Saturday 31 December 2022

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Composite FX Mosquito Drones

These are neither homebuilt or sport helicopters but I will include them here for completeness.

At Tauranga a company called Environment & Conservation Technologies Ltd has been building drones for commercial use since 2018 and they secured a contract with the Department of Conservation to build a drone based on a Mosquito helicopter.  In 2021 they changed their name to Envico Technologies Ltd.  Various Tauranga photographers have taken tantalising shots of this machine: 

The Envico drone is obviously based on the Mosquito helicopter.  For DOC the use of the Mosquito drone will be for predator control working towards Predator Free Aotearoa.  Based on the weights for the Mosquito XE helicopter, the payload without a pilot could be as much as 105 Kg which puts it into a pretty heavy class of drone. 

Obviously these machines do not need to be registered so it is quite difficult to find out about them.

In this shot you can see some of the remote control equipment in the cockpit, taken at Tauranga on 7/10/22.  And there is no need for forward visibility!

Envico Technologies has also recently received a couple of more minimalist drones from Australia and they are also working on these, as in the above photo, also taken at Tauranga on 7/10/22.

I understand the Composite FX factory in the US also builds drones based on the Mosquito helicopter.

I guess this type of development will be the future and the NZ CAA have a permissive approach to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, of which there are several examples that we could feature as details become available.  I understand that these types of vehicles are work focussed but I hope we will never lose the thrill of flying!

Taylor Monoplane ZK-DQG at Whitianga Yesterday 30-12-2022

The Mercury Bay Aero Club held an open day at Whitianga yesterday and by all accounts it was very successful.  Bruce Cooke drove up and has posted some photos on Facebook.  One of his photos caught my eye as I have a soft spot for VW powered single seaters:

ZK-DQG is one of six Taylor Monoplanes on the register but I reckon three of them are out of the air.  I think the three that are still flying are ZK-CPC and ZK-CZH as well as ZK-DQG.  Another one ZK-CRS is likely to be restored to flying condition in the future.

Thanks for the use of the photo Bruce

Friday 30 December 2022

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Innovator Mosquito XEs

In my previous post I detailed the genesis of the Innovator Mosquito Air helicopter, and this lead on to the Mosquito XE model which was essentially the same but with a lightweight cabin.  The helicopter kits and factory finished helicopters are now manufactured by Composite FX of Trenton in Florida and the have expanded the models to include the XEL (a lightweight model on floats to take advantage of the higher MAUW allowed under FAA Part 103 for floatplanes), the XE with the Zanzoterra MZ 202 engine of 64 HP, the XE 290 which has an 800 cc CFX 800 engine of 90 HP and has a higher MAUW of 720 pounds (362 Kg) and the XET which is turbine powered with a Solar T62-T2A which produces 95 HP continuous.

The specifications for the XE are:  length 16 feet (4.87 metres) and the rotor diameter is 19 feet 6 inches (5.94 metres).  The empty weight is around 298 pounds (135 kg) and the MAUW in New Zealand is 530 pounds (240 Kg).  With the Zanzoterra MZ 202 engine (that is now manufactured in China) the maximum speed is 80 mph (69 knots).

We have had five Mosquito XE helicopters registered in New Zealand to date, as follows:

Our fist Mosquito XE ZK-IXE (c/n MXE 1043107) was registered to Blair E Hollands of North Shore on 17/4/09.  Blair Hollands was the Mosquito agent at the time I think.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 1/3/09 before it was officially registered (It did not fly at that time).  It was sold to Brett M Oswald of Whakatane on 20/3/12.

It was then quickly sold to the South Island, to Peter R Boocock of Rangiora, on 3/7/12.  It suffered an accident in January 2013 at the Okuku River but it was rebuilt, as evidenced by this recent photo from Trade Me.

