Thursday 18 September 2014

The Subritzky Aircraft Collection at Dairy Flat 17-9-2014

I was fortunate yesterday to be able to accompany Flyernzl up to Don Subritzky's aircraft collection at Dairy Flat (at his property, not at the airfield).  What an amazing collection!  I reckon it must be the ultimate man cave, and just down the driveway from Don's house.  Don told me that he arrives at "work" in the morning and decides what aircraft to work on! (but to a master plan I am sure).

Don is a qualified aircraft engineer who started his career as an apprentice for TEAL at Mechanics Bay.  Don's son Steve also works on the collection for 3 days a week.

Although most of the aircraft are military there is a civil connection as Don now owns Proctor V ZK-AVW.  This was the reason we travelled up to Dairy Flat, as Flyernzl needed to catch up with a few details for his series on Percival Aircraft of New Zealand on the Wings Over New Zealand forum.  Have a look at his interesting series which includes all of our Proctors, at:  then scroll down to New Zealand's Civil Aviation - Yesterday and Today and when you are there scroll down to New Zealand Percival Aircraft.

Don was a gracious host and even pushed the Proctor out of its shed for photos.  He has rescued most of the aircraft in his collection from wreckers yards or from being taken to the tip or from unsatisfactory storage conditions.  So New Zealand aircraft enthusiasts owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Vickers Vincent Type 266 is ex NZ 311 but is being restored as K 6357.  Man! this is a big aircraft!  I reckon it must be more than 5 metres to the top wing.

Airspeed Oxford NZ 1332 was rescued from a farm shed near Wanganui.  I understand that it is the most complete RNZAF Oxford left.

Gloster Meteor NF 11 (for Night Fighter) WD 767 looks structurally complete.

Westland Wasp NZ 3901.  Steve Subtitzky told me that this helicopter ditched in the sea but was recovered, and the navy spent a lot of time reconditioning it so that it is now in a potentially flyable condition.

The Avro Anson has a lot of work to be done.  Don told me that he is restoring most of the aircraft to static display standard.

However one that is a potential flyer is this Hawker Hind, one of four Hinds in Don's care.

Those ares the bones of a Blackburn Baffin beside the rear fuselage - the only one left in the world I understand.  Closer to the camera is the cockpit coaming of the Vincent which was being worked on by Steve.

Another Hind fuselage sits alongside, and both have original Rolls Royce Kestrel engines installed, as in this detail.

Other aircraft in Don's sheds, in various states include a Vampire, a Westland Scout AH 1 helicopter and the fuselage of a Britten Norman Islander.  Interesting stuff!

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