Friday 31 January 2014

Vans RV 4s of New Zealand

Following the success of his single seat RV 3 model, Dick Van Grundsven designed the 2 seat RV 4.  It was a completely new design and not just a stretched RV 3, although it had the same look, and it was stressed for sportsman aerobatics.  The prototype first flew in August 1979.  Australian Jon Johanson built an RV 4 which he  flew to New Zealand in 1995 as a long distance proving flight before his round the world flights and also a flight from Invercargill to be the first to complete a solo flight over the South Pole (which turned into a bit of a diplomatic incident - I will do another post on Jon Johanson).  According to the Vans website, as of today (29 January 2014), 1,367 RV 4s have been completed world-wide.

The RV 4 is 20 feet 4 inches long (6.20 metres), the wingspan is 23 feet (7.01 metres) and the wing area is 110 square feet.  Empty weight is around 910 pounds (412 Kg) and MAUW is 1,500 pounds (680 Kg).  Engines can be from 150 to 180 HP, giving a top speed of around 200 mph.

We have had 13 RV 4s in New Zealand to date as detailed below in order of registration.  Most of them have only had one owner which must say something about the aircraft.

Our first RV 4 was Gary Spicer's ZK-RVS (c/n AACA/1080) which he built in Auckland and was first registered on 25/1/91.  it is photo'd above by Don Noble at the 1996 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  It suffered a take off accident at Ardmore on 6/3/96 when it lost power.  It was cancelled on 3/7/96 making it our only RV 4 to be cancelled to date.  The remains were under rebuild by the Salt Cable syndicate at Mt Maunganui but I don't think the rebuild has progressed.

ZK-RVG (c/n 518/AACA/890) was built by Gordon Pettigrew of Stratford, and was first registered on 4/11/91, however it did not fly until 24/12/99.  It is photo'd above at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  The logo on the side of the fuselage is the Vans Air Force logo.

ZK-RVI (c/n 800) was built by Arnold Gallagher of Manurewa, and was first registered to him on 22/5/96.  It think was our second RV 4 to fly, as evidenced in this photo taken at the 1998 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  Arnold Gallagher moved to Christchurch, where ZK-RVI has been based for some years.  It is currently for sale on Trade Me if you are interested.

ZK-LXC (c/n 3761) was built by Alex Armstrong of Dunedin and was registered to the Armstrong Family Trust on 15/8/97.  This is the third aircraft built by Alex Armstrong (after his FRED ZK-ELJ later re-registered ZK-LXA and Cygnet ZK-LXB).  It is photo'd above at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

ZK-RVH (c/n 3906) is the second of a pair of RV 4s built at Stratford.  It was built by Gary Hann and was first registered on 9/12/99.  It is photo'd above at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.

ZK-RVZ (c/n 516) was built by John Baynes of Gore, and was first registered on 25/11/02.  It is photo'd above by Blue Bus at the 2007 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.

RV 4 N938BC received its US airworthiness certificate on 14/6/89 and was imported into New Zealand by Morris Craig and was flown under its US registration for several years.  I have a photo of it at Matamata in 1992 which may make it the first RV 4 to fly in New Zealand - can anyone confirm?  The above photo was taken at Matamata in 2001.  N938BC was cancelled from the US register on 12/2/03 and became ZK-RVV.

ZK-RVV was registered to the Tauranga Aeroplane Company on 14/2/03.  It is photo'd above at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

ZK-RVB (c/n 18986) is another Tauranga RV 4, having been built by Bruce Bowen.  it was first registered on 26/2/03 and it first flew on 16/3/04.  It is photo'd above at the 2006 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

 ZK-JRX (c/n 1320) is another American import, having previously been N30DM.  It was imported into New Zealand by Andrew Fairfax of Queenstown and was first registered ZK-JPX, and I believe it was painted as such.  The above photo by Blue Bus was taken at Tairei on 6/3/02, very early on in its New Zealand life.

