Thursday 30 June 2016

Dyn Aero Aircraft of New Zealand (2) - MCR 4S

I will include the Dyn Aero MCR 4S here because it is a direct development of the MCR 01.  It first flew in 2000 and is available as a kit for homebuilding.  It features the same double slotted wing that gives a wide range of performance, and the fuselage is lengthened to allow for 4 seats.

The specifications for the MCR 4S are:  Length 6.72 metres, wingspan 8.66 metres and the wing area is 8.15 square metres.  Empty weight is around 350 Kg with another 20 Kg for a Ballistic Recovery parachute, and MAUW is 750 Kg.  With a 100 HP Rotax 912ULS engine cruise is around 220 kph, and the range is around 2.150 km.

Our only MCR 4S to date is ZK-PSA which was built by Peter Armstrong from an advanced kit that he initially built over several trips to the Dyn Aero factory in France, The aircraft was shipped to New Zealand arriving in July 2008 and was registered to Pestar Holdings Ltd of Auckland on 17/6/11.  It is powered by a Rotax 914 engine of 120 HP and has a very advanced avionics fit out with all glass screens.  It is photo'd above at the Whitianga fly out from the 2012 SAANZ flyin, where it can be seen that it has a very distinctive New Zealand inspired colour scheme.

In this view, taken while landing at the 2013 Black Sands flyin at Raglan, the large double slotted flaps can be seen (click the photo to enlarge once or twice).  A very nice and technically advanced aeroplane.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Dyn Aero Aircraft of New Zealand (1) - MCR 01 ULCs and Clubs

The Dyn Aero MCR 01 family of aircraft were developed from Michael Colomban's earlier MC 100 Ban Bi (Michael Colomban also designed the MC 15 Cri Cri of which we have had two in New Zealand).  It is a lightweight 2 seat all composite (mainly carbon fibre) aircraft that has tremendous performance with a top speed approaching 300 kph, but with a stall speed around 80 kph on a 80 HP Rotax engine.  This is due to the double slotted flap wing design (similar to an airliner wing).

Dyn Aero was formed in 1992 by Christophe Robin (the son of Robin Aircraft founder Pierre Robin).  It produced kits and ready to fly aircraft.  Unfortunately it went into bankruptcy in early 2012, but it was bought by the French Artzaimak Industrial Group who still offer the aircraft for sale.  The current range of aircraft include the MCR 01 ULC (which has a longer wing to comply with French microlight rules), the Sportster (similar to the Club with a shorter wing which complies with new Zealand microlight rules) and the four seat MCR 4S.  There are more than 500 Dyn Aero aircraft flying worldwide.

The specifications for the MCR 01 series are as follows for the ULC (and with the Club specifications in brackets):  Length 5.4 metres (same for both), wingspan 8.64 metres (6.63 metres), wing area 8.13 square metres (5.20 square metres), empty weight around 260 Kg (230 Kg) but add 20 Kg for other equipment such as a Ballistic Recovery parachute.  The MAUW is 450 Kg for the ULC model and 490 Kg for the Club model.  The performance is spectacular with cruise speeds of up to 300 kph for the short winged Club model on a 100 HP Rotax 912 engine.  The aircraft also boasts a very long range with over 1500 kilometres possible.

We have had two MCR ULC models and two MCR 01 Club models in New Zealand to date, plus one MCR 4S.

ZK-TFB (c/n 87) is an MCR ULC model and was built from a kit by Evan Gardiner of Upper Waitohi.  It was first registered to him on 14/3/01 and he still owns it, although it is based at Parakai now.  It is photo'd above at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata and it has not changed much over the years.

MCR 01 Sport model ZK-WIK (c/n 342) was imported by Leading Edge Aviation of Helensville (Harvey Lockie), who were the New Zealand agents for Dyn Aero.  It was first registered on 22/5/07 and ownership transferred to Harvey Lockie on 29/11/09.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 6/12/08 where it wears the Race Winners wreath for the 2007 Wanaka Airgames and Demonstrator titles.

