Monday 31 December 2018

The Sport Aircraft Year 2018

As the 2018 year draws to a close, I thought I would look back at 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 33 new sport aircraft registered in 2018, plus 2 new sport helicopters (both registered as Class 2 microlights although I am sure that an Innovator Mosquito XE is a single seater) and 3 aircraft that were re-registered with new registrations plus one Turbulent that was returned to the register.  There were 6 first of types registered:  the Dynali Easy Flyer sport helicopter ZK-HHQ3, Pipistrel Virus ZK-TCB2, Airdrome Aircraft Fokker E III replica ZK-EII2, Just Aircraft Super STOL XL (an extended model with a 180 HP UL engine) ZK-DJG2, Bristol Scout Model D replica ZK-BTL2 and Vans RV 14 ZK-VNX.

2 gyroplanes were re-registered during the year but no new examples were registered.

14 sport aircraft were cancelled from the register including sadly 3 in fatal accidents being Vans RV 7 ZK-DVS, Pipistrel Taurus Electro motor glider ZK-GEL2 (that crashed in 2017), and Alpi Pioneer 300 ZK-TNB.  Another candidate for cancellation is the Vans RV 4 ZK-JRX which tragically crashed in December with the loss of 2 lives.

For me the highlight of the sport aircraft year had to be seeing Frank Parker flying his Le Rhone rotary engined Bristol Scout Model D replica at the NZ Warbirds Armistice Day centenary Open Day at Ardmore on 18 November along with the NZ Warbirds growing fleet of WW 1 replicas (with more to come).  And of course there were a few other interesting aircraft there as well.....

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