Tuesday 1 December 2015

Aerobatic Monoplanes of New Zealand (1) - Zlin Trener Masters

I have been meaning to do a series on purpose-designed aerobatic monoplanes of New Zealand (of which there have been quite a few), for some time.  And with the blog header photo of Sukhoi SU 29 ZK-SUK, this seems like a good time to do it.

I think the earliest purpose designed aerobatic monoplanes in New Zealand were a pair of Zlin Trener Masters that were imported into Christchurch in 1964 and 1970, being a Z 326 and a Z 526.

The original Zlin Z 26 was first produced by the Czechoslovakian company Moravan Oktokovice in 1946 as a basic training aircraft.  Later Z 26s were optimised for aeroabatics.  The design was further developed by Zlin Aircraft Oktokovice as the Z 226, Z 326, Z 526 and finally the Z 726 until production ceased in 1970.  Variants were produced as single seaters (Akrobats) and 2 seaters (Trener Masters), and the type won several aerobatic competitions in the 1960s. The wing was distinctive in having a swept leading edge and the electrically operated undercarriage was retractable.

Both the Z 326 and the Z 526 were powered by 6 cylinder inverted Walter engines producing around 160 - 180 HP.  They had very similar dimensions and weights, for the Z 326 being length 7.83 metres (25 feet 8 inches), wingspan 10.59 metres (34 feet 9 inches) and wing area of 167 square feet.  Empty weight was 637 Kg (1,404 pounds) and MAUW was 910 Kg (2,006 pounds) (slightly increased for the Z 526).

Zlin Z 326 ZK-CHZ (c/n 586) was manufactured in 1961 as OK-OND.  It was registered in Australia as VH-DBZ in September 1962 and cancelled on 26/6/64 when it was sold to New Zealand.  The Canterbury Aero Club registered the aircraft as ZK-CHZ on 6/10/64.

It was later operated by the Christchurch Flying School for a time but was cancelled on 6/6/69 and exported to the USA where it became N4586 on 11/9/69.

Zlin Z 526 ZK-CJY (c/n 1091) was delivered new from the Zlin factory to New Zealand, as was first registered on 19/3/70 to David G Owen of Christchurch.

David Owen moved to Australia in 1992 and took ZK-CJY with him.  It was cancelled from the New Zealand register on 25/6/92 and re-registered in Australia as VH-ZLN on 30/9/92.  It is still on the Australian register but is physically at the Aero Technologies hangar at Ardmore for eventual restoration to flying status back in New Zealand.

1 comment:

  1. Nice.
    Always thought the Zlins quite exotic in their day.