Sunday 31 December 2017

The Sport Aircraft Year 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, I thought I would look back on the sport aircraft year briefly (There is a problem with just what is a sport aircraft but I do not include most rag and tube microlights in the following):

By my reckoning there were 31 new sport aircraft registered including first of types the SPA Panther ZK-PMD2, Zlin Shock Cub ZK-EUP2, Morgan 10 Cheyenne ZK-CZJ2, RK Jungster ZK-DDA2 and Techpro Merlin ZK-MEF, Ariane Swift (a potentially foot launched glider) ZK-LAJ and our first Technam P2002 Sierra Mk II ZK-EVE2.

2 new amateur built helicopters were registered.

5 sport aircraft were returned to the register.

6 sport aircraft had their registrations changed.

8 gyrocopters were registered including one new type - the Delta Trikes J-RO ZK-RAC3.

11 sport aircraft were cancelled from the register including sadly 3 in fatal accidents being Titan Mustang ZK-SMF, Rans S 6 ZK-TJE2 and Rans S 19 ZK-MBX.  And 2 gyropcopters were cancelled including Bensen B8M ZK-OOZ which was involved in a fatal accident.

The weather wasn't kind to airshows/flyins with both the Wings Over Wairarapa and Black Sands Flyin being cancelled, and Classic Fighters dodged a bullet with a weather bomb just sliding by.  However I thought that Classic Fighters was great, and so was the RAANZ Flyin at Rangiora which was blessed with settled weather over the whole country for the whole weekend, resulting in a great attendance of visiting aircraft.

I reckon the highlight of the year was Graeme Frew's exploits at Reno.

And another highlight for me was the gathering of 4 Supermarine Spitfire Mk 26's at Loburn Abbey.  ZK-SPT, ZK-MEB, ZK-EFY2 (it was registered G-CENI then) and ZK-CGV2.  I wish I could have been there.

And finally, a mystery - Does anyone know anything about the Zephyr Airworks Mule SPA ZK-UZA, that is ex N302ZX and was registered to Zephyr Airworks LLC of Wellington in October 2017?


  1. You might have broken a huge story if you had searched the FAA database for the ex-US tail number (maybe you did and the entry was already deleted). ZK-UZA is the prototype electric VTOL flight test vehicle built by Zee Aero in the U.S. Video of the model was released today.

  2. Hello there Ben B. I only found conflicting information about this back in October when it was registered in NZ and with a c/n of 002 I did not even consider it being a prototype.
    This is what I wrote at the time.
    "Little is known about the Zephyr Airworks Mules SPA as we go to press except that it was previously certified as N302XZ to Kitty Hawk Corporation of Mountain View California from 02-08-2017. One source suggests a rotorcraft whilst another is an electric powered aircraft. Time will tell."