Wednesday 17 January 2018

Unregistered Homegrown Single Seat Homebuilt Aircraft of New Zealand (2) - The Williams Mark 2

Geoff Williams' second aircraft was built between October 1971 and January 1973.  It was then taken to the Hooper's Inlet airstrip where it first flew on 11 April 1973.  It was a high wing strut braced design that may have been based on the Tomboy model aircraft, and it probably used the VW engine from his earlier Mark 1 aircraft.

The Williams Mark 2 undergoing engine runs in early April 1973 outside the hangar that Geoff Williams built - you can see the old Fire Station doors forming the rear wall.
The first flight on 11 April 1973.  

 The aircraft flew well and quite a few flights were made around the Otago Peninsula.

Some of the flights resulted in forced landings with minor damage.  The above photo taken on Allans Beach on 7 June 1973 shows some temporary repairs after a forced landing including the windscreen being held in place by rope!

After further repairs Geoff Williams flew his Mark 2 aircraft further afield in 1974 and it is photo'd above tied down at Jardine's strip under the shadow of the Remakables on 4 January 1974.

And this colour photo of the aircraft was taken at Ruddenclau's airstrip at Five Rivers on 22 March 1974.  It can be seen that it is silver with a red fin and green rudder.  That is Geoff Williams in the brown jersey.

Following these flights the CAD made efforts to track down Geoff Williams and threatened him with prosecution, with the result that he signed a document to the effect that he would no longer fly this aircraft — and he never did. It was in a dismantled state in the hangar at Hooper’s Inlet in 1977, along with his first aircraft, and later both were burnt. In later years the hangar became dilapidated and, stripped of its roof and walls, it eventually collapsed.

So ended the Williams Mark 2, but Geoff Williams was not finished with building aircraft yet!


  1. I was in the ATC with Geoff in the mid 60's early 70's. Apart from his "aviation" interest he also produced an automatic .22 sub machine gun and played with a few things which went "bang". (smaller exploding hot air balloons etc) I did get see one of his aircraft in his hanger down the bay minus its engine. I provided a few "stories" involving Geoff to his sister a year or so ago. His father Rod was a very fine man who commanded Oamaru ATC for years, (travelling weekly from Dunedin) before becoming CO of the new Mosgiel unit in the mid 60's.(I was one of the first cadets in this squadron along with Geoff)
    Geoff was somewhat of pioneer in the "micro-light" field, a real character who would have fitted nicely in the period following the Wright brothers first flights!
    Bill Mannix - Nelson

  2. Thanks very much for your comments Bill. It is really interesting to me that Geoff Williams built and flew all his aircraft not in total secrecy but that he was able to carry on for as long as he did. I wonder how many people knew about his exploits? Would you be able to comment Bill?

    I have just posted about Geoff's Mark 3 aircraft on the blog, and I will go on to post about his Mark 4.

    I have written somewhat more detailed articles on Geoff and his aircrafr in NZ Aviation news and Sport Flying magazine. Send me an email at if you are interested in discussing more about Geoff Williams.