Friday 3 April 2020

Rainbow Aircraft Cheetahs (Only One) of New Zealand

The next type of sport aircraft to be registered in New Zealand, in 2012, was the Rainbow Aircraft Cheetah.

The Rainbow Aircraft Cheetah was developed in South Africa from the Best Off Skyranger by Vladimir Chechin.  Rainbow Aircraft Pty was based at Springs Airfield in Gauteng, East of Johannesburg.  It was founded by Mike Blyth and in 2002 Vladimir Chechin took over ownership. 

The Cheetah was introduced in 2011 and it is constructed from bolted aluminium tubing and is covered by Dacron sailcloth.  It can be constructed from a kit or purchased as a complete aircraft, and it can be configured as a tri-gear or taildragger.  The standard engine is the 80 HP Rotax 912.  Specifications for the Cheetah are:  length 5.67 metres (18 feet 7 inches), wingspan 9.6 metres (31 feet 6 inches) and the wing area is 142.6 square feet.  The empty weight is around 248 Kg (547 pounds) and the MAUW in New Zealand is 544 Kg (1200 pounds).  With the Rotax 912UL engine the aircraft cruises at around 84 mph (73 knots) and the stall speed is around 35 mph (30 knots).

We have had only one Rainbow Aircraft Cheetah in New Zealand:

ZK-KDM (c/n CH129) was registered in South Africa as ZU-FRC in 2011.  It was cancelled from the South African register on 16/2/12 and it was registered as ZK-KDM on 21/2/12 to Kevin D Mattson of Ngaruawahia.  It is photo'd above at the 2013 Black Sands flyin at Raglan, on 2/11/13.  (When the weather was nice for a Black Sands flyin!).  It was sold to Christopher R Holmes of Pukeatua near Tirau on 19/5/15.

On 20/4/19 ownership transferred to Steven G S Wood of Dargaville and Steve is photo'd it flying at Dargaville on 21/9/19.

It seemed to have pretty spritely performance.

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