Photo'd again at Parakai on 19/2/11, now with Parakai Airfield titles.

Showing the very short wing, ZK-WIK over the Kaipara Harbour 29/3/14.

And at the Dargaville Aero Club lunch later that same day, now with Flybook titles (Flybook is an on-line aircraft booking system) 

MCR 01 Club model ZK-SML (c/n 393) was imported by Leading Edge Aviation for Geoff Smale of North Shore  It was registered on 14/7 09 and first flew on 7/8/09.  It was very well equipped with a glass cockpit and hydraulic CSU propellor.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 17/9/09.

It is photo'd above at its base at North Shore, now wearing the name The Magic Carpet and with a magic carpet mural.  Tragically it was lost on 9/4/11 and Geoff Smale was killed when the aircraft flew into Mt Duppa near Nelson, on a North Shore to Ashburton flight.  Geoff Smale was 86 years old.  ZK-SML was cancelled on 11/5/11.

MCR ULC model ZK-ORR (c/n 224) was first registered in 2002 in France as F-PDAI and was imported into New Zealand by Leading Edge Aviation in 2011 with 290 airframe hours.  It has an 80 HP Rotax 912 and an electric MT propellor.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 19/2/11.  It was first registered on 2/3/11 to Robert L Orr of Rakaia and ownership changed to Ross A Dawson of Tauranga on 25/7/15.

ZK-ORR and ZK-WIK at North Shore on 7/4/16.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Let out for a couple of hours.

Yep - the Blue Bus was let out for a couple of hours this afternoon and managed a quick goosie around Rangiora Airfield.
A place where there is always some interesting action is Hangar # 72.
STOL Performance NZ works from there and today I found the Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-NVY (c/n 5770) nearing completion with its new rear fuselage and the Aero Design Pulsar XP ZK-MIV (c/n 294) is on the hoist having its wheel brakes worked on.
Still pounding the circuit after some forty four years is the Canterbury Aero Club's Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser ZK-DUP (c/n 28-7425382).
Mind you - it's not exactly the original machine having received a donor fuselage in 1995 following an incident at Loch Katrine.
ZK-JOR (c/n WAS0893530) is a Rans S-6ES Coyote belonging to the Canterbury Recreational Aircraft Club Inc (CRAC). 
This was built in tail dragger form but following an incident in 2007 resurfaced with a trainer wheel up front.
It is currently listed for sale.

JOR is on Trademe - a great way to get into ownership of an extremely well maintained aircraft at $25k. 

Monday 27 June 2016

Down memory lane.

Here we have a pic from a few years back - sent in by Allan Bowman.
I am thinking that Memorial Avenue is coming down from the top of the picture with the golf course in the pine trees. The change in direction is now the roundabout with Orchard Road heading out to the left to pass behind the ODF hangar under construction.
Johns Road/SH1 runs alongside the pine trees. 
The Canterbury Aero Club hangar is on the right hand edge with maybe an Auster and a C47 parked nearby.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Titan Mustang ZK-WZY.

A view of the Titan T51 Mustang ZK-WZY (c/n 0076) as captured at Ardmore by Tony Smith at the end of last moth.
It was well covered by Sir Minty previously at :-

Douglas DC 3 Memories

My memories of early exposure to aircraft were further jogged by the recent post on Bristol Freighters.  So I thought that an evocative early colour photo of a New Zealand National Airways Corporation DC 3 from the Neville Drake collection was worth posting, if even for the neat old Vacuum Oil fuel truck in the foreground.  The photo was taken at Paraparaumu and is undated, but must have been in the early 1950s.

ZK-AWQ (c/n 16565/33313) was built as a C-47B-35-DK and was bought on charge with the RNZAF as NZ3546 from June 1945.  It was demobbed in July 1952 and was registered as ZK-AWQ on 15 July 1952 and was named Patarai.  (Actually this is the identification point in the above photo as the camera unfortunately went out of focus at the left of the photo and the registration is indistinct).

