Friday 29 June 2018

Pipistrel Aircraft of New Zealand (3) - Tauruses

I include the Pipistrel Taurus here because it registered as Class 2 Microlight.  The Taurus is stated to be a side by side ultralight powered glider but I am not sure what this means as there are similar weight 2 seater gliders registered on the Glider Register.

Actually, the Taurus is quite interesting as it is a side by side 2 seater powered glider with a dual wheel undercarriage.  That makes it quite practical for self launching.  The original engine was a 50 HP two stroke, and this was followed by a 40 HP electric motor.  You can even get a glider trailer with solar panels which keeps the batteries charged!

The specifications for the Taurus are:  length 7.27 metres, wingspan 14.97 metres with an aspect ratio of 18.6 and a best glide ratio of 41 to 1.  Construction is all composite which gives an empty weight of 285 Kg (306 Kg for the Electro model), and the MAUW is 472 Kg.

We have had one of each engine type of Taurus in New Zealand to date.

ZK-GSU (c/n 035T503), a Taurus 503, was first registered to Ricco Legler of Russsell on 18/3/09.  Ownership changed quickly to the Kaahu Trust of Russell (also Ricco Legler) on 21/3/09.  The glider was sold to the Tauranga Gliding Club on 5/11/15 to make way for Ricco's next Taurus.

ZK-GEL2 (c/n 147 TAel), a Taurus Electro, was registered to the Kaahu Trust of Russell on 23/11/15.  It was based at Kaikohe where the above photo was taken.  Tragically the glider crashed near Kaikohe on 16/11/17 killing Ricco Legler.  ZK-GEL2 was cancelled from the register on 9/1/18.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Aah de Havilland! - Rapides at Milford Sound

I had to re-post this fantastic photo of four of Southern Scenic Air Services DH 89 Dragon Rapides on the airfield at Milford Sound in 1966.  The photo was posted by Eric Driver on the Kiwi Pilots Facebook page.

The front aircraft is ZK-BCP (c/n 6648) which was sold to Drages Museum in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia in 1975.  Over to you Blue Bus as this is a great subject for a historical post.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

A visitor from Wanaka at Ardmore 27-6-18

De Havilland DH 82A Tiger Moth ZK-ALJ msn 83499 of  NZ Flying Adventures Ltd of Wanaka arrived into Ardmore on Sunday (24/6) having left Wanaka last Thursday (21/6). The aircraft is here for maintenance and was disassembled this afternoon as the above photos show.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Pipistrel Aircraft of New Zealand (2) - Alpha Trainer

The Pipistrel Alpha Trainer is based on the Sinus/Virus family but with a shorter wing, a more sturdy under carriage with no spats, and made simpler for use as a training aircraft.  It is fitted with the same 80 HP Rotax 912UL engine.

Of all composite construction, it has a wingspan of 10.5 metres (34 feet 5 inches) and a length of 6.5 metres (21 feet 4 inches).  Empty weight is around  280 Kg (615 pounds) and MAUW is 544 Kg (1200 pounds).  With the Rotax 912UL the cruise speed is around 125 mph, while the stall is around 40 mph.

We have had only one example in New Zealand to date:

ZK-JAT2 (c/n 448 AT 912) was first registered to Seaside Flying Ltd of Greymouth (David McMillan) on 14/11/12.  It is photo'd above at Rangiora on 27/1/13.

On 17/8/15 ownership changed to Solo Wings Ltd of Tauranga, where it is photo'd in their colours on 11/2/17.

Monday 25 June 2018

Zenair CH 750 STOL ZK-VKG from Wanganui

Zenair CH 750 STOL ZK-VKG (c/n 75-8871) was built by Clyde Rychel of Mims in Florida and was first registered on 4/9/13 as N5970H.  It was imported into New Zealand in 2015 and registered to Deane Philip of Kaiapoi on 6/10/15.

Ownership changed to Harvey Falloon of Wanganui on 14/1/16.

The above image is a screen shot from a short video posted on Facebook by Zane Gracie.  It was taken at the flying associated with the Wanganui Aero Club Dawn Raid on Sunday 24/6/18.  Thanks Zane.

