c/n 387/AACA/539) which was built by George Galpin of Marton and was first registered on 28/2/90.  I understand that it originally had a Rotax 503 engine.  It is photo'd above at Feilding early on in its life.  It is still current and still owned by George (wh also owns Cessna 180 ZK-PKD).

And our second Kitfox also came from the same area.  ZK-KIT, a Kitfox II (c/n AACA/491) was built by Peter Fairclough of Wanganui and was first registered on 15/3/90.  It has a Rotax 582 engine.  It is also still current and still owned by Peter - Kitfox owners must really like their aeroplanes!  It is photo'd above at Foxpine in 1995.

ZK-KNZ (c/n 798/AACA/2013) was  Kitfox III that was built by Great Lakes Aviation (Graham Knauf, Graham Taylor and SO Vowles) at Wanaka.  It was first registered on 12/2/91 and first flew at Wanaka on 23/2/91.  I remember that it was a demonstration aircraft, and it was damaged  on 16/5/91 when on demonstration to the New Zealand police.  It is photo'd above at the 1992 AACA flyin at Tauranga.  It was sold to Albie Birdling of Little River on 22/10/93, however it was not flown for 10 years or so from early 2000.
It was purchased by Paul Godfrey of Rangiora on 10/7/12 and he refurbished  ZK-KNZ to flying condition.  It is photo'd above at the 2013 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton where it can be seen that it has not changed much at all over the years.

ZK-JWN (c/n AACA/2087/1076), a Kitfox III, was built by JWN Hodgson of Auckland and was first registered on 12/11/91.  It was damaged during a cross-wind landing at Te Kowhai on 3/6/94 but it was repaired.  It was sold to RR Hughes of Te Puke on  18/6/96 under whose ownership the above photo was taken at Tauranga in 1998.

It was sold to BH Gurdler of Christchurch on 12/10/01, and then to SJ Noad of Christchurch on 24/3/02.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora by Greybeard on 3/5/03, and it is still current.

ZK-KFX, a Kitfox III (c/n 790/AACA/2016), was built by Bryan Fergus of Waihi and was first registered on 12/8/92.  It is photo'd above at the 1994 AACA flyin at Paraparaumu.  It is still current.

And finally for this batch of Kitfox IIs and IIIs, is ZK-JBN, a Kitfox III (c/n 10864), which was built by William Cameron of Masterton and which was first registered on 4/'11/92.  it has a Rotax 582 engine.  It is photo'd above at Masterton by Greybeard on 13/9/93.  It was sold to DJ Wise of Napier on 20/12/02 and it is still current.

Monday 28 October 2013

ZK-SWR assembled in Germany.

I have just had a short note and a very small pic from flieger28 regarding the De Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide ZK-SWR.
It was cancelled from the NZ civil register on 01-03-2013.

The plane is now in Bremerhaven, Germany and also back in one pice.
This picture i took yesterday 26-10-2013

Saturday 26 October 2013

Gliding on

 A flying visit out to the Canterbury Gliding Club airfield near Springfield last Saturday (19-10-2013)was well worth the time.
Above we see the Piper PA-28-236 Dakota ZK-FMT (c/n 7911197) towing the Club's Schempp-Hirth Janus Ce ZK-GPB (c/n 304). The Dakota is leased from Drake Aviation whilst the Club awaits its new towplane. Their old Pawnee ZK-CNG needs some attention and I believe is for sale.
Above - Just recently changed hands is the Schleicher ASW 20C ZK-GTC (c/n 20825) from John Ahearn to Colin Shaw.
Below - John Ahearn preparing the self launching DG-808C ZK-GWD (c/n 8-359B258x23) for flight.
 ZK-GYH (c/n 4301) is a Rolladen-Schneider LS4a and has been listed to Neil Walker since July this year.
 Below - One of Steve Fossett's ASH25Mi's is now ZK-GZF (c/n 25202) and is in the capable hands of Terry Delore.

Friday 25 October 2013

Tall Ships and Helicopters on the Waitemata Harbour Today 25/10/2013

An international flotilla of tall ships arrived in Auckland today and I was fortunate to be able to be at Mechanics Bay to shoot some photos of the locally based helicopters and the ships.