Oskar Stielau is a rotary wing enthusiast as I have detailed with his previous Mosquito Air ZK-HNG6 that has become ZK-IAB2.  He also built and flew the Gyrobee gyrocopter ZK-RDA and this Mosquito XE ZK-IOS (c/n 1062) that he registered on 25/8/09.  It is photo'd above and below at the 2009 Black Sands flyin at Raglan on 7/11/09.

It was sold to Robert Sullivan of Auckland on 14/6/10 but it was cancelled on 31/10/13 when its registration was revoked.

ZK-HWV4 (c/n MXE 1212L128) was built in Australia and registered VH-NIT4 to Beverly Dickson Hall of Coot Farm, Narrikip, WA on 24/4/14.  Its Australian registration was cancelled on 2/9/15 for export to New Zealand.  It was registered ZK-HWV4 to Harry Devonish of Christchurch on 14/9/15.  It was sold to Bruce Stevenson of Warkworth on 20/2/20 and he flew it regularly as in the above photo at Kaipara Flats on 5/12/20 and the photo below on arrival at the Northern Aviators Club Christmas BBQ at Springhill on 11/12/21.

On 6/1/22 it was sold to Jordan N Sansom of Kaiangaroa in the Chatham Islands so we might not see many more photos of it.

ZK-IXI (c/n MXE 1229113B) was built by Gary Bodley of Hamilton and it was registered to him on 18/4/18.  It is photo'd above and below at the 2020 Black Sands at Te Kowhai flyin on 14/11/20.

Joe Veza's as yet unregistered Mosquito XE at Kaipara Flats on 29/4/21 with Bruce Stevenson flying ZK-HWV4 in the background.  Joe has built a very fancy trailer to transport his helicopter.

Our final Mosquito XE helicopter to date is ZK-IBO (c.n MXE 1326A18B) which was built by Joe Veza of Red Beach and was registered to him on 9/6/21.  It is powered by a 2 cylinder 2 stroke 65HP Hirth engine.  ZK-IBO has test flown and it is currently for sale.  Thanks for the photo Joe.

Thursday 29 December 2022

HPH Glasflugel 304MS Shark ZK-GTI

 Our newest glider is the HPH Glasflugel 304MS Shark ZK-GTI c/n 172 MS.

This first flew in the Czech Republic on 01-12-2022 before being containerised in its purpose-built Cobra trailer for shipping to Tim Harrison of Sports Aircraft New Zealand Ltd at Springhill, Wellsford to become the Company demonstrator. It is expected to be operational in NZ by late February.

The following is a very quick run-down leading up to the 304MS as I see it. 
The Glasfugel (Glass Wing) 304 has an extensive history which can be traced back to pre-World War Two if you look at the designs from the Hutter brothers. But if we start in March 1964 we see the Glasflugel H 301 Libelle (H is for Hutter) first flew, followed by the H 201 Standard Libelle in October 1967 (with the Start & Flug Salto being a "V" tailed offshoot). Then in September 1973 the "T" tailed, shoulder mounted wing Glasflugel 205 Club Libelle took flight. From this developed the Glasflugel 206 Hornet in September 1974 and then the Glasflugel 303 Mosquito in March 1976.
In early 1975 Glasflugel was in financial difficulties and began co-operating with Schempp-Hirth (basically the opposition), then in 1978 the Glasflugel Company was reorganised following the death of Director Eugen Hanle. A new Company was formed by the well-known glider pilot and Director of Schempp-Hirth Klaus Holighaus plus a Mr Hillenbrand from Glasflugel - with the new Company continuing to use the Glasflugel name.
Then we have the Glasflugel 304 a succeeder to the 303 Mosquito but with Schempp-Hirth input. 
The principal designer of the 304 was Martin Hansen who continued the Glasflügel tradition of the parallelogram control stick, combined trailing edge flaps and airbrakes, automatic trimming, heel-operated brakes, automatic control connections, the easy assembly of the wings and tailplane, the forward-opening canopy with lifting instrument panel are Glasflügel innovations now largely copied by other manufacturers.
The first flight was in May 1980 and it entered production shortly after. 
Glasflügel however was financially struggling at this time and a partnership with Schempp-Hirth led to a surrender of technology until the company folded in 1982.
The 304 was put back in production by the Czech company HpH Ltd, as the Glasflügel 304CZ. This new production run used the original Glasflügel moulds. The 304CZ was updated with the addition of winglets and a few other changes, and has spawned several derivatives, namely a 17.43 metre span variant 304 CZ-17 and the 15 metre Standard Class 304 C Wasp.