I have posted previously on Zenair CH 750 STOLs of New Zealand at:

Friday 22 June 2018

Pipistrel Aircraft of New Zealand (1) - Sinuses

Pipistrel d.o.o. is an aircraft manufacturer based in Ajdovscina, Slovenia which is close to the North Eastern Italian border at the head of the Adriatic Sea.  It was founded by Ivo Boscarel in 1989 producing powered hang gliders, although some had been made prior to 1989.  (This was back in the days of Yugoslavia when legal restrictions prevented such activity so the hang gliders were flown clandestinely at dusk and because of this and their shape they were given the nickname "bats", the latin name for which is pipistrelis  and this is where the name Pipistrel comes from).  In the mid 1990s when composite materials became more widely available, the company moved from manufacturing trikes into powered gliders and one of their earliest models was the 15 metre wingspan Sinus.

Development of the Sinus began in 1994 and it first flew in 1996.  Of all composite construction, it is a true motor glider with a cantilever wingspan of 14.97 metres (49 feet 1 inch) which gives a glide ratio of 30:1, and a length of 6.6 metres (21 feet 8 inches).  It has airbrakes like a glider and flaperons that can be reflexed to provide a more effecient wing.  It can be flown as a taildragger or as a tri-gear, and we have had both in New Zealand.  Empty weight is around  285 Kg (628 pounds) and MAUW is 544 Kg (1200 pounds).  The most common power plant is the Rotax 912 of 80 HP (with a fully feathering propellor for soaring), and with this engine the cruise speed is around 125 mph, while the stall is around 40 mph which makes it a quite remarkable aircraft.

We have had four Pipistrel Sinuses in New Zealand to date:

Our first Sinus was ZK-GPI (c/n 134SN91230204Kit49) which was first registered in New Zealand on 10/11/06 to Pipistrel Aircraft NZ Ltd of Kerikeri (Alan Clarke).  But it was a 2004 model that was first registered in the US on 20/4/04 to a Utah owner as N2759D.  It then migrated to Australia as 24-4482 at the end of 2005 before being flown across the Tasman from Coolangatta via Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island on 11/6/06 and then on to Kerikeri on 12/6/06.  The above photo was taken at Ardmore on 3/3/07.

It is still owned by the New Zealand agents, Pipistrel Aircraft NZ Ltd, and it has recently been refurbished by Solo Wings at Tauranga, where the above photo was taken on 14/10/16.

Our next Sinus was ZK-GIM2 (c/n 129S9120104) which was registered to Kester Holdings Ltd (Ian Kester and others) on 15/6/09.  It was also an ex Australian aircraft, having been first registered as VH-ZHL on 20/5/04.  Ownership changed to Colin Alexander and Adrian Cable of Tauranga on 21/4/11.  It suffered a couple of incidents including an undercarriage collapse at Tauranga on 14/2/11 and a forced landing at Te Horo on 9/12/12 resulting in it overturning, but it was repaired.

It was sold to George Taylor of Mossburn on 3/5/15 and it is photo'd in his ownership at the 2017 RAANZ flyin at Rangiora, on 31/3/17.

Next up was ZK-YPM (c/n 466) which was registered to Soichiro Fukutake of Auckland on 10/10/12.  It was quickly sold South, on 8/11/12,  to U Fly Ltd of Wanaka (Wayne and Ruth Allanson), and then under theirn continuing ownership, being transferred to U Fly Ltd of Haast on 16/4/14 and to Waiatoto River Safaris of Haast on 21/7/16.

It is photo'd here at Wanaka on 18/2/13, showing the different badging on the port and starboard sides.

The starboard side laurel leaves commemorate the Sinus winning several awards as detailed above while the NASA logo on the port side celebrates the winning of the majority of the categories for the 2007 NASA run PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) challenge run under the CAFE Foundation (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) criteria.

Actually the awards were won in the short (10 metre) wing version of the aircraft which is called the Virus.  Pipistrel has recently introduced a new model called the Sinus Flex with interchangeable wingtips so you can have a Sinus or a Virus.

And finally for now is ZK-RDZ2 (c/n 515SN912LSA) which was registered to the Dold Trust of Paihia on 5/4/13.  Look at that wingspan!  This aircraft is an LSA with a higher MAUW of 585 Kg.

I had never seen a photo of it but Roger Dold has kindly sent the above photos, taken at Kerikeri.  Thanks very much Roger.

Thursday 21 June 2018

New to Register at Ardmore 21-6-18

MBB BO 105 CBS-4 ZK-HZL msn 901 ex JA6752 which was registered to Oceania Aviation Ltd on 14-6-18 seen in the companies compound earlier this afternoon

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Campbell's 2nd Hand Chopper Sales.

