Wednesday 1 January 2014

Avid Amphibian(s) of New Zealand

The Avid Amphibian was also designed by Dean Wilson (the designer of the Avid Flyer) and it was introduced 3 years after the Flyer, in 1986.  It does not seem to have much in common with the Avid Flyer, and in 1992 it was re-named the Catalina.  The arrangement of the ailerons seems to be similar to the Avid Flyer.  I assume that kits for the Avid Amphibian were available from Dean Taylor's company Light Aero of Caldwell, Idaho.

The statistics for the Avid Amphibian are: length: 19 feet 5 inches (5.91 metres), wingspan 36 feet (10.97 metres) and wing area 150 square feet.  Its empty weight was around 600 pounds (272 Kg) and MAUW was 1,200 pounds (544 Kg).  It is listed as having 3 seats but I cannot quite believe this, and it only had a Rotax 582 - they would have to be pretty light people!

Our only Avid Amphibian was Stuart Mitchell's ZK-NGU (c/n 556), which he based out of Ngunguru- where the above photo was taken.  It was first registered on 17/7/92.  I do not have a record of who took the photos in this post.

ZK-NGU had folding wings as can be seen in the above photo, and it was named "Maroro II".  Maroro I was a wooden yacht that Stuart Mitchell built many years earlier.  It can be seen that the wings are folded horizontally which is different from the Avid Flyer.

Here is ZK-NGU in its element on the Northland coast.  An idyllic scene with Stuart Mitchell holding the nose.  I scanned the above 2 photos from Sport Flying magazine.

And finally an image from the internet which shows the lines of the Avid Amphibian off well.

ZK-NGU was sold to R S Hamblett of Wellington on 1/7/03 and it is currently listed to him at Wanganui.  I am not sure if it is still active - can anyone advise?

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