Police Twin Squirrel helicopter "Police 1" was parked in a nice position to catch some of the tall ships in the background.

While Robinson R 44 ZK-HEI of Helilink returned from a photographic sortie with the scene on the Waitemata behind.  It would have been great if it had been a bit brighter.

A long shot of some of the ships seen between the helicopters.

Here is ZK-HEI with some tall ships and Pacifica craft on the harbour in the background.

And finally if anyone is interested, a long shot of one of the tall ships.  All in all quite a spectacular sight.

Rans S-7S Courier ZK-XBO

 Thanks to Craig Miller and Vince Gardner of Custom Aviation at Taieri we can show you some pics of the new Rans S-7S Courier ZK-XBO (c/n 0113487) which they built for Bo Nilsson.
This is the latest model S7 with the larger fuel tanks, new style ailerons (without the aerodynamic spades), it now has the hinge point behind the aileron leading edge (see pics below).
This new model S7 also now comes with a vertical instrument panel, instead of the reclined one, and  also has a formed perspex windscreen which is better scratch and fuel damage resistant than the old lexan ones. An inertia reel Retracta seat belt is fitted for the front seat.
It also has light weight carbon fibre cowls and wing tips. The Airmaster prop fitted with Sensenich blades, is coupled to a Rotax 912 100hp motor, and weighs in at around 700lb empty.
It carried out it's maiden flight on 15-10-2013 and is expected to get through it's flight testing no worries, as expected with all of Craig Miller's exceptionally crafted machines. 
ZK-XBO has had the John Roberts bush gear installed, with the "Rage" system- incorporating Fox racing shocks with the bungees. Double Matco caliper brakes are fitted each side to overcome the greater turning force from the big 29" Airstreak tyres.
Comparing the two aileron hinge arrangements. With ZK-XBO above and ZK-TKB below with its spade and note the silver-ish aileron gap seal.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Yak-55M ZK-YKV out and away.

Yak-55M ZK-YKV (c/n 920402) snuck out of its hangar and departed Tauranga today.
Pic from Darryn Bennett.
For previous post on this flying machine - enter  YKV  in the empty search box at top left of screen.

Heading our way. F-JUKE.

Heading our way is the Aerospool Dynamic WT-9 F-JUKE.
Check out the following link :-
Scroll down a page and "select language" which will make it a little easier to read.

Or if that line does not work try :-

(Thanks to Frank).

Chipmunk N861WP at Rangitata Island.

Bevan Dewes, the new owner of the De Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk N861WP (c/n C1-0748),  has kindly provided these two photos taken by Alex Mitchell out of Rangitata Island.
 It was originally built for the RAF and serialled WP861 (from whence its current US registration comes) before heading to the USA to become N65273 followed by N861WP from April 1984. It came to NZ in about 2004
It is currently based at Rangitata Island with Bevan.
Check out the following video clip :-

Below are couple of pics I took on Monday.
 Above : clearing out. Below : clearing in.

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Kitfox ZK-KNZ at NZCH.

Denney Kitfox III ZK-KNZ (798 AACA/2013) flew into Christchurch International last Saturday.

 Its not every day you see a microlight here. 

This aircraft is now for sale as Paul now has an option on another aircraft and needs to sell the Kitfox first.
Below is an extract from an earlier posting dated 02-11-2012.
The Denny Kitfox 111 ZK-KNZ is c/n 798 AACA/2013. This was built at Wanaka in the early 1990's, was sold to Albie Birdling of Little River in October of 1993. It has not been flown for at least ten years; just at hangar queen at Rangiora. In July ownership changed to Paul Godfrey who has refurbished it extensively. It was reflown on Saturday last by Mike Small and Paul was checkedout on Sunday by Mike.  or http://nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/rangiora-recently.html


Monday 21 October 2013

A Couple of Turbo Props

These two similar aircraft were photographed during air shows, displaying their unique capabilities. The first is  Pacific Aerospace PAC 750XL ZK-KBK (c/n 174) with cargo pod fitted. It was taking part at the RNZAF 75th Anniversary air show at Ohakia last year.

