Tuesday 17 April 2018

Fly Synthesis Storch's of New Zealand

It is time to get back to the series of homebuilt and sports aircraft of New Zealand, with the Fly Synthesis Storch, with the first of type being first registered here in February 2006.

The Fly Synthesis Storch first appeared in 1990 and is produced by Italian company Fly Synthesis S.r.l. of Mortegliano in the North East of Italy.  They also produce a range of other ultralight aircraft including the Wallaby, Synchro, Catalina and the Texan (of which we have had several of the latter registered in New Zealand).  The Storch was quite ground breaking for its time and features a composite forward fuselage with a steel cage and an aluminium tailboom.  The wings and empenage are metal.  It started off with a longer wing and flaperons, but the later S models (that we have in New Zealand) have a shorter wing with flaps and ailerons).  The composite forward fuselage with its large glazed area gives great views from the aircraft.

The Storch S has a length of 5.75 metres (18 feet 10 inches) and a wingspan of 8.70 metres (28 feet 7 inches).  The wing area is 127 square feet.  Empty weight is around 275 Kg (606 pounds) and MAUW is 449 Kg (990 pounds).  With an 80 HP Rotax UL engine the cruise speed is around 115 mph, while the stall speed is 40 mph.

We have had 6 Fly Synthesis Storchs in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our first Storch S was ZK-FOS2 (c/n 322A-378) which was first registered to the Northern Wairoa Aero Club on 17/2/06.  The above photo was taken at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga, the first time I had ever seen a Fly Synthesis Storch.

The Northern Wairoa Aero Club became the Dargaville Aero Club and its long time chief flying instructor is Murray Foster hence the registration.  It is photo'd above at home at Dargaville.  The Dargaville Aero Club has had a policy of keeping their training aircraft for around 1500 hours or so before selling them and replacing them, in their case with another Storch.  In line with this policy it was sold to Rodger L Fortune of Invercargill on 10/4/11.

Our second Storch S was ZK-STK (c/n 411-355A) which was registered to G M McGreggor of Gisborne on 7/3/07.  I understand that this aircraft had folding wings.  It is photo'd above at what must have been the 2007 Black Sands flyin at Raglan.  It was damaged in a heavy landing at Gisborne on 9/11/08 and was written off on 14/10/09.

Next up was ZK-SAQ2 (c/n 420A-364) which was registered to the Sport Aircraft Corporation of Hamilton on 22/8/07 (the SAC is one of our Microlight administration organisations).  It was operated in a training role at Te Kowhai until it was damaged after it stalled on a go around and hit a fence on 17/9/13.  The above photo was taken at Paul Hopper's old strip at Silverdale on 14/4/12, during the Northland Microlight Club's 2012 Poker Run.

It was written off and the damaged airframe sold to Brian Taylor of Whnagarei on 27/6/14.  He rebuilt the aircraft and it flew again on 17/9/14.  It is photo'd above at Dargaville on 25/4/15.  It was sold to the Feilding Flying Club on 1/4/16 and I think it now wears their titles.

Our fourth Storch S was ZK-JES2 (c/n 374A-340) which was registered to Helinorth Agricultural Ltd (Allan Jessop, hence the registration), of Whangarei on 13/12/07.  It is photo'd above at the 2008 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.

On 11/3/11 it was sold to the Dargaville Aero Club and it is photo'd above at their base Dargaville on 31/8/12.  It had an adventurous time on line with damage on 21/8/11, 13/12/12 finally on 2/10/13 when it overturned in a forced landing on a farm near Dargaville.  Following this it was rebuilt by club members and ownership changed to Allan Jessop of Whangarei on on 6/7/14.  He sold it to Theunis van Loggerenberg of Whangarei on 7/5/15 and in turn he sold the aircraft on 30/10/17 to The Storch Syndicate of Whitianga.

After a gap of several years, the Dargaville Aero Club registered another Storch.  This was ZK-DAQ2 (c/n FIBC4980D22DD - I don't know where that came from!) which was first registered on 17/4/14.  It is photo'd above by jean210 very early on in its life at Dargaville, on 24/4/14.

Another photo of the aircraft at its Dargaville base more recently, on 6/5/16.  It is a nice aircraft to fly.

And finally for now, another Storch S was imported from Australia where it had been registered 24-5068 on the Microlight register since 17/5/07.  It was registered here as ZK-KAD2 on 13/4/16 to Aero Australasia Ltd (Charl Marais) of Hamilton.  It is based at Te Kowhai where the above photo was taken on 1/12/16.

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