In 1972 the Government and People of New Zealand decided it would be a good idea to gift five Fletcher FU24-950's to the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.
Here we see the first two at 'Aviation Radio' at Wellington Airport being fitted with communications gear prior to their delivery flights.
ZK-DIJ was c/n 173 and was registered to Air Parts (NZ) Ltd at Hamilton on 06-11-1972 and first flew from there on the 29th.
I snapped it at Wellington on 04-12-1972 with dual nationality markings.
Its NZ registration was cancelled on 18-01-1973 for it to become S2-ABW with the Bangladesh Department of Plant Protection at Dacca.
I know not its ultimate fate.
The second aircraft was ZK-DIK
c/n 174 also registered to Air Parts (NZ) Ltd at Hamilton on 06-11-1972.
It first flew on 04-01-1973 and was captured below at Wellington on 23-01-1973.
Note the red spinner.
This script was on the port side only on both aircraft.
It departed from Auckland for Norfolk Island and Brisbane on 06-03-1973 with its NZ registration being cancelled on 06-03-1973.
It became S2-ABX later in March.
This registration was cancelled on 04-09-1981 and it reverted to ZK-DIK on 16-10-1981 to James Aviation Ltd at Hamilton.
It was ferried back to NZ, after spending some time in Australia, before doing the Lord Howe Island to Auckland leg on 22-03-1982 bound for storage at Hamilton.
Below we see ZK-DIK at Camden NSW on 26-02-1982 thanks to David Carter.
On 12-07-1988 it departed Auckland for Lord Howe Island, was cancelled from the NZ register on the 14th, and became VH-HTB on the 22nd with F Fahey of Cowra in NSW.
Unfortunately it had a fatal wiretrike at Frogmore NSW in November 1989.
The other three Fletchers were :-
c/n 175 which was listed with Air Parts (NZ) Ltd on 06-11-1972 and first flew from Hamilton on 08-03-1973.
It is seen below at Ardmore with dual nationality markings - thanks to Neville Drake and the Peter Lewis collection.
Its NZ registration was cancelled on 10-04-1973 for it to become S2-ABY.
This Bangladesh registration was cancelled on 04-09-1981 and the aircraft returned to NZ and took up its original ZK-DIL marks from 16-10-1981 with James Aviation Ltd at Hamilton.
It went to South Canterbury Aerial Top Dressing Co-Op Ltd from 08-07-1983.
Below ZK-DIL at Tekapo on 15-04-1987.
Below at Timaru on 05-08-1988
Again at Timaru. On 10-01-1991
Below at Timaru again. This time on 28-06-1993
And a furry long shot of it at work in another paint scheme near Simons Hill in the Mackenzie Country on 04-04-1995.
It was written off near Fairlie on 30-08-1997.
The 4th Fletcher was :-
ZK-DMP c/n 178 which was listed with Air Parts (NZ) Ltd on 31-05-1973, first flying on 10-08-1973 and then registered to Dalcom Aviation Training Ltd of Wanganui from 12-06-1974.
After only a short stay it was back with NZ Aerospace Industries Ltd (NZAI) at Hamilton from 31-07-1974.
Above. ZK-DMP/S2-ABZ as seen at Hamilton with spray equipment fitted.
Another Neville Drake photo.
It passed through Norfolk Island on 08-09-1974 on a demo tour of South East Asia.
As a interesting aside - it had been painted as S2-ABZ in NZ - but after its NZ registration was cancelled on 03-0-1974 it actually became S2-AAG with the Bangladesh Department of Plant Protection.
After being withdrawn it was restored to its old ZK-DMP registration on 16-10-1981 but remained in Australia becoming VH-KXT in mid-December of 1981 via Pays Air Service before moving to Col Adams of Cootamundra NSW from 22-12-1981 with whom it is still listed.
VH-KXT is seen above at Cootamundra on 18-06-1987 thanks to Daniel Carter.
And below on 19-10-2019 at Cootamundra by Bidgee.
c/n 180 which was listed with NZAI Ltd at Hamilton on 25-06-1973, first flying on 05-03-1974. .
It is seen above at Mangere on 29-03-1974 thanks to R W Kerr via the Peter Lewis collection.
The NZ registration was cancelled on 14-05-1974 and it became S2-ABZ
It was restored to ZK-DMQ 16-10-1981 with James Aviation Ltd of Hamilton but also remained in Australia becoming VH-EMQ2
on 07-09-1983 with Hazelton Air Services Pty Ltd and was noted with D Jones at Kempton in Tasmania in 1985 and then with J and R Wild Pty Ltd at Tenterfield NSW, with whom it is still current.
And below at Tenterfield on 11-02-1994 from Geoff Goodhall.