A low and slow tight right hand turn above and a short take off below.

The second is Pacific Aerospace Cresco 08-600 ZK-LTW (c/n 019) of  Ravensdown Aerowork Limited. This was taken at Wings over the Wairarapa in January this year.

Take off with a full load of water (1779litres ) showing its fire fighting capabilities.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Mustang Maintenance at Ardmore 19/10/2013

North American F 51D Mustang ZK-TAF was undergoing some maintenance at Avspecs yesterday, and I thought it was worth a photo with the cowlings and spinner off.  It seems to be of much more sturdy construction than the Spitfire that I posted in July 2013 - see www.nzcivair.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/spitfire-re-engine-at-ardmore-2072013.html

ZK-TAF is now owned by Strikemaster Ltd of Auckland.

Cessna 180 ZK-BGI

ZK-BGI raised its head in a recent "From the shoebox" posting.
Here is a bit of a run down on her.
Cessna 180 ZK-BGI (c/n 31018) was built by Cessna Aircraft Co at Wichita, Kansas and registered to them as N3870C about mid 1954.
It was shipped to NZ, assembled and registered to Rural Aviation Ltd of New Plymouth on 11-08-1954.
 Above a 1954 Ed Coates collection photograph.
It gained its NZ CofA on 24-09-1954 and was listed to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch 0n 08-11-1954.
 Pic above at Napier 1955 from the Ed Coates collection.
Ron Graham of Airspread Ltd of Tauranga took it over from 16-11-1956.
It had two incidents with Airspread (that I know about). It lost an undercarriage leg at Waihi on 04-12-1959, and struck a sand bank and overturned on Ohiwa Beach on 27-03-1960.
It was back with Airwork (NZ) Ltd on 10-07-1963
Pic at Hawera on 01-06-1964
And as seen at Airwork Christchurch on 02-09-1964
It then went down to Invercargill for Southland Development Corporation from 15-10-1964.
Other operators include Hewett Aviation Ltd, with whom it was damaged on 19-04-1965 at Mossburn and again in December of 1965.
Rural Aviation (1963) Ltd of New Plymouth had it again from 16-02-1967 before moving it to W B Easton (Eastern ? Engineering) of Dannevirke from 02-03-1967.
ZK-BGI as seen at Masterton in December of 1968 by Allan Wooller.
It went to Rex Aviation sometime about 1970, was damaged by high winds at Dunedin in November 1971 and ground looped at Whitford on 19-02-1972.
Looking good at Ardmore on 19-03-1972.

Next in line was the Mangapapa Land Company of Auckland from 02-03-1972 with W Walker of Clinton from 22-05-1973.
It was captured at Palmerston North on 08-12-1973
 And then at Dunedin on 11-12-1974.
Colour one side and monochrome on the other.
Over at Te Anau it joined the Manaroa Contracting Co Ltd from 24-04-1975.
ZK-BGI at Te Anau 02-10-1980.
At Oamaru 20-02-1981.
Below. At Invercargill 03-10-1983.

Then it went to C R (Dick) Deaker and R J (Hannibal) Hayes of Te Anau oon 11-11-1983.
By 15-07-1986 it was with C E Berg of Taupo.
 Two views at Christchurch 26-09-1986 in a new colour scheme..
Before moving to Hastings with A (Tony) D Neville.
 Then we have two views of it at Masterton 28-04-1990 with step for parachutists; the door removed and the deflector plate on the forward door frame.

 Above as seen at Nelson 17-09-1991.
Then two shots at Timaru on 30-12-1993.
With a stylised "Skywagon 180".
Below. On 18-01-1995 I captured her at Omarama on towing OY-XMX.
 At Omarama on 20-01-1995. Now with a top hinged door.
It had a brief period off the register between 23-06-2000 and 12-07-2000

It appeared in the visitors park at Wanaka on 30-03-2002.
 Below at Feilding on 11-02-2007.
Until being taken over by Stephen Gorrie of Nelson on 30-01-2008.
Latest move sees it beck with Tony Neville, now of Foxton, from 04-06-2009.
Below at Feilding 16-03-2010.
  Last three at Motueka 01-04-2013.