Tuesday 8 August 2017

Reims-Cessna FA337F ZK-SVY

A first of type (by manufacturer) has reached the NZ register in the form of aptly registered Reims-Cessna FA337F Super Skymaster ZK-SVY. The "twin" was delivered across the Tasman Sea under its previous marks of VH-FCO arriving into Kerikeri From 10 June from Norfolk Island having made the trip from the Gold Coast to Lord Howe Island 08 June then to Norfolk 09 June. It obviously made its way south to Wanaka where it has undergone NZ certification and was registered to Landpro Ltd of Cromwell on 31 July. 

Thanks to Blue Bus for this insightful information:

Cessna acquired 49% of Avions Max Holste in France in February 1960 and renamed it Reims Aviation SA and promptly began to assemble Cessna aircraft for the European and Middle East market - initially from kits supplied by Cessna Wichita but full production was soon established. A wide range of Cessna models were built including the F150F to F150M, FA150K and L, FRA150L and M, F152, FA152, FP172, F172D through to F172P, FR172E to FR172K, F177G, F182P and Q, FR182 and the F337E through to F337H and the FP337!

The they developed the Reims Rocket - an uprated 172 - followed by the F406 Caravan II in conjunction with Cessna based on the C404 but with Pratt and Whitney PT6A turbine engines.

It appears the French factory produced 24 F337E, 31 F337F, 29 F337G, 22 FT337G, 1 F337H and 1 FP337H. The they built the mini role FTB337G for the military with Robertson STOL modifications, wing hard points and uprated engines. 

This particular example, C/N 0045, was initially allocated but not take up the marks N1785M. It appeared as F-OCQO in October 1971with Ste. Commerciale d'Enterprises Automobile Aerienne et Aquatique of Magenta/Noumea, New Caledonia.  In April 2006 it became VH-FCO/2 listed with Pentacost Pacific Australia Pty Ltd of Chatswood, NSW for operation by Central Highland Air Transport Pty Ltd from their strip north of Emerald, QLD. 

Ownership details show it transferred to one of the bosses of CHAT in August 2009 and when listed for sale it had 3400 airframe hours. 

At Wanaka 07 August 2017, S Bunting photo

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