Thursday 31 December 2020

A Dormoy Bathtub at Kaipara Flats

A few weeks ago I had to pop out the Kaipara Flats airfield at the time that the local model aircraft club was holding a big flyin and Christmas BBQ.  There were quite a few models there and a lot of flying was going on as it was a really nice day.  There was one really impressive large scale model there that took my fancy as it reminded me a bit of the Milholland Legal Eagle ZK-LLX that I have recently posted about:

It was a model of the Dormoy Bathtub from the 1924 air racing scene.  It was designed by Etienne Dormoy who was based at McCook Field in Dayton Ohio and the aircraft was powered by a modified Henderson motorcycle engine.  Etienne Dormoy flew his Bathtub in the 1924 National Air Races at Dayton and came in second in a race for light aircraft with a payload of 150 pounds and an engine displacement of no more the 80 cubic inches (20 HP in those days).  This sounds impressive but there were only two finishers from a starting field of eight!

The model Dormoy Bathtub is about 1/4 scale and it flew really well.  It was built by the late Ted Hatton of Matakana.  

I reckon it is really neat!

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Baron ZK-KJV at Christchurch.

 Snapped in the circuit at Christchurch by Tony McFarlin on 29-12-2020 was the Beechcraft B58 Baron ZK-KJV (c/n TH 1384).

Of 1984 vintage and built as N6698Z it moved to Australia to become VH-KJV in March of 2004 and as such was ferried into Kerikeri and Ardmore on 20 -04-2018.
It became ZK-KJV on 05-09-2018 but remained listed with its Australian operator Tex Onsite Pty Ltd until registered with Geoff Horsburgh of Napier from 08-02-2020.
Ownership transferred to Enfield Holdings Ltd of Momona in Mid-October.

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Tiger Moth ZK-SSA flies to a new home today

  De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth ZK-SSA c/n DHA 111 was delivered to its new home at Rangiora today.
It was accompanied on its flight from Motueka, with a stop at Lake Station, and to Rangiora by the new owners Cessna 172S ZK-TZR2.
It was intercepted in the Hanmer area by the Auster J1B ZK-AYU and the Piper PA-18-150 ZK-BNJ.
Above a shot taken by Aaron Murphy of ZK-SSA taken from the Cub ZK-BNJ.

                     ZK-SSA arriving at Rangiora this afternoon with new owner in the front seat.

Monday 28 December 2020

Whangarei Today 28-12-2020

I travelled up to Whangarei today, by car as the wind was forecast to be too strong for the Jodel.  And so it turned out to be, managing quite a stiff crosswind to both of the runways. 

Don McMillan's elderly Mooney M20C ZK-DBK was outside the Northland Aviation hangar.  It has a list of places it has visited along the fuselage.

While on the other side of the field Colin Ashby's Jabiru J 230 ZK-PSH was outside his new home that has access to the airfield as well as views over the harbour.

Whitianga Fly In

The Mercury Bay Aero Club at Whitianga today hosted their annual Xmas fly in with some 50 aircraft in attendance on a stunning day.   Attracting the most attention was Peter Walton's Airdrome Airplanes Fokker DR1 Triplane replica ZK-CCO2 which was registered back in January this year.  In the background of the photo is Gavin Magill's Sopwith Camel replica making good progress.

The Mercury Bay Aero Club displayed their 2 Vans RV12-UL aircraft, ZK-MBA2 and MBB3.   The latter was only recently completed and registered in November 2020.

Providing a spirited display was the Ardmore based Extra EA300 ZK-XLX which was imported from South Africa and registered in October 2020

Over from Matamata was DHC1 Chipmunk Mk22 ZK-SKH which was imported from the UK in 2002 and has been with its current owner since 2011.

And hidden in the depths of one of the hangars was locally based Super Cub 95 ZK-BSK which hasnt often been photographed in recent years.  It has been Whitianga based since 2000.