Here it is at Christchurch on 2/8/02, marked as N30DM also taken by Blue Bus.   It had a couple of incidents in 2002 - it over-ran a strip at Okarito on 18/8/02, and it overturned at Glendhu Bay on 28/12/02.  It was repaired at Taieri during 2003.  Does anyone have a photo of the aircraft as ZK-JPX?

Its registration was changed to ZK-JRX on 11/7/03 and it has been active around the South Island.  Most recently it suffered power failure on long finals to Queenstown and made a heavy landing on a beach.  I guess that makes it the most incident prone RV 4.  Thanks to Blue Bus for the above photo which was taken at Rangiora on 10/9/08.  You can just see that the wording on the top surface of the wings, which is "Never Give Up".

ZK-SIM (c/n 2816) is yet another American import, previously being N493DC.  It was imported into New Zealand by Alexander Sim of Alexandra and was first registered in New Zealand on 11/4/05.  It first flew in New Zealand on 10/9/05.  Thanks to Blue Bus for the above photo which was taken on 18/10/05.  It was sold to ED Langston of Methven on 19/12/07.

ZK-RVN (c/n V277) is yet another import - this time from Australia where it was VH-BRV.  ZK-RVN was imported by Perry Woodley of Waitakere, and was registered to him on 27/4/06.  It is currently hangared at Ardmore where the above photo was taken on 20/7/13.

ZK-RGD (c/n 263) was built by Greg Doran of Queenstown, and was registered to GD and MT Doran on 29/7/11.  It is photo'd above by Blue Bus at Wings Over Wanaka 2012, on 5/4/12.

And our final RV 4 for now is Les Rogers' ZK-LDR which was first registered to him at Pahiatua way back on 16/12/91 although it was started even further back, in 1984.  Les completed the aircraft at Feilding and it first flew on 3/12/12, which makes it a 28 year building programme!  Thanks to Les Rogers for the above photo, which was taken at Feilding.

We will see more RV 4s on the New Zealand register in the future.  One nearly completed aircraft was for sale at the 2013 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, and another, ZK-RVO, is being built in Christchurch, possibly with a diesel engine.  And of course there are plenty of other examples overseas - like the four RV 4s that have been imported to date.  To some extent, the RV 4 has been superseded by the RV 8 which has a roomier cockpit, although some claim that the RV 4 is the sweetest flying 2 seater Vans aircraft.

And then there are the RV 4s on steroids that I will post next.

A very dull overcast day in Canterbury.

A quick whiz around the traps on a dull overcast Christchurch day produced the following.
On finals into Christchurch was the Helio H-250 Courier II ZK-TCE (c/n 2503). It quickly disappeared into its hangar on the western grass side of the field. It has been mentioned before at
The Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-HKJ3 (c/n 10757) was seen at Garden City Helicopters base again today, but in a slightly different colour scheme. Check out these two previous post on HKJ.

 Out at Rangiora today I caught Rans S-6ES Coyote II ZK-ROY (c/n 1194686) out in the air fresh for the first time for a few months. It is coming together nicely at "The Landing Spot" with a new "cage" following its whoopsie last June.
Lurking interestingly was the Jabiru J400 ZK-ZMA (c/n 114) of Alan Warren of Waimate.
It was cancelled from the register as exported on 28-01-2014.

Ardmore Visitors

Thanks to Magnaman for bringing these shots to us.

The first is of Bell 206L Long Ranger ZK-IRL.  It was registered to Auckland's Helitrips in October last year.

Then we have Robinson R66 ZK-IXS.  It was registered to Christchurch based Skysales Aviation just two weeks ago and was at Ardmore 30 January.

Fletcher ZK-EGS

Normally domiciled at Masterton is Super Air's FU24 Fletcher ZK-EGS, so it was nice to see her visiting Ardmore 31 January receiving some maintenance attention and seen here taxiing for some engine runs with a temporary prop installed.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

A couple of strangers at NZCH today 29-01-2014.