In November 2006, HPH conducted the maiden flight of the completely new 18 metre 304 S Shark. The 304 S Shark features an all new 18 metre wing which gives a best glide of 51:1 (So from Mount Cook in still condition you could fly to Timaru without gaining additional lift 
along the way). 
The 304 S is larger than the 304 C and while interchangeable wing extensions are available for 15-metre or 18-metre span, the most common configuration is the 18-metre version.
The Shark is available in Self-Launch Versions (Shark MS) using the Solo 2625-01 engine 
or as a sustainer using either a 400 N thrust Jet unit or with a Front-Electric-Sustainer (FES) solution

Air Chathams

The latest addition to the Air Chathams fleet is ATR72-212A ZK-MCU2 which is seen here at AKL International this afternoon returning from Norfolk Island.   This was originally imported by Air New Zealand in 2000 with ownership passing to Air Chathams in June 2022.


Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Electric Mosquito Air

After Oskar Stielau withdrew his Innovator Mosquito Air helicopter ZK-HNG6 from the register on 7/1/19 he had an idea of what he wanted to do with it.  And that was to convert it into an electric helicopter.

Oskar is an electrical engineer so he had a head start on such a project but it still was pioneering work and he built what was probably the world's first fully electric helicopter with separate electric motors driving the main and tail rotors.  The main electric motor is a Slovenian  Emrax 228 that weighs 12 Kg and produces a peak power of 109 KW (but the continuous power is much less) and it is 96% efficient.  Oskar mounted it in the same position as the original Rotax 2 stroke so as not to alter the mechanical drive of the machine.  While the electric motor is much lighter you then have to add batteries and these consist of 96 cells weighing 40 Kg.  Oskar went for medium performance batteries as the technology is improving all the time, and the Electric Mosquito was built as a proof of concept.

But when Oskar first tried out his helicopter with the main electric motor he felt all the vibrations associated with the still at that time mechanical tail rotor.  Then he had a eureka moment - why not also have the tail rotor also driven by separate electric motors!  So he purchased a 15Kg lifting capacity drone and with some adaption this formed the basis of the Electric Mosquito's 7 rotor anti-torque tail rotor system.  And with clever programming the tail rotor speed is controlled by the main throttle thereby making flying the helicopter much easier.

The endurance is around 15 minutes and the empty weight of the Electric Mosquito is 145 Kg (which includes the 40 Kg of batteries) and the pilot can weigh up to 86 Kg giving a MAUW if 230 Kg.

Oskar registered his Electric Mosquito as ZK-IAB2 (c/n 1083 the same c/n as his ZK-HNG6) on 5/11/20 and he first flew it at Tauranga in December 2020.  On 26 March he invited a group of interested aviators to Parakai for a demonstration and these photos are from that day.

The helicopter flew very well and impressed all of us who were watching.  Oskar flew it for 15 minutes and it was strange to hear the only sound being the main rotors moving through the air.

The batteries are the blue parts mounted low down around the pilot's seat.

And here is a photo of the 12 Kg Emrax 228 electric motor with Oskar pointing out some of the details of his creation.  Very impressive!