Saturday 26 December 2020

Milholland Legal Eagle XL ZK-LLX

In April 2020 I had almost "finished" my series of Sport Aircraft of New Zealand that I started with Druine Turbulents of New Zealand way back in April 2010.  But then as was bound to happen, another new type of sport aircraft was registered being an example of the interestingly named Milholland Legal Eagle.

Leonard Milholland of Brookshire TX designed his Legal Eagle Part 103 FAR basic ultralight in the 1990s and it first flew in 1998.  When it came out with an empty weight 10 pounds under the 254 pound limit he declared "this eagle is legal!" and the name stuck.  You can see an interview with Leonard Milholland at:  Further developments saw the introduction of the Legal Eagle XL for heavier pilots (which still qualifies under Part 103), and the Double Eagle two seater.  Leonard Milholland also sells plans for Better Half VW engines which utilise his own design of 2 cylinders with a full crankcase.

Construction is of a welded 4130 steel tube fuselage with fabric covered  wooden wings.  The specifications for the Legal Eagle XL are:  wingspan 26 feet 3 inches (8.00 metres), wing area 120.3 square feet, length 16 feet 1 inch (4.9 metres).  Empty weight 245 pounds dry (112 Kg) and in NZ the MAUW is 573 pounds (260 Kg).  In the US many Legal Eagles are powered by the Better Half VW which produces around 30 HP, and this gives a cruise speed of around 60 mph.  It is said to fly like a slow Cub which is a pretty good recommendation.

Experienced aircraft homebuilder Terry Smith of Te Awanga in Hawkes Bay built his Legal Eagle XL ZK-LLX (c/n XL-B-35) from scratch over a six year period.  It is powered by a full sized VW engine which produces around 50 HP.

That looks like fun flying (except for the exposure to the elements).  It is my kind of plane!

Thanks for the photos to Terry Smith and Gavin Grimmer.

Friday 25 December 2020

Section 12


With thanks to the RNZAF Museum, Wigram.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Spitfire ZK-NLJ/TB252 Flies at Ardmore

Just in time to be a wonderful Christmas present for some lucky person, Spitfire LF Mk XVI ZK-NLJ/TB252 test flew from Ardmore on 18/12/20 flown by John Lamont:

This Spitfire arrived at Avspecs way back in 2002 when it was owned by Tony Banta of Livermore CA.  On 27/3/20 it was registered to Avspecs Ltd and I understand that it will be heading off to the aforesaid lucky overseas owner.

Airborne again for the first time in nearly 70 years!

The photos on the NZ Warbirds Facebook page are from Derek Smith.

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Helicopters & Others at Ardmore

A visit to a busy Ardmore revealed a lot of helicopter activity including at Airbus one of 3 brand new EC130T2 recently imported, this being ZK-IBH3 registered to Advanced Flight in October.

Over at Airwork was the Kawasaki BK117B-2 ZK-IFO which was registered to Auckland based Helilink in October 2020.   This was imported from Papua New Guinea.

And former all red HeliPro AS355F1 ZK-HYN2 has been repainted a very bright blue and was acquired by Auckland based WSV Racing in October 2020.   This was imported from Japan back in 2002.

Parked on the Ardmore Flying School ramp was Diamond DA40F ZK-JME which was imported from the US and registered to J M Elder  of Rotorua in September 2020.


Monday 21 December 2020

Ice Bound

  The Aerospatiale AS 350 B2's ZK-HNB2 (c/n 2279) and ZK-HWG2 (c/n 2816) of Heli Support International Ltd flew up from Wanaka to the Port of Lyttelton today via the east coast and out around Banks Peninsula to land on the 'Cruise Berth' close to the Italian icebreaker RV Laura Basi which is due to sail for Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica, tomorrow.

Looking rather small against the Port facilities are the two Squirrels ZK-HWG and ZK-HNB - already with their rotor blades removed and stowed in the yellow transport containers alongside.

