Sunday 11 February 2018

Gere Sport Biplanes of New Zealand Updated

Thanks to Stan Smith we now have a good history of the Gere Sport biplane at MOTAT.  However, TravelAdastra was able to add some more details which I have added into the story:

The MOTAT Gere Sport was started as a project at Greenmeadows in Hawkes Bay prior to WW 2, and it was sold in 1948, substantially complete, to an owner at Waipukurau who intended to finish the project, but this never happened.  This would have been our first post WW 2 homebuilt aircraft if it had been completed (not counting the Savage Special and the Lincoln Sport that were pre-WW 2 aircraft).

Stan bought the airframe from a Mr Corban in Waipukurau in the mid 1960s and at that stage it was complete but without an engine or instruments.  He stored it at Wellington with his various other aircraft and when he shifted to Auckland in 1965 he arranged a deal whereby all his aircraft were trucked from Wellington to Auckland (probably in a TEAL truck which did a weekly Auckland-Wellington-Auckland run), on the basis that he donate an aircraft to MOTAT.  This deal involved a Mr Donohue who worked for TEAL and was also involved with MOTAT.  So the Gere Sport was donated to MOTAT by Stan.

The aircraft was restored by MOTAT volunteers who installed a 3 cylinder Szekely radial engine, which was not the original engine (and which had been imported for a Lincoln Sportsplane that was not completed).  Some years later Robbie Gentry discovered a Bristol Cherub aircraft engine at Waipukurau and Stan thinks that this may have been the engine that was to power the Gere.

Thanks very much for the information Stan and TravelAdastra.

But that is not the sum of our Gere Sport biplanes as there is another one flying in rural North Canterbury:

ZK-EFZ2 (c/n BEL-8) was built by Alan Belworthy of Cust, and was first registered to AB and EF Belworthy on 29/11/10.  From the c/n it is the eighth aircraft built by the Belworthys (Alan and Evan).

Alan told me that he was browsing through old American books on homebuilt aircraft and he stumbled across the plans for the Gere sport.  This must have been the 1933 Edition of Modern Mechanix and Inventions magazine which published plans for the Gere (and also for the Pietenpol Aircamper).  ZK-EFZ2 was originally powered by a 2 litre Cortina engine but it has been re-engined with a 2.2 litre Toyota Hilux engine and more recently a new cowling has been added to replace the original ring cowling.  Evan told me that it has successfully flown with the new cowling and it is quietly clocking up hours.  The aircraft is painted in a 1930's US Navy Boeing scheme of the time.

Thanks to Evan Belworthy for the photo, which was taken at Cust.


  1. Details regarding the Gere are substantially correct however it was fitted with a Bristol Cherub engine by the builder and it was sold to an orchardist at Hastings, not Waipukurau

    1. Hi Anonymous I am trying to get the story correct! Do you know the name of the original builder and laso the Hastings orchardist? You can email me on