Thursday 17 March 2016

Oh All Right Then! It Wasn't Ardmore in 1935!

Discerning readers of this blog may have noted that the photo I "came across" recently did in fact have some contradictions in the details.  And as some have observantly commented, hydraulic scissor lifts weren't around then (or were they?).

So I have to come clean - the photo was in fact taken at Ardmore on Monday when filming for the documentary film on Jean Batten was in progress.  I was not allowed to photograph the filming (fair enough), but I could take photos of a couple of aircraft that are involved in the film.

Jan and Jerry Chisum's Gipsy Moth ZK-ADT has been authentically painted up as G-AARB, which was the aircraft that Jean Batten used for her 1934 record flight from England to Australia of 14 days and 22 hours.

I find it strange that although so much effort has been put in to repainting the fuselage so authentically, it still has ZK-ADT plastered across the upper and lower wings.  maybe it is something to do with the legality of flying the aircraft in New Zealand?

And another aircraft appearing in the film is Tiger Moth ZK-BFF.  It has had the ' Foxy Lady" logo removed from the rudder but retains the registration on the sides - again maybe something to do with flying legally?

I think that possibly the film makers can digitise the registrations out during the production of the film, which they will need to do as I understand that the film is set in Australia.

There are at least another two local aircraft in the film, being Stan and Gilly Smith's Dragon ZK-AXI and Guy Clapshaw's Percival Proctor 1 ZK-DPP2 which is a fair imitation of a Percival Gull Six (also flown by Jean Batten and the original of which, G-APDR, is hanging in the International Terminal of Auckland Airport).

Filming has also been carried out at Thames (with many locals in the crowd scenes) and at Kaipara Flats airfield.

Watch out for the film on TV, maybe in a Sunday night slot.


  1. Ardmore was built during WW11

  2. The film (called simply "Jean") is screening Labour Weekend - Sunday 23 October TVOne 8:30 pm in the Sunday Theatre Slot.

  3. I am curious too since. after the Italians rebuilt G-ARRB after Jean Batten's tangle with radio masts at Sao Paulo, Rome by cannabalizing a Caproni Ca.100 with a shorter wingspan upper wing. whether any photograph extant shows this?