But Oskar is not one to rest on his laurels and having now proved the "proof of concept" he is moving on to build an improved electric helicopter that he already well on the way with.  A shout should also go out to CAA for getting on board and not standing in the way of pioneers like Oskar.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Maule ZK-SLI departing Rangiora

 Maule M-7-235 Super Rocket ZK-SLI c/n 4034C was snapped departing Rangiora today 
by John Wagtendonk.
As N5667F it was damaged in a ground loop on landing following its first test flight with Maule Aircraft Inc at Moultrie, Georgia on 20-06-1987.
By the end of the following month it was listed with Paul Colangelo of Albury, Vermont.
Its US registration was cancelled on 17-03-1989 for it to became VH-KSQ2 on 22-03-1989.
Six owner/operators later it was registered to Richard Maclean of Burnside, South Australia from 12-09-2019, although I noted it dismantled at Rangiora on 23-08-2019.
It became ZK-SLI to Southlink International Ltd of Christchurch on 11-12-2019.

Historic Aircraft Trust, Tauranga

 The Historic Aircraft Trust hangar at Tauranga was open recently and revealed the following.

The Historic Aircraft Trust keeps its aircraft in a hangar at Tauranga

De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth ZK-BSN c/n DHA501 joined the Trust in November 2003. 
As you can see from its c/n it was built by De Havilland Australia and become NZ1415 with the RNZAF from 13-11-1941.
Post its military career it became ZK-BSN in 1956 with E P Henshaw of Timaru, followed by J W Rolleston, R D Westenra and T J Kendal of Timaru from 01-09-1961.
From December 1966 it was listed with J R Dunn of Balclutha and then with 27 Squadron ATC of Blenheim from 02-08-1968. It transferred to V L A Powell of Blenheim on 09-10-1975 and was operated by the Marlborough Aero Club. 
After a take-off accident at Hawera on 15-05-1986 it went to Mary Nicoll of Blenheim from 10-11-1989 and was rebuilt over the early to mid 1990's period by Graham Orphan - being registered to him on 03-05-1994.
From late December it has been listed with the NZ Historic Aircraft Trust.

The Cessna A37-B Dragonfly (Cessna 318E) ZK-JTL c/n 43392 started with the USAF as 71-0854 and is known to have served with the 604th Air Commando out of Bien Hoa, South Vietnam followed by the 8th Special Operations Squadron until transferred to the South Vietnamese Air Force around the middle of 1972 as part of President Nixon's Vietnamization program. This was basically the withdrawal of American support to make the Vietnamese self-sufficient.
Next I know is that this aircraft arrived in New Zealand, I believe thanks to Bruce Black, Maurice Hayes, Colin Henderson and Brian Rhodes, to become ZK-JTL with Jet Trainers Ltd of Papakura on 02-07-1992.
It first flew in NZ n 10-03-1994 known as Dragonfly 54 and is still in VNAF markings.

The De Havilland DH104 Devon/Dove 1/B ZK-KTT c/n 04324 rests quietly in the corner.

This Nord 1002 ZK-WFI, c/n 103, is a French built version of the Messerschmidt Bf108 and is a genuine ex World War Two aircraft.
Post WWII it was OO-NET in Belgium followed by N108H in the USA from 1973, and then ZS-WFI in South Africa from 1989.
It arrived in NZ in early 1996 already fitted with a Lycoming O-540 engine to become ZK-WFI from 29-03-1996 with Maurice Hayes and Colin Henderson (see ZK-JTL above) of Fighter Trainers Ltd of Auckland. 
It was relisted to In Touch Travel Ltd (Maurice Hayes and Natalie Vincent) of Papakura on 24-07-1997.

Aermacchi MB-339CB NZ6469  c/n 6800/173/CB010 served with the RNZAF No.14 Squadron out of Ohakea from 1991 until the Strike force was disbanded with it being stored from 13-12-2001 until going to the Classic Flyers Museum at Tauranga. 
Due to lack of space at Classic Flyers it is hangared with the Historic Aircraft Trust.

Some distance from home. ZK-KEO

An interesting visitor at Motueka today, and some distance from its operating base is this Pacific Aerospace 750XL ZK-KEO c/n 222 with its Falco 3000XL mods.
I think it arrived on Boxing Day.
I believe it is based at Te Kuiti with ex Aerowork pilot Grant Lennox and operating 
under the AOC of Murray Hargreaves of Maungaturoto.
It has been mentioned several times previously here.