Below we have a line up of three (there were more) of the ZK registered helicopters that were involved in Campbells'  2nd Hand Chopper Sale.
Note that the hard stands and the track in the foreground are made from PSP (perforated steel planking) aka Marston Matting which was used extensively during WWII - especially in the Pacific Islands for airfield construction. 
They are parked out front of the main hostel on Campbell Island. (52.56S  169.14E approx).
As a useless aside - this hostel was manufactured by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and installed for the IGY of 1957/58.
Photo source Here.
For those who enjoy scenic vistas - here we are looking approximately due east down Perseverance Harbour with Lyall Ridge extending from top left to Moubray (Castle) and Point near the Harbour entrance. On the extreme right is Shoal Point.
                      The year is 2001 and this is the Rat Eradication project on Campbell Island.
See more HERE
There are numerous other reports on 'Google'.

Monday 18 June 2018

Titan Mustang ZK-LSD at Matamata

Outside at Matamata we have our latest Titan Mustang, Mike Adams' ZK-LSD.  It looks great!

I have previously referred to this Rotax 912 powered example in my previous post on Titan T 51 Mustangs of New Zealand - the Rotax Mustangs HERE (scroll to the bottom).

It is painted as 412943 of the USAF from the Korean war but is named Millicent Rhodes.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Cobra Arrow Mk 2s of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand was the Cobra Arrow Mk 2 from Cobra Aviation out of Australia.  The Cobra Arrow was a design of Tom Wickers and was based on the Alvarez Polliwagen.  The Polliwagen was one of the first fibreglass homebuilt aircraft from the 1970s and one of the first to have the flowing curves of gliders.

The Cobra Arrow has a length of 19 feet (5.79 metres) and a wingspan of 28 feet (8.53 metres).  Empty weight is around 620 pounds (280Kg) and MAUW is 1200 pounds (544 Kg).  Construction is from a kit of pre-moulded composite parts.  Engines can be from around 100 HP upwards, and with this power the cruise speed is around 100 mph.

We have had two Cobra Aircraft Arrow Mk 2s in New Zealand:

ZK-JQX (c/n LW7062) was built by Peter D Warner of Waipukurau and it was first registered to him on 24/10/06.  It was powered by a Subaru engine (probably an EA 81) and its first flight was on 3/12/06.  On 28/9/08 ownership changed to Trevor Claughton of Hastings.  He moved to Auckland and I think from the photo that the aircraft is based at Mercer.  It is for sale on Trade Me, where I got the photo from.

And our second Cobra Arrow Mk 2 was ZK-RMJ (c/n 06) which was built by J M (Mike) Jones of Hawera and was first registered to him on 5/12/08.  This had a more powerful Mazda Viper rotary engine of around 165 HP with an Atom prop.  It first flew on 4/3/09 and it is photo'd above at Stratford on 29/9/09.  The aircraft moved to Kaitaia with Roger Jones, where the aircraft was withdrawn and its registration revoked on 24/6/15.  It was noted for sale at Whangarei in APRIL 2017 and I understand that it was sold to an owner in the Invercargill area, so we may see it back in the air again.

Saturday 16 June 2018

Alexandra today - 16-06-2018

Matt Hayes was at Alexandra today - Saturday 16-06-2018 and kindly sent the following photographs.
 Kawasaki BK117 B-2 (850 D2) ZK-HUP2  c/n 1031 of Otago Helicopters Ltd.
This BK appeared on the Japanese register back on 25-04-1989 as JA9942 and joined the NZ register with Wing and Rotor on 18-09-1998. 
It was then listed to the Order of St John Northern Region (SI) Helicopter Trust Board of Christchurch on 14-05-1999 and transferred over to Garden City Helicopters Ltd from 30-03-2000.
It was in Australia for the Olympic Games in 2000 and ferried back from Sydney to Ardmore on 17-12-2000.
It joined Otago Helicopters Ltd on 30-03-2001 - and as you can see is marked as the Otago Regional Rescue helicopter.

 The locally based Aero L29 ZK-JET3 (c/n 294892) of Double X Aviation Ltd was active again.
An earlier post HERE    
 Also on site was the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-MCI2 (c/n 208B1019) of Milford Sound Flights Ltd of Queenstown.
Its arrival in NZ was nicely covered on the MRC blog Here


The stratus lifted for a brief period this afternoon at Christchurch International Airport and I managed a couple of shots before it descended again.
Below we have the ATR-GIE ATR-212A (600) ZK-MVU (c/n 1500) which arrived in from Brisbane yesterday.
 See more on the MRC site at Here.
Awaiting its next nocturnal mission was the Boeing 747SP-21 N747NA (c/n 21441).
See more HERE  and here

Thursday 14 June 2018

Fantasy Air Allegro 2000(s) of New Zealand

We have had only one Fantasy Air Allegro 2000 in New Zealand (and we probably won't see any more as the variety of sport aircraft now available is huge, and I think the companies manufacturing it have gone bust).

