Wednesday 11 March 2015

Jabirus of New Zealand (1) - Small ST3 and SK 80 Models

Jabiru Aircraft Pty Ltd was formed in 1988 by Rodney Stiff and Phil Ainsworth, based at Bundaberg in Queensland.  The jabiru is a large stork that is found across Northern Australia.  From 2005 the company has been solely owned by Rodney Stiff.

Design of the original Jabiru aircraft had started in 1987 and the prototype first flew in August 1989.  The construction is mainly GRP with metal wing struts, nosewheel leg and engine mount.  The first aircraft was the ST model which was pretty small as can be seen in the photos below, and had a distinctive ventral fin.  The first 20 ST 3s had a KFM engine but then production shifted to Jabiru's own 60 HP 1600 cc flat four engine.  I cannot find dimensions for the original small Jabirus, but the SK 80 has an empty weight of around 253 Kg (558 pounds) and a MAUW of 449 Kg (990 pounds).

Our first Jabiru was a ST 3 model which was a factory built aircraft: ZK-JRU (c/n ST 0013).  It was first registered to Agriculture and Related Industry Distributors Ltd of Rakaia (Ashley Johnson) on 16/1/96.  It was operated by the Mid Canterbury Aero Club at Ashburton and is photo'd above at the 1996 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  On 9/8/02 it was sold to John and Jenny Lester of Foxton and they became the Jabiru agents in New Zealand.  On 9/9/04 ownership transferred to RA Anderson of Waipukurau and then it was sold to the mid Canterbury area.

On 14/9/11 it was sold to MS McMillan of Timaru, in whose ownership the above photo was taken, on 22/9/11.  Most recently it was sold to KL Holmes of Wakefield on 7/2/13.

Our other three small Jabirus were SK 80 models, which were the kit built version of the ST 3. SK 80 ZK-DAM2 (c/n 0092) was registered to the NZ Wholesale Jade Co of Hokitika (Dick and Mark Pfhalert) on 28/1/97 and had a 80 HP Jabiru 2200 cc flat four engine.  It is photo'd above at the 1998 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  It was sold to Colin Ashby Consulting Ltd of Warkworth on 20/7/98, with whom it is still current.  It has suffered a couple of accidents, at Te Kopuru on 23/4/00 and at Warkworth on 10/2/02.

SK 80 ZK-JBI2 (c/n 0081) was registered to Carol Eilene London of East Bay Flight Centre at Whakatane on 11/3/98.  It was damaged when it faile to get airborne at Paengaroa on 18/7/98 but was repaired.  It was sold to WM Burke of Whakatane on 17/11/03, and it is still current.  The above photo was sourced from Trade Me.

ZK-80 ZK-CEN2 is a South African import, having been previously registered ZU-CEN to J Nel on 26/11/03.  Jabiru had a big prescemce in South Africa.  It was imported into New Zealand by Warren C Butler of Auckland and was first registered here on 5/3/09.  It is photo'd above at the Pukehohe East airstrip on 16/10/09.

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