The next type of "sport" aircraft to be registered in New Zealand was very different as it had a history that goes back 85 years!
The Comper C.L.A. 7 Swift was designed by ex RAF Flight Lieutenant Nicolas Comper and was built by his company, the Comper Aircraft Company at Hooton Aerodrome in Cheshire, with the prototype first flying in 1930. It has folding wings for storage. A total of 45 Comper Swifts were built over the next three years. They were designed as racing machines for the then burgeoning UK air racing scene. More recently a couple of very nice replicas have been built in the UK.
The specifications for the Comper Swift are: length 17 feet 8.5 inches (5.4 metres), wingspan 24 feet (7.32 metres) and the wing area is 90 square feet. It's empty weight is around 540 pounds and the MAUW is 985 pounds (447 Kg). Several engines were installed in Comper Swifts but the most common one was the Pobjoy R 7 cylinder radial engine of 75 HP and had a reduction gearbox which enabled the engine to at a higher speed and produce more power while the propellor also ran at a more efficient slower speed. With this engine the maximum speed was around 140 mph and the stall speed is around 57 mph.
Our recently registered Comper Swift was VH-UVC (c/n S32/10) until being shipped to New Zealand. This aircraft has a long history - it was built as G-ACAG in 1932 by the Comper Aircraft Company of Hooton Park, Cheshire, and spent the next 2 years being demonstrated around Europe before being exported to Australia where it remained active until 1962. It then had a series of owners in storage until being shipped to JEM Aviation of Omaka in January 2014 for a major rebuild. The rebuild was extensive and is detailed at: http://www.jemaviation.co.nz/current/comper-swift/
The rebuild took longer than expected but the Swift was completed to a taxyable standard by the time of the 2017 Classic Flyers airshow at Omaka on 15/4/17, as shown in the photo above.
It was registered as ZK-UVC on 7/11/16. This was done for test flying purposes and it was test flown as ZK-UVC (ie minus the VH lettering) at Omaka as in the above photo. After test flying was complete ZK-UVC was cancelled on 7/6/18 and the aircraft was returned to Australia where it took up its old registration as VH-UVC. I had thought that this was the only Comper Swift to be registered here until I was researching for this post and I discovered that we had had another one! ZK-ACG was registered in New Zealand in 1931 and was cancelled from the register in 1939. Can anyone supply a photo of ZK-ACG? And finally, there is a replica Comper Swift being built at Blenheim so we will have to watch out for it in time. Interesting.
For the last 5 years or so most of the new types of sport aircraft were single examples which tells us that most of the new aircraft coming into New Zealand were well established older models such as Tecnams. Alpis, Zenair, Rans and Vans types. However one more numerous new type was the A 32 Vixxen, the first of which was registered in May 2016:
The A 32 Vixxen was developed by Ukrainian company Aeroprakt from its earlier successful A 22 Foxbat, the designer of both aircraft being Yuri Yakovlev. The A 32 features an improved wing to body fairing, a 10 cm shorter wingspan and an all flying tailplane, and is 20 knots faster in cruise compared to the A 22, and with the same 100 HP Rotax engine. The prototype first flew in January 2014 and the first production aircraft was rolled out in April 2015. I think it was given the name Vixxen in Australia.
Specifications for the A 32 are: length 6.27 metres (20 feet 7 inches), wingspan 9.45 metres (31 feet) and the wing area is 138 square feet. Empty weight is around 320 Kg (705 pounds) and MAUW in New Zealand as an LSA is 598 Kg (1,32 pounds). With a 100 HP Rotax 912ULS engine the cruise speed is around 130 mph (113 knots) and the stall speed is quite low at 31 mph (27 knots).
We have had five A 32 Vixxens registered in New Zealand to date, as follows:
The first A 32 to be registered here was ZK-WCB (c/n 10) that was registered to Foxbat Enterprises Ltd (Warren C Butler) of Pukekohe on 2/5/16. It is photo'd above at Kaipara Flats airfield on 3/12/17.
Next up was ZK-VHC (c/n 040) that was registered to the Hawera Aero Club on 29/11/17. It is photo'd above at Hawera on 10/3/18 in all white.
Later on the Aero Club applied some trim as in this photo taken at Hawera in early 2019.
The first of a couple of A 32 Vixxens to be based at Parakai was Warren Brown's ZK-CHE2 (c/n 051) that was first registered to him on 12/6/18. It is photo'd above at Parakai on 24/9/19. On 1/2/20 ownership changed to the Bay of Islands Aero Club at Kerikeri.
The second A 32 Vixxen to arrive at Parakai in 2018 was ZK-VXN (c/n 056) which was registered to the Dawson-Sheehan Family Trust of Whangaparaoa on 11/10/18. It is photo'd above at Kaipara Flats airfield on 7/12/19.
And the final A 32 to be registered here for now was ZK-WCV (c/n 066) which was registered to the Whangarei Flying Club of Whangarei on 14/1/19. It is photo's above at Dargaville on 2/2/19. It was damaged in a landing accident soon after this and is now out of the air awaiting repairs I understand.
