Friday 29 September 2017

Papa 51 Thunder Mustang(s) of New Zealand

The next type to come along in 2005 was a pretty spectacular offering!  I have been working my way through all of our sport aircraft and most of them were 80 to 150 HP powered, but the Thunder Mustang was in a class of its own - a 601 cubic inch (9.85 litre) Falconer V 12 producing 640 HP in a 3,200 pound MAUW aircraft which gives original Mustang equalling performance up to 10,000 feet, and a faster rate of climb of up to 5,500 feet per minute!  It is a homebuilt, built from a kit and it is registered in New Zealand as an Amateur Built Aircraft.

The Thunder Mustang was the creation of Dan Denny (of the Denny Kitfox) who talked Ryan Falconer into producing an aircraft version of his Indy 500 V 12 racing engine to mate with the all carbon fibre airframe.  The fuselage is 3/4 scale of a full size Mustang with a slightly wider than scale cockpit, and the wings are 5/8 scale.  A total of 37 kits were produced before production ceased in 1999, but there have been recent moves to re-start production and also to produce a Long Nose Thunder Mustang with a 650 SHP turboprop engine.

Our Thunder Mustang was built in South Africa by F Jordaan and was first registered there as ZU-TMG on 29/4/04, and then it was exported to New Zealand.

It was registered here as ZK-TMG2 (c/n 018) on 23/2/05 to the Kiwi Thunder Group of Auckland, and it was assembled at Ardmore wher this photo was taken on 5/3/05.

Again at Ardmore, on 12/3/05 which was the date of its first flight I think.  The pilot is Brian Gault.

 At the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, on 6/2/10, with different registration lettering.

It has worn several variations of sponsor's logos, above with Lucas Slick Mist logos at Wanaka on 6/4/12. This front quarter shot shows the quite small wingspan well.

And finally a shot showing the impressive all aluminium Falconer V 12 engine.

ZK-TMG2 has been advertised for sale for quite some time, but with no buyers to date.  I don't think it has flown much in recent times.

There is a nice You Tube video of ZK-TMG at Tokoroa at:

Thursday 28 September 2017

South African Visitor at Ardmore 27-9-1

Vans RV-10 ZU-IHF msn 41582 which is on an around the world flight flew into Ardmore from Auckland yesterday afternoon. It arrived at Auckland from PagoPago on the evening of September 20th 2017.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

ATEC Zephyr 2000(s) of New Zealand

The first new sport aircraft type to be registered in New Zealand in 2005 was the ATEC Zephyr 2000, of which we have also had a lone example.

The ATEC Zephyr was designed in the Czech Republic by Oldrich Olansky to fit in with FAI microlight rules, and it was produced by ATEC v.o.s. at Libice nad Cidlinou, a village in central Bohemia.  The composite fuselage has wooden bulkheads and the plywood wings have a composite spar and leading edge and are fabric covered.

The Zephyr has a length of  6.2 metres (20 feet 4 inches) and a wingspan of 9.6 metres (31 feet 6 inches) with a wing area of 108 square feet.  Empty weight is around 275 Kg (606 pounds) and MAUW is 472 Kg (1,042 pounds) which gives it a rather small payload when fully fuelled..  The engine was a Rotax 912ULS of 100 HP which gave a respectable cruise of around 116 knots (134 mph), and the stall speed was 35 knots (40 mph).

The Zephyr has been superceded by the ATEC Faeta.

Our first and only Zephyr was ZK-ZFR (c/n Z1070804S) was first registered on 27/1/05 to Kevin Hartley of Auckland, with ownership transferring to Kevin's company Hyflyte Aviation Ltd on 11/2/05.  Its first flight here was on 30/4/05, and it is photo'd above at the 2006 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, on 5/2/06.

A later shot of it at home base North Shore airfield on 22/5/10.  It suffered a landing accident on arrival at the 2011 Black Sands flyin at Raglan on 12/11/11.  I think it was repaired after that accident and it was then exported to points unknown with its registration being cancelled on 31/5/13.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Hatz Biplane(s) of New Zealand

The last new type of sport aircraft to be registered in 2004 was the Hatz Biplane, of which we have had a lone example.

The Hatz CB 1 Biplane was designed by John Hatz of Merrill, Wisconsin in 1968 and was modelled as a smaller version of the Waco Series F biplane.  As can be seen in the photos it is a tandem 2 seater and it has dual controls.  It has a steel tube fuselage and wooden wings as was pretty standard for that era of amateur built aircraft.  It has spawned several derivatives including the Hatz Classic, the Kelly D and the Hatz Bantam, which is a good sign that it was a nice aircraft.

