Monday 29 May 2017

Best Off and Aeros Ukraine Skyrangers of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to appear on the New Zealand register was the Best Off Skyranger, in November 2003.

The original Skyranger was designed by Philippe Prevot and was manufactured as a kit by his company, Best Off Aircraft of Tolouse.  The prototype Skyranger first flew in 1990 and the aircraft has been developed over the years from the V Max to the Swift and more recently the Nynja (of which we haven't yet had an example in New Zealand).  The aircraft is of standard tube and fabric construction with the standard engine today being the Rotax 912, but a large variety of engines have been installed, several types within our seven examples to date.  The aircraft was licensed for construction in Brazil, the UK, France and in the Ukraine, and around 1500 examples have flown around the world.

The Skyranger is 5.50 metres (18 feet) long.  The wingspan is 9.50 metres (31 feet 2 inches) and the wing area is 152 square feet.  Empty weight is around 250 Kg (551 pounds) and MAUW is around 540 Kg (1190 pounds) depending on the model.  With a Rotax 912 the cruise speed is around 150 km/hr (80 knots) and the stall speed is around 35 knots with flaps down.

ZK-MAI3 (c/n SKR 0308388) was our first Skyranger V Max.  It was built by Graeme Main of Christchurch and was first registered to him on 27/11/03.  It was sold to Stephen Duncan of Christchurch on 12/3/13 and then to Michael Dimmock of Amberly on 2/4/16. It is photo'd above, being piloted by Michael Dimmock at the RAANZ flyin at Rangiora on 1/4/17.

Also out of Christchurch was ZK-SKV (c/n SKR 0308387) a V Max which was built by Wayne Wilson and was registered to him on 28/11/03, one day after ZK-MAI.  It is powered by a 92 HP Simononi liquid cooled engine which drives a 3 bladed Ivoprop.  It was sold to the SKV Syndicate of Rotorua on 17/12/05 under whose ownership it is photo'd above at the Black Sands flyin in 2012.   On 24/11/13 it was sold to JD and GE Menzie of Waihi and then after a short time on 25/4/14 to Richard T Armstrong of Timaru.

ZK-SKE, another V Max (c/n 6511670) was built by Robert J Dryfhout and was first registered to him at Whangarei on 9/1/07.  It is photo'd above at Whangarei.  On 21/4/08 it was sold to the Lusby Family Trust of Tauranga.

Canterbury was a hotbed of Skyranger construction and our fourth Skyranger and first Aeros Ukraine Swift model  ZK-SKS (c/n 816) was built by Mike Kindon at Rangiora and was first registered to him on 18/7/08.  It was originally powered by a 92 HP Simononi engine with a 3 bladed Ivoprop as in the above photo but was re-powered with a Rotax 582 in June 2011.

On 21/2/13 it was sold to Robert J Laskey of Palmerston North and on 23/6/14 it was sold to Arthur J Suttie of Mangakino.  It is photo'd above at Feilding on 21/12/13.

And another one out of Christchurch was Wayne Nesmith's second Skyranger, an Aeros Ukraine Swift model ZK-SRS (c/n 816), that was registered on 8/8/08.  It is powered by an 80 HP Aerovee engine.  It is still Rangiora based, where the above photo was taken at the 2017 RAANZ flyin.

The Skyranger can also be built as a taildragger as in Michael J (Scooter) Morris's ZK-SCT (c/n 796) which is a Best Off Swift model that was first registered to him at Wanaka on 5/3/10.  It is powered by a Rotax 912 and is named "Miss Swift".  It is photo'd above at Wanaka on 14/1/11.

Paul Brydon of Hamilton built his Best Off Skranger Swift ZK-JAY3 (c/n 1007-1012) and registered it on 1/12/11.  It is photo'd above at Te Kowhai on 8/11/14.  On 22/9/16 it was sold to Hamish Pulley of Kaiapoi and it is now based at Rangiora.

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