A sunny Thursday on the Coromandel, ahead of what is forecast to be a very wet long weekend, saw a lot of activity on the Pauanui airfield, starting with the Aeroprakt-22LS ZK-JGT2 which is registered to a Tuakau owner.
Up from Tauranga was Cessna 180J ZK-RAD3, this being imported from Australia in early 2019
And also from Tauranga the 2005 Tecnam P2002 Sierra ZK-SCD which since February 2019 has been registered to Gyrate (NZ) Ltd
An interesting brief visitor to an otherwise very wet Pauanui today was the 2008 Robinson R44 Raven I ZK-HLO2, which is registered to a Motueka owner. The was imported from Australia in 2010 and initially was ZK-HPR6, moving onto ZK-HLI7 in 2013 and then ZK-HLO2 in 2016.
Next up for new sport aircraft registrations in New Zealand in 2016 was the Poorboy PB-1:
The Poorboy PB-1 is a basic ultralight of blind rivetted aluminium tube and gusset construction with some 4130 tube in critical areas, and is fabric covered. It was designed by Jim Hartung of Poorboy Aviation from Minot, North Dakota and is available only as plans. The claimed building time is around 450 hours. Specifications are: length 20 feet, wingspan 25 feet and its wing area is 125 square feet. Engines can be between 40 and 52 HP (a Rotax 503 produces 52 HP). Empty weight is around 280 pounds (127 Kg) and the MAUW in New Zealand is 650 pounds (294 Kg). The cruise speed is around 60 mph (52 knots) and the stall speed is around 28 mph (24 knots).
We have had only one Poorboy PB-1 in New Zealand to date:
ZK-BEE2(c/n 215) was built by Stuart Parker of Ohaupo and it was first registered to him on 27/1/16. Stuart said he chose the registration after a friend reckoned the colours looked like a bee.
It is powered by a Rotax 503 driving a 2 blade Ivoprop and Stuart told me that he flown around 60 hours in it to date.
I caught it at Te Kowhai on 20/12/16 on a lovely day for flying.
A new aircraft to me in the North Shore Aero Club hangar last Saturday, was the locally owned Lake Model 250 Renegade ZK-WAI3 (c/n 79):
It now carries the name Wayward Fish on the nose.
The Lake amphibian reminded me of the second ZK-WAI, which was an Adventurer 333 amphibian that was registered to the Terry L Newton Syndicate of Rotorua on 8/4/99. It may not have flown and it was cancelled as withdrawn on 12/4/10. (The first ZK-WAI was a Piper PA 31 Navajo).
I assume the WAI registration for the amphibians refers to the Maori name for water.
I previously posted about Tecnam P2006T ZK-TMT (c/n 288) in March when it was being prepared for delivery by Solo Wings at Tauranga. Then a pandemic came along and nearly all aviation in New Zealand was locked down for seven weeks or so.
It finally got delivered on 23/5/20 and Warwick Hamilton caught it leaving Tauranga.
Then it called in to Paraparaumu for a fuel stop where Jordan Elvy photo'd it. Although it is registered to the Tecnam agents, Jetboat.Com Ltd, I understand that it was being delivered to Oamaru, presumably for use by the New Zealand Airline Academy.
After a 20 year building period Clive Whittfield's Vans RV 6 made its first flight at Ardmore yesterday, 23/5/20, in the hands of test pilot David Wilkinson. He reckons it goes like a rocket!
ZK-CAZ2 (c/n 23083) was registered to Clive Whittfield on 12/7/19 and Clive has been finishing off the many last minute jobs at Ardmore since August 2018. Congratulations Clive!
Clive's RV 6 brings the total of RV 6s in New Zealand to 14 (and there have been 9 RV 6As). We will see more of them as another one has recently been imported from Australia as well as another RV 7 Which will bring the total of RV 7s and 7As to 28). Popular aircraft those Vans!
A trip down to North Shore Airfield this afternoon around lunchtime for avgas saw the entire North Shore Aero Club fleet of Robins out on the apron:
I don't think it was planned but they are (from left) ZK-TZG, TZH, TZI, TZK, TZL, TZM and TZN with the locally owned ZK-TZF which is on line with the club, and in the image below the club's Tecnam P2008 ZK-WIP was added to the line up.
Following on from my recent post on Rex Carswell's scale Fury at Kaipara Flats, this morning I photo'd locally based John Marsden flying his Corsair in for a landing.
Update the next day.
Well I had better come clean and admit that the Corsair is a model! But a pretty special model. It is one fifth scale which equals a 2.2 metre wingspan and has a
three cylinder radial 60cc petrol engine to provide the get up and go along
with a reasonably authentic sound. It’s also kitted out with mainwheel retracts that
mimic the full size Corsair and are driven by electric motors with worm drive to create
a 90 degree twist whilst operating. One of the novel features is the model
pilot figure accurately one fifth scale and clothed, and has a small electric
motor within that’s designed to turn the pilot’s head in the direction the
model taxis. The engine, retracts and model pilot were all imported from
I reckon the builder/pilot John Marsden has done a great job.