ZK-AWQ was withdrawn from NAC service on 18/4/61 and returned to the RNZAF where it was re-allocated the serial NZ3546 and was fitted for target towing.  It served with the RNZAF until late 1977 when it was demobbed again,  It was then sold by tender to K B Neely of Christchurch and was again registered as ZK-AWQ on 6/12/78 for ferrying to Christchurch where the photos below were taken.

 In its ferry scheme with RNZAF marking painted over.

The aircraft was then caught up in international politics, as the New Zealand Government suspected that the aircraft was going to be sold to Rhodesia which at that time was under strict international trade sanctions, and refused it an export permit.  So it sat at Harewood along with 3 other DC 3s purchased by Mr Neely.

It was repainted as shown in the above photo and eventually flew out from New Zealand on 8/12/80 for Singapore after the sanctions were lifted.  It became D6-CAG with Islands Associates of London on 1/1/81 and was leased to Air Comores of Moroni which is the capital city of the Union of Comores, a 30 square kilometre archipelago in the Indian Ocean.  By 1982 it had made its way to South Africa where it became 6863 with the SAAF.  At a later date it was converted to PT 6 turboprop power as a C-47-TP.  Finally it was de-mobbed (for the third time!) and sold to Dobson Aviation of Ottawa, Kansas and allocated the US registration N81907 on 14/7/98 but this was not taken up.  It was registered as to Dobson International Parts SA as ZS-OJL on 15/2/01 and ferried to Wonderboom Airport, North of Pretoria where it was placed in storage.  But she still lived on! as can be seen in the 2010 photo at where she looks great.  

That is one interesting aircraft history!  Thanks very much to Flyernzl for the above information.

Flyernzl has posted another excellent and comprehensive history of all of New Zealand's 42 civil DC 3s at

And a final footnote.

The Warbirds DC 3C-S1C3G ZK-DAK2, (owned by Flight 2000 Ltd of Auckland), while painted as NZ3546 has no connection with NZ3546/ZK-AWQ/NZ3546/ZK-AWQ/D6-CAG/SAAF6863/N81907/ZS-OJL at all! (Apart of course for the colour scheme).

King Air ZK-SMC at Ardmore today

Beech 300LW King Air ZK-SMC msn FA-46 ex VH-WCN seen in the rain at Ardmore this morning.Aircraft went onto the ZK register on 8-6-16 and is registered to Total Entertainment Consultants Ltd of Devonport and is based at Ardmore.

Friday 24 June 2016

Robinson R44 ZK-HCL

Parked outside the Heli Maintenance facility at Christchurch International today (24-06-2016) was the Robinson R44 Clipper II ZK-HCL3 (c/n 10432) of Aronui pastoral Ltd of Geraldine.
 This was an import by Skysales Aviation (NZ) Ltd and was registered on 18-08-2004. 
It went over to Heli Maintenance Ltd on 14-09-2004 and then delivered to Heli Concepts Ltd and was based at Wigram.
Below it is seen at Wigram on 17-09-2004. Note the flotation gear.
The McFarlane Group Developments Ltd of Christchurch appear on the paperwork from 13-03-2008 followed by Aronui Pastoral Ltd, initially of Temuka from 09-06-2008 then later of Geraldine.

Jurca Sirocco ZK-PTR at North Shore

Another older generation homebuilt aircraft is in a hangar at North Shore.  It is the Jurca MJ 5 Sirocco ZK-PTR (c/n AACA/148/1 - that's a really old AACA number).

This Sirocco was built by Lindsay Wheeler in Kerikeri and he powered it with a Rover V8 engine.  I believe it has flown but not many hours.  Sadly Lindsay passed away some years ago and ownership transferred on 19/8/09 to Martin Farrand of Mahurangi East, out from Warkworth.  It is still registered to him although I believe that Garry Mitchell is working on it to return it to airworthiness.

The history of Siroccos in New Zealand can be found at

Thursday 23 June 2016

Porter ex ZK-FZB crashed in Portugal.

Pilatus Porter c/n 634 which served some of its earlier life in New Zealand as ZK-FZB was lost in a fatal accident on 19-06-2016.

