Sunday 29 August 2021

Tecnam P 92s of New Zealand (1) - Early Models

The Tecnam P 92 series of aircraft first appeared in 1993 when the first aircraft appeared with Rotax 912 engines.  The P 92 was designed by Luigi Pascale and built by Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam which was the company that Luigi and his brother Giovanni formed in 1986.  They had previously been involved in the formation and running of Partenavia before it was taken over by the Italian Government, and who also used the P prefix for their models such as the P 68 twin.  Tecnam has produced over 7,500 aircraft to date which is pretty impressive.

The Tecnam P 92 is an all metal side by side strut braced high wing tri-gear aircraft in the microlight category that despite its small size has more shoulder room than a Cessna 150/152.  The prototype first flew in 1993. It has evolved a lot over the ensuing years to include retractable gear and tailwheel models, and the most recent iteration has a carbon fibre fuselage.

The specs for the various P 92 models will differ in their wingspans and the Rotax engine fitted, but here are the specs for the P 92-J model: length 6.4 metres (21 feet), wingspan 9.3 metres (30 feet 6 inches), empty weight 304 Kg (670 pounds), MAUW 550 Kg (1,213 pounds).  And with a 100 HP Rotax the cruise speed is around 110 knots, while the stall speed is around 38 knots with flaps extended.

Our first three P 92s were the original models which had a rather angular looking fuselage with square corners in the lower fuse.

Our first Tecnam P 92 was a P 92J model ZK-TVB (with the very early c/n 009) which was registered on 17/10/97 to Giovanni Nustrini of Auckland.  It is photo'd above at the 1998 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  It went on a demonstration tour of Australia from May 2000 and it was cancelled from the NZ civil register on 9/2/01 and became VH-BAJ5 on 15/2/01, still owned by Giovanni Nustrini.  On 10/4/02 it transferred to 24-3699 on the Australian microlight register.

Our second P 92 was a P 92 Echo model which was registered ZK-KMA (c/n 306) on 12/6/98 to K E (Ken) McKee of Napier.  It is photo'd above at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  On  1/2/01 it was sold to PH and KA Thompson of Ruawai and was re-registered ZK-PKT.  (Can anyone supply a photo of it?)

On 24/4/06 ownership transferred to the Northern Wairoa Aero Club at Dargaville, still as ZK-PKT and who operated it until 30/3/06 when it was re-registered as ZK-MIC2, and on 1/4/06 ownership transferred to Michael Benstrum of Dargaville (hence the registration MIC).  On 17/3/10 ownership changed to C R Chalmers and J T Elliot of  Mosgiel and it is photo'd above at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton on 5/2/11.  It was cancelled from the New Zealand register on 21/3/11 and was exported to Australia where it became 24-7810 on the Australian microlight register.

And our third P 92 Echo was ZK-KFP (c/n 305) which was registered on 20/1/00 to Kevin M Farmer of Ardmore (hence the registration KFP for Kevin Farmer's plane).  It is photo'd above at the 2000 SAANZ flyin at Matamata.  Ownership changed to B W Ford of Hamilton on 1/3/04 and then to the Pekamu Trust of Katikati (Alan Nelson) on 13/12/07.  Alan took his aircraft with him to Australia and it was cancelled from the NZ civil register on 25/10/11 and was registered 24-8051 on the Australian microlight register on 20/2/12.  So all of our first three P 92 aircraft ended up in Australia.

But ZK-KFP came back!  Still under Alan Nelson's ownership it was cancelled from the Australian microlight register on 16/8/17 and returned to New Zealand where it was registered to the Pekamu Trust of Te Kopuru (near Dargaville) on 16/8/17.  The above photo was taken at Dargaville on 24/2/18.  Most recently it was sold to the Whangarei Flying Club on 8/10/19 and it is very active with them, more than 20 years after it was first registered here.

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