The Thruxton Jackaroo ZK-PHZ (c/n 82151) first flew in NZ at Tauranga yesterday evening (25-02-2020) in the hands of David Phillips.
These two photos have been kindly provided by Warwick Hamilton.
Our subject airframe was built for the Royal Air Force and allocated the N6907 serial.
In the mid 1950’s it (along with several others) were sold to Alan Jones, David Hart and Henry T Armstrong and became G-AOIO on the UK civil register on 13 January 1956.
This was transferred to the Wiltshire School of Flying Ltd of Thruxton, Hants on 14 May 1957. Thruxton airfield was built for the Royal Air Force and also used by the USAAF during World War Two.
Post WWII civil flight training recommenced in 1947 with ex RAF Tiger Moths being the mainstay of this industry.
The Thruxton Jackaroo was developed by the Wiltshire School of Flying Ltd at Thruxton Airfield in the UK as a low cost four seat conversion of the de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth.
It had a wider centre section to seat four. The width of the cockpit was extended to thirty six inches – this was done by cutting the front fuselage in two lengthwise and welding extension sections in the cross members to widen the fuselage to accommodate four persons in side by side slightly staggered pairs.
The engine was also moved forward some eight inches and the aft fuselage moved back ten inches.. The resulting cockpit had a fully enclosed canopy with two side hinged doors. The wider fuselage increased the undercarriage track and wing centre section which has also increased the wing span.
The first conversion flew in March 1957 with some nineteen being completed in house.
Jackaroo Aircraft was then formed to undertake this conversion with at least eighteen being converted at Thruxton and another at Croydon.
Our subject aircraft gained its Jackaroo CofA on 18 July 1958 and was sold to the Blackpool & Fylde Aero Club Ltd at Squires Gate, Blackpool and then on to private ownership at Doncaster, Yorkshire in February 1962. It was with Air Navigation & Trading Co Ltd of Blackpool from May 1964 and then with Peter Harris in Hertfordshire from October 1967. Jane Redvers-Higgins of Bognor Regis in Sussex listed it from 15 November 1971 with the final UK owner Paul Gliddon of Wockingham, Berkshire taking it over on 29 November 1972.
The aircraft was transferred to Australia in February 1978 but never aspired to the VH register and remained a hangar queen until acquired engineless by John Pheasant in NZ.
The aircraft has come together nicely at Tauranga using the wing from the owners Tiger Moth ZK-BFF whilst new wings are being constructed and was on static display at Tauranga in mid-January and became ZK-PHZ on the 21 January 2020.