The Laura Basi was launched in July of 1995 as the Polar Queen and has operated in the Antarctic every summer season since. 
It went on long term charter to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) from August 1999 renamed RRS Ernest Shackleton. 
It was returned to its owners, GC Rieber Shipping, at the end of April last year.
OGS (Instituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale) acquired it in May last year and re-named it RV Laura Bassi after the first Italian woman to earn a professorship.


With Xmas imminent the regular summer resident aircraft have started to return to Pauanui airfield but amongst these have also been some interesting visitors including the Ibis Magic GS700 ZK-CCL2 which was imported from South Africa in 2018,  and now lives at Mercer.

And from the Auckland based Advanced Flight's fleet of black Airbus helicopters came EC130B4 ZK-IBX2 which was imported new in 2008.


PAL Cresco ZK-SUZ First Flight on 4-12-2020

Following my post on the new Cresco ZK-SUZ I checked the Pacific Aerospace Facebook page and they had added more posts including a photo of its first flight on 4/12 20:

First lift off.

PAL say that this new Cresco has several updates including improved cockpit sealing and it uses more XL 750 components.  And they also say that there are likely to be more Crescos in 2021. 


Continuing the theme of Pacific Aerospace, I came across an interesting video on their website so I took a screenshot:

ZK-SUZ (c/n 40) is the first new Cresco in nearly 20 years and was registered to Pacific Aerospace Ltd on 20/8/20.  It is shown above having its first engine run some weeks ago.  The eventual owner will be Rural Air Work Ltd of Otane who also operate another pink Cresco ZK-TPW (see: ).

Sunday 20 December 2020


 Pacific Aerospace 750XL with the constructors number 159 was registered as ZK-KAX on 12-08-2009 and first flew from  Hamilton on 03-09-2009 and gained its CofA on the 9th.

ZK-KAX was cancelled on 02-05-2011 to become P2-BWF with Central Aviation Services Pty Ltd of Mt Hagen, PNG from 25-05-2011 and it ferried out via Kaitaia for Norfolk Island on 05-06-2011.

It was photographed, above, at Mt Hagen by Westland 831 on 12-04-2018.

After its time in PNG it was ferried back to NZ reaching Hamilton from Kerikeri  on 03-02-2020 and was registered as ZK-DVE2 on 17-02-2020 to Infinite Ski Planes Ltd for deliver to Motueka on the 22nd.

Below a view of it at Hamilton before delivery to Motueka in February 2020

And below as seen today at Motueka thanks to Lord Nelson.

North Shore activity

A visit to the Inflite / Heletranz base today in Albany offered the AS350BA ZK-IEQ which is the helicopter currently being used for TV filming of the America's Cup World Series.  This was imported in 2019 from Papua New Guinea and after refurbishment sold to Inflite in March 2020.

Arriving after a charter flight was the A109S Grand ZK-HBH6 which has been with the company since importation from Australia in 2015.    An additional large hangar has now been completed on the company's site to house a number of privately owned Airbus helicopters.

Further up the road at North Shore airfield Steve Taylor was working to complete his very smart Vans RV12iS ZK-TSP to gain CAA clearance for a first flight.


Sunday at Christchurch.

A quick look around at Christchurch International early this afternoon - Sunday 20-12-2020 - produced the following.
Airbus A320-232 ZK-OAB c/n 4553 joined Air New Zealand on 28-01-2011.

Cessna A185F Ag Carryall ZK-DKJ c/n 18502276 has been listed with the Waikaia Plains Ltd since September of 2018.

Lockheed LC-130H 92-1094 c/n 382-5402 was one of four parked on the 'Antarctic Apron'.
The others being  83-0491, 83-0492 and  76-3301.

Now for two executive type jet aircraft both US registered.

                  Above is the Cessna 650 Citation N162JM c/n 650-0163 parked Aero Club side.                       Previously Wellington based but now with a new owner in Christchurch.