 Robinson R44 Raven II ZK-IKB (c/n 10483) was spied at Heli Maintenance this afternoon.
A Wing and Rotor import listed on 11-10-2004.
It has been with Harold Baigent of Papakura since 20-10-2004. 
An early morning arrival was this Vans RV7A ZK-MIS (c/n 72461) of Petroview NZ Ltd of Lower Hutt.
This is one of the RV's built by Rex Newman at Omaka and joined our register on 19-10-07.
It was transferred over to The COD Impact Trust of Auckland on 09-01-2008 and then to Ken Harris of Petroview on 20-07-2013.

Fly by wire !

Is this what they mean by "fly by wire" ?
Boeing 737 ZK-NGD overhead Yaldhurst on finals for 02 at Christchurch this morning.

Skyfarmers Air Tractor AT-402B ZK-SAT (c/n 402B-0900) at work near Chertsey this morning.

A three seconds video clip. 

Sunday 26 January 2014

SuperSTOL first flight.

Our first Just Aircraft SuperSTOL ZK-RIM (c/n JA-272) first flew from the Rangitata Island airfield on 24-01-2014 with John Coldicott in command.
The registration comes from the owners initials Rod Ian Milne of Taupo and it was first registered on 24-12-2013.
Pic from Russell Brodie.

Diehl AeroNautical XTC(s) of New Zealand

The Diehl AeroNautical XTC is an ultralight amphibious flying boat that was designed by Dan Diehl in the early 1980s.  It is a simple and efficient design that flies like any other microlight - not just in ground effect.  The hull is constructed of fibreglass while the wing has a fibreglass D-section with the wing covered in very light Mylar covering.  Original examples had a 2 stroke KFM engine of around 25 HP, but this proved underpowered.  Later models had Rotax 447 engines of 39 HP, which proved more successful.  The wingspan is 32 feet (9.8 metres) and wing area is 155 square feet.  It is a very light aircraft with an empty weight of around 247 pounds (112 Kg) and a MAUW of 510 pounds (231 Kg).  Cruise speed is around 50 mph.  The XTC is easily trailerable.

We have had only one of these interesting craft in New Zealand, as detailed below:

ZK-XTZ (c/n NZXTC-1) was built by Martyn Cook and Clive Ruddick of Pukerua Bay, North of Wellington, and it was first registered to them as the Cook/Ruddick Syndicate on 12/4/88.  I understand they flew it mainly in the Pauatahanui Inlet of the Porirua Harbour.  It had the Rotax 447 engine.  ZK-XTZ was cancelled on 5/9/66.  The above photo was taken at Paraparaumu in July 2010.

But ZK-XTZ was re-registered to Neal France of Auckland on 22/7/10 and he has mainly used it for flying off Lake Taupo as in the above photo.  Neal told me that the aircraft has done around 240 hours to date.

ZK-XTZ is currently for sale on Trade Me, and it would have to be the cheapest amphibian aircraft available in New Zealand.  Have a look if you are interested.

Boeing 737 incident at Honiara

News has just reached me about a landing incident at Honiara this afternoon.
Photo's supplied.
I believe the aircraft involved is the Toll Boeing 737 freighter ZK-TLC.
Right undercarriage collapse !

ZK-AMY Final - last flight ! 26-01-2014.

 The "AMY" party continues with some more flights today - Sunday.
The first marvellous pic from today is a fly over around Ashburton of ZK-AMY with wingman Strikemaster ZK-VPR. ( sorry the photo is not that detailed but caught by surprise while working in the garden). 

 AMY retirement barbeque at Peter Mac’s Aeroview Function Centre on the western edge of Ashburton airport with ZK-AMY taxiing in.
The final photo today from Allan Bowman shows a couple more visiting aircraft which flew in for the barbeque.
The Beech F33A Bonanza ZK-EDS (c/n CE-956) is now listed to the Bonza Partnership of Rangiora and shields the Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee D ZK-LYC (c/n 28-11356) of the LYC Syndicate - also from Rangiora.

Local Beech Baron at North Shore Yesterday - 25-1-2014

Also out and about at North Shore yesterday was the locally based Beech G 58 Baron N298WA.  This is the current model Baron with a glass cockpit.  It suffered substantial damage on 28/2/12 when it overshot the runway at North Shore following an aborted take off, and the damage necessitated the aircraft being returned to the US for repairs.  It flew back to New Zealand arriving on 13/9/13, wearing a smart new colour scheme as below.