Crash of a Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter in Ferreira do Alentejo, Southern Portugal : 1 killed.

                Accident description

  • Jun 19, 2016 at 1908 LT
  • D-FSCB
  • Flight
  • Training
  • Yes
  • Plain
  • Beja - Beja
  • 634
  • 1967
  • Ferreira do Alentejo, Baixo Alentejo
  • Portugal
  • Europe
  • 1
  • 1
  • 7
  • 0
  • 0
  • 1
  • The aircraft was engaged in a local training sortie with seven skydivers and one pilot on board. After takeoff from Beja Airport, the pilot climbed to 7,000 feet when a 'bang' was heard in the rear part of the aircraft, apparently by the tail section. The aircraft went out of control, dove into the ground and crashed in several trees located in Ferreira do Alentejo, about 15 km from Beja Airport. The pilot (a Belgian citizen aged 27) was killed while all skydivers were injured, two of them seriously. Debris of the aircraft remained in the tree while others fell on the ground.

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Sonex Aircraft Sonexs of New Zealand (and a Waiex)

The all metal 2 seat Sonex was originally designed in the late 1990s by John Monnett who had previously designed the Sonerai  and other aircraft.  The Sonex has formed the basis of a family of aircraft with variations on the theme, including the Waiex (a Sonex with a Y tail), the Xenos (a motorglider), the Onex (a single seat version) and the Sub Sonex which is a jet powered version with a Waiex Y tail.  An electric version of the Waiex has also flown. The Sonex can be built from plans or a kit that is manufactured by Sonex Aircraft LLC of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Sonexs length is 18 feet 1 inch (5.51 metres), its wing span is 22 feet (6.71 metres) and the wing area is 98 square feet.  Empty weight is 620 pounds (281 Kg) and MAUW is 1,150 pounds (522 Kg).  Engines can range from the 80 HP Aerovee  to the 120 HP 6 cylinder Jabiru 3300, and the Jabiru gives a cruise speed of up to 170 mph.  In 2016, a B model of the Sonex and Waiex was introduced which has a wider fuselage at the instrument panel which in turn means that Rotax 912 series engines can be fitted.

We have had seven Sonexs in New Zealand to date with quite a few examples still being built around the country.  All of the seven Sonexs are still on the register.

Our first Sonex was Paddy McDonnell's ZK-SNX (c/n 0096) which he constructed at Ashburton with a 80 HP Jabiru 2200 engine.  It was first registered on 5/10/00 and its first flight was on 7/11/00.  The above photo was taken at ashburton on 27/12/00.  It was sold to Stewart L Kerr of Dunedin on 22/7/03 and it is still current, although I have not seen it for a long time.

ZK-WBS (c/n 160) was constructed by William B Sargeant of Richmond and was first registered on 24/4/03.  It is photo'd above at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.

ZK-JQP2 (c/n 0689) was constructed by Alan Coubray of Manakau and was first registered on 13/6/07.  It was sold to Sonex JQP Ltd of Whitianga on 10/6/10.  The above photo was taken at Ardmore on 17/1/09.

ZK-RMK (c/n 690) was built by Rex M Kenney of Carterton and was first registered on 6/6/08.  It first flew on 21/9/08 and it is powered by an Aerovee engine.  The above photo was taken at the 2009 Wings Over Wairarapa airshow at Masterton on 17/1/09.

ZK-NAF3 (c/n 498)was built by Nigel A Frederikson of Wellington and was first registered on 17/4/09.  It has a 80 HP Jabiru 2200 engine and is based at Otaki.  It is photo'd above on 28/1/12 at Whitianga during the flyout from the 2012 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga,

ZK-VDB (for Vee-Dub I assume) is c/n 1070 and was built by Mark H A Norgate of Whangarei, being first registered on 29/4/10.  It is the first of our tri-gear Sonexs.  It had a whoopsie at Whangarei on 15/11/13 when the canopy opened during take off resulting in damage to the nose gear and prop, but has been repaired and is a regular at dargaville.  The above photo of ZK-VDB was taken at North Shore on 11/2/12.