The Fantasy Air Allegro was designed by Oldrich Olsansky and built by the Czech firm Fantasy Air from 1995.  When Fantasy Air folded in the early 2000s, production was transferred to the American dealer LSA America Inc (Allegro), who produced an improved version as the Allegro 2007.  But I think that this company is also now not in business.

Fuselage construction is of Kevlar reinforced fibreglass with a steel tube cockpit frame while the wings and tailplane are all aluminium.  The wing is tapered and gives a good glide ratio.  Its length is 6.1 metres (20 feet) and wingspan is 10.80 metres (35 feet 5 inches) with a wing area of 123 square feet.  Empty weight is around 275 Kg (606 pounds) and in NZ the MAUW is 518 Kg (1,142 pounds).  The engine is an 80 HP Rotax 912UL and this gives a good cruise speed of over 100 mph.  The cruise speed is around 40 mph.

Our only Fantasy Air Allegro 2000 is ZK-DCU (c/n 06-1612) which was first registered to David Colwill of Thames on 6/4/06.  It is photo'd above in a hangar at Matamata on 12/9/07.

It was sold to R & L Hills of Tuakau on 21/7/14, and it is for sale again on Trade Me, with very low hours.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

PA-28-181 Archer TX ZK-LJT

Taken from the Canterbury Aero Club balcony during the last patch of weak sunshine about a week ago is the Club's second new Piper PA-28-181 Archer TX ZK-LJT (c/n 2843918)

New Bell 505 at Ardmore 13-6-18

This countries fourth and newest Bell 505 ZK-IJB msn 65087 at Ardmore late afternoon today. This was registered to J.Butterfield of Christchurch on 6-6-18

A Bristell at the National Fieldays

The local BRM Aero agents, Anderson Aviation New Zealand have imported a brand new Bristell NG 5 aircraft for display at the National Fieldays at Rukuhia, which opened today.

I understand that this aircraft will be registered in New Zealand, which would make it out fifth Bristell NG 5.

Friday 8 June 2018

Glastar ZK-CIM.

Registered on Tuesday (5th June) to Barry Mogg of Rerewhakaaitu was the Stoddard-Hamilton Glastar ZK-CIM2 (c/n 5520).
This has been some years in the pipeline having first been registered to Tony Clarry in the UK as G-CTEC from 09-11-1999 using the Popular Flying Association allocated c/n PFA295-13260. Ownership passed to Barry on 28-11-2000 but little of the project had been completed before his move to NZ in 2003.
Its UK registration was finally cancelled on 06-04-2009 as exported to NZ.
We have two recent photos below showing it at Tauranga on 26-04-2018  by Richard Currie -
- and the lower pic from Hairy Mole Rat was taken on 28-05-2018.
It was inspected by the CAA at Solo Wings at Tauranga on Thursday.

Barry has operated the Cessna 177 Cardinal ZK-ENS since November of 2004 and the last I heard was that this had been withdrawn and the engine installed in the Glastar. He also had the Zlin Savage ZK-KPP between November 2014 and February of 2017.
And - Barry also has another interesting restoration project in the background.

To help complete the picture - the original ZK-CIM was a Piper PA-28-160 Cherokee C with the Canterbury Aero Club between 1965 and 1973.

Helicopters at North Shore Today 8-6-2018

It was a lovely blue sky day at North Shore today, and there were several helicopters out and about:

Bell 206L Long Ranger ZK-HMA2 is registered to J M Grove of Manakau.

Robinson R 44 Raven II ZK-IWP is registered to Heliflite Charter and Training Ltd of Papakura, and has had its previous Heliops Southland titles removed

R 44 Raven II ZK-IPM2 is owned by Twin Coast Helicopters 2007 Ltd of Whangarei.

Thursday 7 June 2018

BRM Aero Bristell NG5 ZK-CLA

BRM Aero Bristell NG5 Speed Wing ZK-CLA2 (c/n LAA  385-15183) joined our register on 06-06-2018 for Chris Lyle of Russell.
 This Rotax 912ULS powered aircraft first appeared on the UK register as G-STLL on 24-01-2013 with Faramarz Sayyah and Tony Palmer.
Its UK registration was cancelled on 19-02-2018 and it was noted at Tauranga on 13-04-2018 in the care of Solo Wings Ltd.
CAA checked it out today and it is seen above through the lens of Hairy Mole Rat.