N298WA under tow returning from refuelling...

Ready to go...

And on take off.

A short time girl.

Out of the CMM archives comes this photograph of the James Aviation Ltd Hughes 369HS ZK-HLK (c/n 44-0586S).
A product of April 1974 she came to NZ to be registered to James Aviation Ltd of Hamilton on 15-10-1979 and was posted down to the "West Coast".
It is seen here still all bright and shiny.
It crashed near Otira on 10-12-1979.
So a short timer indeed.
Its registration was cancelled on 17-01-1980 and its remains were removed to Taieri.

Saturday 25 January 2014

ZK-AMY - Last ride at Ashburton today. 25-01-2014

Today was the final day of flight for ZK-AMY.
 Flights were carried out on the hour from Ashburton with the last flight at 7pm this evening.
Allan Bowman was on the spot and has kindly forwarded these pics.
A selection of visiting aircraft are shown below.
The Richard Royds Auster Mk5 ZK-ARR (c/n 1364) is of about the same vintage as ZK-AMY.
 ZK-BKX (c/n 18-4684) is the Fred Bull Cub from up Springfield way, with the Auster J1B Aiglet ZK-AYU (c/n 2730) of Charlie Draper from near Darfield.
 Tiger Moth ZK-BCO (c/n 83420) was down from Swannanoa and the Fat Cub ZK-BNJ (c/n 18-5063) is from near Springfield.
 Two Chipmunks - Both ex UK military dropped in. ZK-CPY (c/n C1-0389) is Andrew Miller's mount, whilst ZK-XUK (c/n C1-0087) is Lou McAllister's.
 From the lighter side there was the Warren Baxter and Elizabeth Scott Rans S-6ES Coyote II ZK-MOL (c/n 02041548).
 This mornings Ashburton Guardian newspaper carried a two page spread on ZK-AMY.

See also the TV3 news clip.

"Let's Do The Time Warp Again!"

A flying visit to Gisborne Airport on 23 January produced on of those moments when you are instantly transported back in time to when we were young and the world awaited! Parked in the sun ready for it's test flight was reborn FU24 ZK-BYC, replete in the long-gone, but well-remembered James Aviation colours. Great used to be the anticipation in the seventies when we arrived at the back of the James Aviation hangars (now Pacific Aerospace) at Christmas to see what was new in the big line-up of  Fletchers, brought in from the far-flung bases around the North Island over the holiday break. But I digress.... Purchased last year from Don Subritsky by Sean O'Sullivan of Killarney Farm Awamate Ltd, out the back of Wairoa, the Fletcher has been transformed at Gisborne over the last six months or so. Sean intends to treat the machine as an historic artefact and hopes to display it at appropriate events.
The history of ZK-BYC was covered comprehensively in earlier posts (see 21 August 2012). Just to refresh the memory, here she is at Invercargill on 26 December, 1971 after being transferred from James Aviation to Farmers Aerial Topdressing, an associated company operating in Otago and Southland.

On a slightly more modern note, the resident topdresser at Wairoa, Farmers Air's extensively re-engineered Pacific Aerospace 750XL Falco was observed with revised titling on the fuselage.

A shot through the window at North Shore.

Whilst poking around at the North Shore hangars this morning Sir Minty noticed this Hughes 369E through the window.
It is ZK-HSC3 (c/n 0409E).
It first raised its head as JA6069 back on 08-02-1991 when it was registered to Ace Helicopters of Kawagoe in Japan. Ownerships do not seem to change very much in Japan - and JA6069 was still with Ace Helicopters when it was cancelled as exported on 05-02-2003.
It became ZK-HSC3 on 11-03-2003 to Alan Speight of Pukekohe with a change to Ralph Schultz Helicopters Ltd of Maungaturoto on 23-06-2003.
Also operated by the Company are the Hughes 369HS ZK-HIB2 (c/n 820403S) and the Hughes 369E ZK-INO (c/n 0580E).