And our final Sonex to date is ZK-PDB (c/n 898) which was registered to Paul D Blackmore of Pukekohe on 15/08/14.  Paul started building his aircraft from plans in Australia in 2006 and finished it in New Zealand (hence the name "Spirit of Anzac").  It was test flown from Ardmore on 21/11/14 by Steve Chilcott.  The above photo of it at Ardmore was taken on 16/11/14.

Oh, and there has been one Waiex registered to date, being ZK-WYX which was registered to Laurance B Turner of Whitianga on 31/1/13.  I understand this aircraft is still under construction.

Another couple of days at the factory

Another run around the high altitude weather station done.
 Up at the Mueller Hut we found the Aerospatiale AS350 B2 ZK-HSM3 (c/n  3529) most useful.
 In the Upper Rakaia it was the turn of the Aerospatiale AS350  B2 ZK-IBC3 (c/n 2562) from Mount Hutt Helicopters Ltd.

Another couple of days at the factory

Another run around the high altitude weather station done.
 Up at the Mueller Hut we found the Aerospatiale AS350 B2 ZK-HSM3 (c/n  3529) most useful.
 In the Upper Rakaia it was the turn of the Aerospatiale AS350  B2 ZK-IBC3 (c/n 2562) from Mount Hutt Helicopters Ltd.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Super Cub ZK-BRY

One of the many Piper PA-18's imported by Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch was the PA-18A-150 ZK-BRY. With a construction number of 18-5687 it was registered here on 07-05-1957 and gained its NZ CofA on the 28th.
Ownership was transferred from Airwork (NZ) Ltd to Cookson Airspread Ltd of Wairoa from 02-05-1957.
Below is a photo from an unknown source of it at Wairoa - looking all very spic and span for an ag aircraft..
Below another view of her - on an unknown date at Feilding  - from the Allan Wooller collection.
It remained with Cookson until 07-07-1971 when it moved over briefly to Feilding with Manawatu Aerial Top Dressing Co Ltd; and then to Wanganui for J A Chesswas from 11-07-1972.
 Above we have ZK-BRY minus hopper and in a new paint scheme at Wanganui.
I believe a Ken Meehan photo.
 Now two shots of her at Wellington in December of 1972.
Above - Note the fuselage side baggage door and the metal cover on top of the fuselage aft of the wing trailing edge.
Above we have a monochrome pic showing the East Aviation/Wellington Aero Club hangar in the background.
Above - as seen at Masterton in 1973 from Allan Wooller.
The next owner was Don B Mahon of Queenstown from 03-02-1977 who purchased it to replace his sold Cessna 180 ZK-BJY.
It had a bit of an oopsie at Big Bay on 09-04-1984 and not long after repairs it was sold to the Taranaki Gliding Club, then based at German Hill, and listed to them on 14-04-1986 in a dashing colour scheme.
It actually arrived a couple of months earlier as can been seen from the three pics below taken at New Plymouth Airport on 28-01-1986

Below we see it at German Hill on 02-02-1986
Next in line was the Sport Aviation Partnership of Hawera from 07-05-1996 -
 Above shot at Tauranga on 07-08-1996 thanks to Peter Lewis.
Then at Omarama on 09-04-1998.
- followed by the RNZAF Base Auckland Aviation Sports Club Inc from 17-07-1998.
By 13-11-1999 it was listed to the Hauraki Aero Club (Inc) at Thames.
Frank Wright of Tauranga took it on from 29-01-2002 and he did a major rework on it including the 160hp upgrade before selling it. 
31-03-2004 at Tauranga
It went to The Old Lake Trust of North Shore City from 11-05-2004.
It appears to have been based and hangared at Tauranga alongside the Cessna 182Q ZK-RDJ2 -
Above - at Tauranga on  20-11-2012
- until a recent sale to B B aviation of Feilding took place on 01-05-2016.
Sean Perrett flew it down to its old home at Feilding where it will be on line and available for Cub ratings.