The Hatz CB 1 has a length of 5.74 metres (18 feet 10 inches) and a wingspan of 7.72 metres (25 feet 4 inches) with a wing area of 178 square feet.  Empty weight is among the lightest for a 2 seat biplane at around 386 Kg (850 pounds) and MAUW is 658 Kg (1,450 pounds).  Engines can be from 100 to 150 HP with commensurate performance, cruising in the 80 - 100 mph range, and stalling around 40 mph.  Several overseas examples have been fitted with radial engines which look great.

ZK-PEC (c/n 245) was built by Peter E Carpenter of Auckland and was first registered to him on 29/11/04.  It is photo'd above at the 2006 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga on 5/2/06 where it was one of the first "registered colour scheme" aircraft that I had seen (with no registration painted on).  On 23/2/09 ownership changed to M E Vodane of Ardmore.

And then on 25/1/10 it was purchased by John C Martin of Tauranga.  It is photo'd above in John's hangar at Tauranga airport on 11/2/17 where it now wears "Buzzard Airlines" script (along with John's other aircraft (see ).

We may not see any more of these neat little aircraft here, although I have an idea that one was being built in the Waikato.  However kits and plans are still available.

Monday 25 September 2017

A few helicopters...

Noted at Ardmore today was the Agusta A109E ZK-IAW which has yet to be officially registered with CAA. This was formerly VH-NPX which has been in NZ since mid 2016.

Flying around was R44 ZK-ITH which moved onto a Huntly owner this month,  while visiting the Pauanui Waterways was Te Awamutu based R44 ZK-IVY.

The first ZK-CAA.

The first allocation of the letters ZK-CAA were given to the Cessna 172B c/n 48413.
This had been allocated N7913X by Cessna Aircraft on the production line.
It was shipped out to NZ and registered as ZK-CAA on 06-04-1961 to Rural Aviation Ltd at New Plymouth.
Purchased by the Southland Aero Club of Invercargill it was delivered on 06-05-1961.
It was damaged soon after - either on the 28th or 29th of June 1961.
 Here we see two shots of it at Christchurch on 21-08-1964 wearing a small Southland Aero Club insignia - port side only - forward of the cockpit.
 Aircraft Hire Ltd of Masterton picked it up some time in 1964 and leased it to the Auckland Flying School Ltd and then the Palmerston North Flying School.
 It is seen above in Auckland Flying School Ltd colours at Palmerston North on 01-05-1966, although ownership had been transferred to H I Dimock of Nelson on 18-04-1966. 
It is seen below at Wellington two days later - with no script on starboard side - but still with the old Southland Aero Club sticker on port side.
 Below at Wellington on 30-10-1970 with the Piaggio P166B ZK-DAI beyond.
Below is a shot of her at Palmerston North taken by Allan Wooller at Palmerston North in September of 1974.
 Ownership moved to David and Jill Phillips of Wellington on 27-01-1983 and it is seen below in the shelter of the Aero Club hangar at Wellington on 16-04-1984.
I seen to recall some connection with 'Skyferry' about this time.
 By 17-09-1985 ownership was with J G Headifen, R S Ginders and W A Lamb of Christchurch; and then on to N B Cooper of Springbank, Rangiora from 16-02-1987.
M J Saunders of Rotorua listed it from 03-10-1988 and we see it below at Rotorua on 17-04-1991.
 Several owners followed:
Neville Cameron of Coromandel from 14-05-1992.
S W T Simpson of Cambridge from 09-09-1992.
G P & T Smallfield of Thames from 22-09-1999,
and then Murray R Smith of Te Awamutu from 15-07-2003.
Below - I caught it at Wigram on 25-01-2004.
 Then, below,  at Wanaka on 02-04-2010.
 At Loburn Abbey on 27-01-2012.
 Below - Keith Morris noted it at Raglan on 02-11-2013.
 Finally we see it below - thanks to Darryn Bennett -  at Tauranga on 29-07-2014.
I suspect on SID's inspection. 
(Supplementary Inspection Documents which had a compliance date of July 2014)
Did it pass ?
I assume not as it was cancelled from our register as withdrawn on 28-10-2015.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Of ZKs MEL and CCV (with TVB thrown in)

As Richard Currie has posted from Pauanui, Technam P2002 JF Sierra ZK-MEL has recently been re-registered as ZK-CCV2.  But there is a bit more of a story here.

This aircraft (c/n 007) was sold to Martin E Lobb of Rotorua on 19/17/11 and its registration changed to ZK-MEL the next day.  Martin Lobb has since moved to Tauranga where the aircraft is currently based.  It is photo'd above at Taumarunui on 5/2/17.

However it was originally registered on 20/12/04 as ZK-ROZ to Auckland Flight Training of Ardmore, where it is photo'd on 5/3/05.

Back then there were a couple of identically painted Tecnam Sierra JFs at Ardmore, the second one being ZK-TVB2 (c/n 009), as in this photo taken on 7/5/05.  Can anyone confirm what the Tecnam Arrows were?  (as painted on their tails).  The first ZK-TVB was also a Tecnam (a P 92J Echo model which was the first Tecnam imported into New Zealand, in October 1997).

I understand that ZK-MEL has been re-registered as ZK-CCV2 to allow the Vans RV 7A VH-SDG (that flew across the Tasman to Tauranga on 31/8/17), to be registered as ZK-MEL2.

And of course the first ZK-CCV way back in 1962 was an Auster Agricola.  See

Saturday 23 September 2017


A warm 20deg spring day brought a variety of regional visitors into Pauanui including the newly reregistered (September 11) Tecnam P2002,  ZK-CCV,  a regular visitor in its previous guise as ZK-MEL.

From Ardmore came the Airline Flying Club's Warrior II ZK-KAT,  and Silentium 172 diesel powered 172R ZK-TAQ from the Ardmore Flying School.

Magnaman in Auckland

Three photos from Magnaman taken today 23-092917.
 Above we see the 'earthrounder' Vans RV10 ZU-IHF parked up at Auckland International Airport. Check out MRC's coverage Here.
 Over at Ardmore we have the Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP ZK-CAA2 (c/n 172S10397).
This is one of a batch of ex Royal Queensland Aero Club 172's that have recently arrived in NZ.
Still not officiall on our register - it was ferried over from Archerfield through Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island on 19-08-2017 and then on to Kerikeri and Ardmore on the 20th.
The Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee Archer II ZK-EBQ (c/n 28-7690458) was first registered in NZ to Airwork (NZ) Ltd at Ardmore on 21-10-1976 having been built in the States as N9633N. 
It took up with the Southern Districts Aero Club at Gore on 03-03-1977 until becoming part of the Southland Aviation College Ltd on 01-12-1999.
This in turn became Southern Wings Ltd on 22-02-2001.
Southern Wings set up an Ardmore branch in Auggust of 2014.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Miles Messenger ZK-AKE at North Shore 20-9-2017

At North Shore airfield yesterday Bruce Lynch was working on his Miles M 38 Messenger 2A ZK-AKE2 .

ZK-AKE2 (c/n 6707) is not what you might first assume.  It is in fact ex G-AKEZ which was built in 1947.  It was cancelled from the UK register on 26/1/06 and exported to New Zealand where Bruce Lynch has been restoring it, and as can be seen it is getting pretty close.

The registration ZK-AKE is accurate for the period, as shown in this photo of the original Tiger Moth ZK-AKE (c/n DHNZ 68) taken at Rongotai in May 1947.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Slingsby Firefly ZK-TZX from North Shore Today 20-9-2017

The weather over Auckland was also spring-like today, so a trip up to North Shore Airfield was in order.  When I was there I bumped into Trevor Dance who was just pulling out his Slingsby T 67 Firefly ZK-TZX out of the hangar to go flying, and he had a spare seat.....

ZK-TZX (c/n 2050) on the ramp prior to start-up.

Lined up on Runway 21.

Climbing out over Whangaparaoa with Stillwater in the foreground.

Looking up Bon Accord Harbour on Kawau Island with the Coromandel in the distance.

The Spirit of New Zealand anchored off Snell's Beach and in the lee of Kawau Island.

And on finals for North Shore, it's a pretty narrow sealed strip.

Thanks very much for the flight Trevor.  It was great.


Spring finally arrived in Pauanui today and with it came a variety of visitors,  including a flock of 4 gyrocopters up for coffee from Tauranga.  These comprised 2 frequent visitors, yellowAutogyro MTO's ZK-RJW & UYM,  plus Magni Gyro ZK-PLW and the Delta Trikes J-RO ZK-RAC.

Also flying for coffee was the Storch S ZK-JES from Whangarei

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Report from Kaikoura

If you are into motor vehicles - then the place to have been last weekend was the 'Kaikoura Hop'.
My learned colleague 'CMM' - with Mrs CMM - were there and have forwarded the following photographs.
The 'Hop' is based in the Kaikoura Racecourse and during the weekend Kaikoura Helicopters Ltd operated their Robinson R44 Clipper II ZK-HLE2 (c/n 10466) and their Aerospatiale A 350 BA ZK-HJV3 (c/n 2846) from there offering scenic flights.
A little further North at Hapuku - just where SH1 rejoins the coast - is the depot for the helicopters supporting the road/rail earthquake repairs up the Coast.

 Parked up there were the South Pacific Helicopters (2016) Ltd's Bell 206B JetRanger II ZK-HBO2 (c/n 570).
 The Alpine Group Ltd's Aerospatiale AS 350 B2 ZK-HRM2 (c/n 2721).
And the Eurocopter EC 120 B ZK-IFR2 (c/n 1312) of South Pacific Helicopters (2016) Ltd.