Saturday 28 March 2015

RANS S 7 Couriers of New Zealand (1) - 1997 to 2005 Aircraft

Our next type of 2 seater sports aircraft to be registered was the RANS S 7 Courier.

The RANS S 7 Courier was designed by Randy Schlitter in 1985 as a two seat trainer for the single seat RANS S 4 model.  As it turned out the S 4 was not very popular while the S 7 has turned out to be very successful in its own right.  Like the S 6, the S 7 has a 4130 steel cockpit frame with aluminium rear fuselage and wings, all fabric covered.

The current S 7 is 23 feet 3 inches (7.09 metres) long with a wingspan of 29 feet 3 inches (8.92 metres) and a wing area of 147.1 square feet.  It was originally powered by a Rotax 503 but the engine was upgraded to a Rotax 582 and more recently to a Rotax 912S of 100 HP.  The empty weight with the 912S engine is around 730 pounds and MAUW is 1.200 pounds (544 Kg).  Over the years the empty weight and horsepower of the S 7 have both approximately doubled.

We have had twenty five S 7s registered in New Zealand to date (and one has worn two registrations).  All except one are still current as at March 2015.  Interestingly, only two S 7s have been registered to North Island owners.

Our first S 7 was ZK-JGV (c/n 0694134) that was built by Hugh Tapper of Invercargill, and was first registered to him very early on, on 27/3/97, and it is still owned by him.  Hugh told me that as an early model it had a 2 inch fuselage stretch over the S 7 prototype. but that later models had a further 4 inch stretch.  It is photo'd above at a flyin at Waitohi on 14/4/01.

It has recently been re-covered as in the above photo taken at Invercargill on 19/11/14.  You can also see that it now has a Roberts Bush Gear Piper Cub type undercarriage.  Hugh has a set of floats for his S 7 that he is interested in selling.  If you are interested contact the email on the blog header page.

Our second S 7 did not come along for another four years but was also a short fuselage model.  ZK-JNK (c/n 1095157) was built by Raymond J Keown of Cattle Flat in Southland.  It was first registered on 29/8/01 and Ray Keown still owns it.  It is photo'd above at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.

ZK-OAC (c/n 0195144) was built in Canada in as C-FVFN and was imported by Wright Aviation Ltd of Mosgiel, being first registered to them on 11/2/04.  It is photo'd above at the 2007 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.  It was cancelled on 20/4/12...

And it was re-registered as ZK-WAL3 on the same day, 20/4/12.  It is photo'd above on 21/10/12 at Rangitata Island and is still owned by Wright Avaition Ltd and now with the Roberts Bush Gear undercarriage.

The reason for the change of registration was to free up ZK-OAC for the S 6 ZK-WAL2 that had been purchased by the Otago Aero Club.  The above photo shows S 7 ZK-WAL3 that used to be ZK-OAC alongside ZK-OAC2  that used to be ZK-WAL2.  Confused??

ZK-RIC (c/n 0402319) was built by Richard Bourke of Ashburton and was registered to RJ and DFJ Bourke on 27/7/04.  It is photo'd above at the 2006 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.

ZK-JPH3 (c/n 069113) was built in the USA as N125NS.  It was imported into New Zealand by Nic Kagan of Lowburn and was first registered to him on 19/10/05.  It is photo'd above at Barrytown  on 23/4/07 with the original standard spring steel undercarriage.

And here it is photo'd outside Custom Aviation Ltd at Taieri on 7/10/06, now with a Roberts Bush Gear undercarriage.  It was damaged in an accident at Casey's Flat in the Arthur's Park National Park on 19/3/14 and it was cancelled on 27/11/14.

No comments:

Post a Comment