Wednesday 1 November 2017

Sigma Aircraft Sigma-4s of New Zealand

We haven't had many Russian civil aircraft types in New Zealand, but the first new type of sport aircraft to be registered in 2006 was one such type.  There have not been very many Sigma Aircraft Sigma-4s built but we have had four of them on our register.

The distinctive design of the Sigma-4 was commenced in 1991.  One of the design requirements was to keep the propeller high to allow for operations from rough ground, and the aircraft can also be fitted with floats or skis.  The suspended pod gives great visibility but the performance is only average.  Construction is of metal framing with composite skins.  Specifications are:  length 6.19 metres (20 feet 4 inches), wingspan 9.8 metres (32 feet 2 inches) and the constant chord wing area is 117 square feet.  Empty weight is around 384 Kg (847 pounds) and MAUW is 544 Kg (1,200 pounds).  With a 100 HP Rotax ULS engine the cruise speed is only around 80 mph, while the stall speed is around 47 mph.

All of our four Sigma-4 aircraft were registered to Maxim Vassiliev of Auckland but were imported by his company East Sea Company Ltd that was registered in Christchurch, and all were assembled at Rangiora.

ZK-JQF2 (c/n 08) was registered on 26/1/06.  It was fitted with a ballistic recovery parachute and is photo'd above at Rangiora on 14/10/06.  It was exported to Australia in 2007 where it became 24-5095.  Its New Zealand registration was cancelled on 21/6/07.

ZK-JRC2 (c/n 09) was registered on 24/5/07.  On 10/1/09 it was sold to Harry C Devonish of Christchurch and it is still owned by him.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 7/11/09.

ZK-JRN (c/n 10) was also registered on 24/5/07 but it was not assembled until later, being completed in January 2009.  It is photo'd above at the 2009 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton, on 7/2/09 with a pair of floats to fit it alongside but I am not sure if it ever flew on the floats.  On 23/3/09 it was sold to Mike Gray and Philip Walsh of Blenheim, and Mike Gray took ownership on 28/10/10.

ZK-SRN (c/n 11) was registered on 10/12/09.  On 1/7/13 ownership transferred to K J Gaitely of Auckland.  It is photo'd above at North Shore on 28/1/13.  On 12/12/16 ownership transferred South again, to Ian J Close of Christchurch.

I think that we have seen our quota of Sigma-4s in New Zealand and are unlikely to see any more.

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