And below is the Wellington based Dassault Mystere Falcon 50 N37WX c/n 309 taxying out to full length for runway 20.

Aeroprakt Foxbat ZK-SGI at Tauranga

Tauranga is a hotbed for new sport aircraft and another new one was photo'd by Warwick Hamilton last Tuesday 15/12/20:

Aeroprakt A 22LS Foxbat ZK-SGI (c/n 391) was registered to DJ Signal of the North Shore in Auckland on 9/12/20.  I understand it first flew on 14/12/20.

Thanks again for the photo Warwick.

Friday 18 December 2020

Zlin Shock Cub ZK-OIL/2 at Tauranga

The Zlin Aviation Shock Cub is a specially developed STOL aircraft based on the Savage Cub.  Their website describes it in very flowery language at:  The New Zealand agents for Zlin Aviation are Sports Aircraft New Zeakland Ltd of Wellsford (Tim Harrison) and the company imported ZK-OIL2 after many delays culminating with a projected delay with unloading at Auckland so Tim elected to send the container on to Tauranga for unloading and assembly.

However despite the rhetoric on the website it is a very capable STOL aircraft and has acquitted itself well at the mecca of STOL, Valdez in Alaska.  The main differences from the Savage Cub are in the undercarriage which is a totally new design with long travel shock absorbers and big tyres, and the all new wing which is claimed to have a "hyper STOL profile", and has double slotted flaps.  An optional extra are fixed carbon-fibre slats and ZK-OIL2 is fitted with these, as can be seen.  The performance focuses on STOL with a claimed minimum flight speed (one up) of 18 mph!  and again with one up the best landing roll at Valdez 2019 was 12 metres!

ZK-OIL2 (c/n 371) was registered to JD Simpson of Karamea on 7/12/20 and it is photo'd above by Warwick Hamilton at Tauranga on 15/12/20.  I understand that it is powered by a Rotax 915 engine.

Thanks for the great photo Warwick.

Thursday 17 December 2020

ATR VH-VPI returns to Australia.

Arriving into Nelson today was this Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 VH-ZIY (c/n 525A-0156) with a crew to uplift the ATR VH-VPI and return it to Australia.
VH-ZIY has been listed with Machjet International Pty Ltd of Cooroy, Queensland since July of 2017.

Below is the ATR 212A (600) VH-VPI (c/n 1107) which was flown into Nelson from Canberra for open storage on 13-09-2019. 
It is registered to Commuter Aircraft Leasing Ltd of London and had been operated by Virgin Australia.                                                                                                                                               
Camo Australia Pty Ltd of Ocean Grove, Victoria became the registered operator from 03-11-2020.

It departed Nelson late morning today for a direct flight of just under six hours to Brisbane.

Wednesday 16 December 2020


The arrival of a summer high has increased the visitor numbers to Pauanui airfield including some from much further afield like up from Wanaka the Cessna 172N Skyhawk II ZK-KAS now scripted as "Learn to Fly NZ".    Previously scripted "Wanaka Flight Training" this was imported from Australia in 1993 and was initially ZK-SAL3.

Up from Masterton is the 1973 model Piper PA32-300 ZK-WGO of Stuart Aviation,  also being an import from Australia back in 1994.

And out for some early evening aerobatic fun the locally based Yak 52s ZK-YAQ and ZAH.


Extra EA300/LC ZK-XLX at Ardmore on 6-12-2020

The second Extra 300 to be registered here (and the only one still here after ZK-XRA was exported to Canada in January 2018), came from South Africa where it was registered ZS-TIY.  Dave Homewood photo'd it at the recent NZ Warbirds Open Day at Ardmore back on 6/12/20:

ZK-XLX (c/n LC079) was registered to David Cranna of Auckland on 19/10/20.

Thanks for the photos Dave.

And another similar (if somewhat smaller) Extra EA 330 was recently spotted at Kaipara Flats airfield: