Tuesday 7 March 2017

TL Ultralight TL 2000 Stings of New Zealand

TL Ultralight is an ultralight aircraft manufacturer from the Czech Republic that manufactures the TL range of aircraft which include the TL 2000 Sting, and TL 3000 Sirius (and the 2 seat tandem Stream, which we have not seen in New Zealand yet).

The TL 2000 Sting was developed from the TL 96 Star which first flew in November 1997, and the development of the Sting range has included the Sting Carbon, Sting RG and most recently the Sting S4 which 85% carbon fibre and was introduced in 2010.  The aircraft is all composite with a prominent bubble canopy that hinges forwards and is otherwise a conventional tri gear low wing side by side 2 seater.  I think it looks really nice.

The Sting's length is  6.45 metres (21 feet 2 inches), its wingspan is 9.12 metres (29 feet 11 inches) with the wing area being 119 square feet .  Empty weight is around 297 Kg depending on fitout (which includes a ballistic parachute for the S4), and MAUW is 544 Kg although this is increased to 600 Kg for an LSA.  Standard power for the S4 is a 100 HP Rotax 912iS but 912ULS and 914 engines can also be fitted, and cruise is up to 250 km/hr (155 mph) depending on the engine.

Our first Sting to be registered, on 21/1/03 was Phil L Richards' UL model ZK-PLR (c/n 02 ST 32).  It is photo'd above at the old Pikes Point airfield early on in its life.

Next up was ZK-VET (c/n 03 ST 39) that was registered to William J Henderson of Otane on 7/4/03.  It is photo'd above at the 2004 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

It was re-registered as ZK-STG2 on 17/6/04 and on 15/7/04 it was registered to the Afternoon Tea Club of North Harbour.  It is photo'd again at Tauranga, at the 2006 SAANZ flyin.  On 1/9/08 it was registered to the Afternoon Coffee Club of Albany and finally to Athol R Brown of Palmerston North on 11/4/10, with whom it is still current.  In fact all of our Stings are still registered but ZK-SLY is stored dismantled at North Shore airfield.

ZK-SLY (c/n 04/ST 100) is a retractable RG model and was registered to BG Massey of Auckland on 21/1/05.  It is photo'd at Pikes Point on 29/10/05.

Another Sting RG model that was imported around the same time was Peter H Woollett's ZK-PHW (c/n 04 ST 91) which was registered to Third Generation Ltd of Auckland on 3/2/05.  It is also photo'd at Pikes Point on 29/10/05.  It suffered a landing mishap at Silverdale but was repaired.  Ownership changed to Peter H Woollett on 31/3/14.

Sometime around 2014 Sport Aircraft Ltd of North Shore became the agents for TL Ultralight aircraft and they imported a Sting S4 (along with a Sirius) and registered it ZK-SAL5 (c/n 14 ST 411) on 13/5/14.  The S4 model is fitted with a Rotax 912iS engine and features a full glass cockpit and a ballistic parachute as standard equipment.  Its first flight was from North Shore airfield on 20/6/14.  It was sold to Robin G Willcox of Opunake on 2/4/15.

And our most recent Sting S4 was also imported by Sport Aircraft Ltd in the same container as a Sirius.  ZK-MTN (c/n 15 ST 422) was registered to Glenn N Martin of Christchurch on 27/3/15.  It first flew in New Zealand from North Shore airfield on 18/5/15.

I think we will see more Stings in New Zealand as they seem to be a nice plane.

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