Wednesday 16 August 2017

ICP Savannahs of New Zealand (1) - Early Models

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand was the ICP Savannah, the first one of which was registered in February 2004.

The Savannah looks rather like the Zenith CH 701 and in fact Chris Heintz considers the Savannah to be an unauthorised copy of the CH 701.  It might have started off pretty similar to the CH 701 but it has been upgraded and developed over the years.  The Savannah was originally developed by ICP srl in Italy and kits have been available since the early 2000s.  The Savannah kit has a good reputation
 and I guess that is why they are still going 17 years later.  There is another model of the Savannah that was produced by Aero Andina in Colombia, and in fact their website claims that they developed the MXP 740 Savannah and appointed ICP as their European agents.

Whatever, the Savannah has been developed by ICP from the original slab sided MXP 740 with leading edge slats which was developed into the VG model with a revised wing profile and vortex generators along the top of the wing which made the aircraft faster in the cruise and with better climb performance and also better fuel economy.  The next development was the Savannah XL in 2009 with new cowls and a 4 inch wider cabin with full door glazing, and finally in 2010 came the Savannah S which is essentially a XL but with a rounded rear fuselage and an option to increase the height of the rudder. We have had all of these versions in New Zealand.

The Savannah in an all metal aircraft with a semi monocoque fuselage and a constant chord wing.  It can be built from a kit or supplied as a completely built up aircraft.  It is most common with a tricycle undercarriage but can be built as a taildragger or on floats.  Most Savannahs are powered by variants of the Rotax 912 but other engines in the 50 to 100 HP range have been used.

The Savannah has a length of 6.60 metres (21 feet 8 inches) and a wingspan of 9.00 metres (29 feet 6 inches) with a wing area of 138.5 square feet.  Empty weight is around 286 Kg (631 pounds) and MAUW is 554 Kg (1,200 pounds) for the earlier models and 560 Kg (1,234 pounds) for the S model.  With a 100 HP engine the cruise is around 95 knots, and the stall speed is around 30 knots

We have had 12 Savannahs in New Zealand to date (all still registered) with more on the way as several kits kits are being built, and we now have a New Zealand agent:  Philip Seale of Westwind Aviation Ltd based at Forest Field in Canterbury.

ZK-DJB2 (c/n 02-08-51-156) was built in the US as N912BM by Wiiliam J Magrini of Haymarket VA and was fist registered to him on 16//3/03.  Its US registration was cancelled on 5/11/03 and it was imported into New Zealand by Barry Clayworth of North Shore and registered to the Clayworth Family Trust on 13/2/04.  On 1/7/04 it was redesignated from an ICP MXP-740 Savannah to an ICP Savannah, so I guess it might have been an Aero Andrina one?  It is photo'd above in a hangar at North Shore on 29/1/05 where you can quite clearly see the slats and the Junkers style flaerons.  I never saw it flying at North Shore during the many years it was based there.

On 11/1/15 ownership changed to MJ (John) McCaul of Christchurch and it photo'd above in his hangar at Rangiora on 8/2/15.  You can clearly see that it now has the newer VG wing with vortex generators.

ZK-SAV (c/n 04-02-51-277) was built from a kit by Neil and Sarah Colliver of Bulls and it was first registered to them on 26/11/04.  It is photo'd above at the 2006 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga on 5/2/06.

It was sold to the Savannah Syndicate of Ashburton on 9/10/07 and it is photo'd at its base at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, on 6/2/09.  Finally on 28/8/11 ownership transferred to Allan J Jessop of Whangarei, with whom it is still current.

ZK-JMD2 (c/n 04-02-51-278) was built by Edward A Clark of Invercargill and was first registered to him on 26/1/05.  It is also photo'd above at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, on 7/2/09.

ZK-WTR (c/n 04-06-51-299) was built in Australia as an ICP MX-740 Savannah and was registered as 19-4221.  It was imported into New Zealand by Bill Ward of Invercargill and registered to the Bill and Brenda Ward Family Trust on 6/7/06.  Thanks for the photo Bill.

ZK-WLH2 (c/n 05-09-51-420) was built at the ICP factory in Italy and was first exported to Australia.  However it was later shipped on to New Zealand and assembled at Rangiora.  The original wing was damaged in transit and a new VG wing was shipped out from the factory.  It was registered to William Lyall Hopcroft of Balfour on 24/11/06.  Lyall told me that he could cruise at over 100 mph with the spats fitted.  Thanks for the photo Lyall.

It was sold to Peter T Rix of Masterton on 30/9/03 and he re-registered it as ZK-SVH on 9/4/14.  It is photo'd above at the 2017 RAANZ flyin at Rangiora, on 31/3/17, now with larger tyres.

ZK-SAH (c/n 06-07-51-501) was registered to Geoffrey R McGregor of Gisborne and was registered to him on 11/9/07.  I have never seen it and I do not have a record of who took the photo, but it does show really well the vortex generators on the top of the wings.

ZK-JNV3 (c/n 06-10-51-532) was built from a kit by Roger C Fergusson of Turakina, near Wanganui and was first registered to him on 23/6/08.  It has a 100 HP Rotax 912 engine Thanks for the photos Roger.

I will post about our Savannah XL and S models in my next post.

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