Tuesday, 5 August 2014

RANS S 12 Airailes of New Zealand

Randy Schittler of RANS designed the S 12 Airaile "Aerial Jeep" and the prototype first appeared in 1990.  It originally featured the same wing as the S ES and also featured the same pull on pre-sewn dacron covers for the flying surfaces.  It had a 4130 steel cockpit cage with side by side seating and a tricycle undercarriage.  The engine could be either a Rotax 503 or 582 as a high mounted pusher.

The S 12 led to a series of RANS pusher aircraft - the single seat S 14 and later the single seat taildragger S 17 (of which we have had one in New Zealand), and the two seat taildragger S 18 (of which we haven't had any in New Zealand).

The S 12 had a length of 21 feet 8 inches (6.60 metres), and a wingspan of 31 feet (9.45 metres).  Empty weight is around 475 pounds (215 Kg) and MAUW is 975 pounds (442 Kg).  With a 582 engine cruise speed is around 75 mph and the stall is around 32 mph.

We have had four S 12 Airailes in New Zealand to date, all of which were registered closely together.

ZK-RED was our first S 12, as it was first registered to Russell Childs of Timaru on 15/3/93.  It was first flown on 23/3/93, by Russell Brodie at Rangitata Island, which made it the first RANS aircraft to fly in new Zealand (officially).  It had a Rotax 503 engine.  It is photo'd above at the 1993 AACA flyin at Rangiora.

Its registration was revoked on 13/7/01, however it was re-registered on 17/4/02, to DG McCarthy of Timaru.  It was rebuilt in 2012 with a new tailboom after an incident with a fence, and ownership transferred on 18/8/12 to Jack Melhopt of Timaru, with whom it is still active as evidenced by the above photo which was taken at Rangitata Island today, 5/8/14. 

ZK-OBM was actually the first RANS kit to be ordered by RANS agent Russell Brodie.  It was first registered on 31/3/93 to Brian Palmer of Geraldine and was first flown on 8/4/93, by Russell Brodie, at Rangitata Island.  It had a Rotax 582 engine.  It then went to WH Bezzant of Timaru on 1/12/00, to EA Clark of Lorneville on 19/3/01, to DN McBride of Oamaru on 15/10/05, the further South to RJ McBride of Lumsden on 15/3/10, and finally to RJ Sutton, also of Lumsden, on 24/2/11.  It is currently under rebuild.  The above photo was taken at Timaru on 2/3/09.

ZK-RNZ was also first registered on 31/3/93, to Doug Anderson of Christchurch, and it first flew at Rangitata Island on 6/4/93, flown by Russell Brodie.  It had a Rotax 582 engine.  It was sold to S Mahon of Waikari on 30/7/98 and its registration was cancelled on 14/5/13.  The above photo was taken at Rangiora on 12/9/94.

And finally, our fourth S 12 Airaile ZK-KII was first registered to the RANS Syndicate of Timaru (Warren Bezzant and others from the South Canterbury Gliding Club) on 6/4/94.  It has a Rotax 503 engine and it was first flown at Timaru on 25/5/94, again by Russell Brodie.  It was sold to the Kenwood Partnership of Christchurch on 16/2/08. the to AJ Rietveld of Cromwell on 6/4/13.  Finally it was sold to JMF Talbot of Temuka on 2/3/14.  The above photo was taken at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.

We will see more S 12s in New Zealand as I am aware of at least two others being built.

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