Friday, 6 June 2014

Nesmith Cougar ZK-CNA

At the 2014 SAANZ flyin at Hastings in March, Wings Awards were handed out to those SAANZ builders whose aircraft had first flown during the previous year.

The list was;

Brian Anderson of Hastings for his Fltzer Z 21 ZK-FTZ
Eric Breedtvelt of Auckland for his Murphy Rebel ZK-ERX
Julian Coles of Auckland for his Vans RV 12 ZK-JRV
Les Eade of Cheviot for his Rans S 6ES ZK-LVE
Buster Persson of Whitianga for his Glasair III ZK-ELB
Chris Schoen of Kaponga for his Vans RV 7 ZK-SHN
David Wilkinson of Auckland for his Vans RV 8 ZK-WLK
Peter Whyte of Auckland for his Vans RV 7A ZK-RVD.

The Wings Awards for all of these aircraft were presented with a photo of the aircraft projected onto a screen, and all have been posted on this blog.

But there was one aircraft for which no photo was available, and I am now pleased to right that for Rodney Davis's Nesmith Cougar ZK-CNA.  Thanks to Rodney for the photos which were taken at its home base of Omaka.

The Nesmith Cougar was developed by Robert Nesmith of Houston, Texas in 1957.  At that time Nesmith thought he could improve on Steve Wittman's earlier Wittman Tailwind, but in fact the two are so similar that they are very difficult to tell apart.  The Cougar was developed for a higher powered engine (the 118 HP O-235 instead of Wittman's original 85HP Tailwind)  Of course, builders have installed more powerful engines in both aircraft, and Tailwind ZK-RET currently has a 160HP O-320 engine).  The Cougar originally did not have flaps but some builders have added them.  The dimensions of the Cougar and the Tailwind are within inches of each other and they both use the same 83 square feet wing with the NACA 4309 airfoil.  Take your pick!

The Cougar's length is 18 feet 11 inches (5.77 metres) and wingspan is 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 metres).  Empty wieght is around 624 pounds (283 Kg) and MAUW is 1,250,pounds (567 Kg).  And with the O-235 engine the top speed is listed as 195 mph.

ZK-CNA (c/n RD 1) was first registered on 22/11/11 as a Class 2 microlight.  Interestingly, it was built in Blenheim where our only Wittman Tailwind ZK-RET was also constructed.  (The previous post on ZK-RET is at: ).  The registration ZK-CNA refers back to the first ZK-CNA which was a Piper Pawnee that Rodney Davis flew as an ag pilot for Aerial Work (Marlborough) in the 1970s.  It has an O-235 engine and was built over a period of around 20 years, with its first flight carried out by Jerry Chisum on 24 July 2013.  Rodney Davis also previously built Thorp T 18 ZK-ROD.

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