This is the second allocation of the ZK-CLA registration. The first being on a Fletcher FU24 MkII with James Aviation Ltd from the mid-1960's.

Comper Swift ZK-UVC Cancelled 7-6-2018

The historic Comper Swift ZK-UVC (c/n S32/10) has been cancelled from the register today 7/6/18 as exported.  It has been returned back to Australia to resume its previous identity as VH-UVC for owner Roy Fox of Sydney.

This aircraft has a long history.  It was built as G-ACAG in 1932 by the Comper Aircraft Company of Hooton Park, Cheshire, and spent the next 2 years being demonstrated around Europe before being exported to Australia where it remained active until 1962.  It then had a series of owners in storage until being shipped to JEM Aviation of Omaka in January 2014 for a major rebuild.  The rebuild was extensive and is detailed at:

I think it is fair to say that the rebuild took longer than originally planned, but it was complete and taxiable by the time of the 2017 Classic Fighters airshow at Omaka in April 2017, as in the above photo.

It was registered as ZK-UVC on 7/11/16 to JEM Aviation.  

For test flying here it had to have its VH markings removed, so the above photo is of the actual ZK-UVC.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Titan Mustangs of New Zealand (4) - Honda Powered Mustangs

In line with the increasing power trend, most of our recent Titan Mustangs have been powered by the 3.5 litre Honda V6 engine which produces around 245 HP plus.  We have had four Honda V6 powered Titan Mustangs to date, as follows:

Marty Cantlon of Tauranga built his V6 Honda powered ZK-MPC (c/n M05XXX5OHK0062) alongside Mike Dean (ZK-MJD2) and it was first registered on 3/12/10.  Both the Mustangs live in Marty's and Mike's immaculate hangar at Tauranga airport where the above photo was taken on 27/1/12.

It is painted to represent the aircraft of Captain Richard A Peterson of the 357th Fighter Group USAAF who named his aircraft "Hurry Home Honey".  You can see more details above - click to enlarge.

The above photo shows Marty and passenger departing from the Mosquito KA 114 Airshow at Ardmore on 29/9/12.

You can see more on Marty's Mustang including a neat video at

The next Honda V6 powered Titan Mustang was ZK-WZY (c/n 0076) which was registered to Paul McSweeny of Pioneer Aero Ltd on 21/7/15.  Its colour scheme is based on the Mustang "Big Beautiful Doll" of the 84th Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Wing, USAAF but the details are fictitious.  The aircraft was built at Pioneer Aero for an Australian customer: David S Lane and his name is on the aircraft as well as "Lane's Victory"  The aircraft is named "Miss Marguerite" and the detailing is of a very high standard.  The registration ZK-WZY is stencilled on the rear fuselage under the tailplane.  It was supposed to have been exported to Australia but I understand that it is still at Ardmore.  The above photo with period DC3 and control tower, was taken at Ardmore on 3/12/15.

You can see more details on ZK-WZY HERE

Mike Crene has built several Titan Mustangs at his Kiwi Mustangs facility at Matamata, and he built and owned the original Suzuki engined ZK-DBG2 that I have detailed in an earlier post.  Mike's latest creation is another Mustang for himself, this time a high backed T 51B model with a Honda V6, that he registered ZK-DBG3 (c/n 0138) on 1/4/16.  It wears the kiwi roundel of Mike's first Titan Mustang and carries the serial KM06.  The above photo was taken at Matamata on 10/4/17.  Mike tells me that his new Mustang goes really well.  It certainly looks the part!

And the most recent Titan Mustang to be registered is ZK-MLE (c/n 0166) that was registered on 28/11/16 to Ivan Campbell of Rangiora.  It also has the Honda V6 engine and an 84 inch prop.  As in the above photo it is named "Smoke and Mirrors" on the starboard side

and "Hell's Belle" on the port side.  The aircraft is painted in the colours of the 325th Fighter Group, USAAF circa January 1945.  The above photos were taken at a gathering of six Titan Mustangs (and four Spitfire Mk 26Bs) at Ivan Campbell's Loburn Abbey base, on 22/4/17.  I understand that the aircraft is about to commence test flying.

We will undoubtably see more Titan Mustangs registered in New Zealand, with a Rotax 914 powered example getting close to flying at North Shore, and Ivan Campbell building another one.

And we will also see more powerful engines fitted, as I am aware of a couple of 6 litre 400 HP small block V8 Chevrolet engines in the country for fitting to Titan Mustangs.