Sunday 13 December 2015

Aerobatic Monoplanes of New Zealand (5) - Zlin Z-50

The Zlin Z-50 was designed in 1973 by Czech designer Jan Mikula as a replacement for the earlier Zlin 26 series (of which we have had one Z 326 and one Z 526 - both types of which were flown to victory in the World Aerobatic Championships).  The Z-50 is of all metal construction and has two section full span ailerons for a fast roll rate.  The original aircraft was designated the Z-50L (L for Lycoming) and it was powered by a 6 cylinder AIO 540 Lycoming of 260 HP.  Later the Z-50LS was developed with a AEIO 540 engine of 300 HP and this version was flown to victory in the World Aerobatic Championships in 1984 and 1986 (a Z-50L was flown to victory by a Czech pilot in the 1978 championship).

The Z-50's length is 6.62 metres (21 feet 9 inches), wingspan is 8.58 metres (28 feet 2 inches) and the wing area is 134.5 square feet.  Empty weight is 570 Kg (1,257 pounds) and MAUW is 800 Kg (1,760 pounds).

We have one Zlin Z 50LS in New Zealand:

ZK-ZSO (c/n 0070) was built in Czechoslovakia in 1992 as was registered as OK-WRN.  On 26/8/92 it was registered to SAAB Nyge Aero in Sweden as SE-KMY.  It returned to the Czech Republic in 1995 as OK-XRG and was operated by the Letecke Akrobatice Centr/  It was damaged in August 2002 and was repaired by Moravan.  Then it was exported to New Zealand where it was first registered on 20/10/03 to David G Cranna of Papakura, with whom it is still current.

It is photo'd above at the 2011 Bryan Langley memorial aerobatic competition at North Shore on 15/1/11, where unfortunately it did not compete because it was unserviceable.


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