North Shore 28 December

A visit to North Shore airfield this morning offered a couple that havent appeared on this blog before being the Paraparaumu based Cessna 172D ZK-BDL2.   This is a 1963 model and it was imported from Australia back in 2009.

And a brand new 2022 model AS350B3 ZK-HTS3 imported for an Auckland private owner back in May.


Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Innovator Mosquito Air

The Innovator Mosquito Air is a single seat very light helicopter designed by John Uptigrove and originally manufactured by Mosquito Aviation.  It was then supplied as a kit by Innovator Technologies Ltd of Rockyview, Alberta in Canada, complying with FAR Part 103 Ultralight regulations which require a maximum empty weight of 254 pounds.  It first flew in 2000 and has been much developed since into a range of Mosquito helicopters.  In 2019 manufacture of the latest models of Mosquito helicopters transferred to Composite FX of Trenton in Florida.

The Mosquito Air is made from aircraft grade aluminium and the tailboom is a carbon fibre tube supported by vee struts.  Its length is 16 feet (4.87 metres) and its rotor diameter is 18 feet 1 inch (5.5 metres).  Empty weight is 254 pounds (115 Kg) and MAUW is 529 pounds (240 Kg).  I am not sure what the earliest engines were but a common engine was the Zanzoterra MZ 202 which is a 2 cylinder air cooled 2 stroke producing 64 HP, and this gives a cruise speed of 63 mph (55 knots).

We have had only one Mosquito Air registered in New Zealand:

Oskar Stielau of North Shore briefly registered hi Mosquito Air as ZK-JNG3 (c/n 1083) on 12/2/08.  It was registered microlight but I guess when it was realised it was a helicopter it was re-registered as ZK-HNG6 on 20/2/08.  It is photo'd above at Parakai on 6/10/08.

And again at Parakai on 1/3/09 with a change of colour scheme?
Also at an airshow at Parakai on 19/2/11, Oskar is flying his Mosquito Air with another Mosquito flying in the background.  They buzzed around like real mosquitos!

ZK-HNG6 was cancelled as withdrawn on 7/1/19 but it went on to more interesting things.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Vickers Wave ZK-VIC on the Water at Lake Karapiro

We haven't heard much from Vickers Aircraft about their Wave amphibian ZK-VIC2 since its test flight back in March 2022.  But a couple of months ago it was carrying out its first water trials on Lake Karapiro:

Thanks to Vickers Aircraft for the photos.

Monday 26 December 2022

Joe Veza's Merry Christmas Helicopter

In my recent post wishing all NZ Civair blog readers a Merry Christmas I mentioned the back story to this spectacular Christmas lights display at Red Beach on the Whangaparaoa peninsula.  Here are some more details:

Joe Veza is no newby when it comes to helicopters having built a his Innovator Mosquito XE ZK-IBO3.  As well as building his Mosquito, around 3 years ago he got the idea to make a "helicopter" as a display to add to the Christmas lights in his street.  With the help of Brett from Heliflite at Ardmore Joe cobbled together the nose and cabin of an old Jet Ranger with the tail end of a Robinson R 22.  Joe then installed it at the end of his garden and began pimping it!

Joe has installed an electric motor to (slowly) turn the main blades and he has also installed a smaller electric motor to (again slowly) turn the tail rotor.  The "helicopter" is an ever developing work of art and this year Joe has added the ability for the helicopter to rise about half a metre and settle down again using an old bed frame and outboard motor rams.  There is also a soundtrack of a Jet Ranger starting up that plays when the blades are started.

And in what I reckon is an inspired bit of work, Joe has a lady mannequin "flying" his helicopter into whom he has installed model aircraft servers from his old modelling days, that allow her to shake and nod her head as well as to move forward and look up to the main rotors, and also to raise the collective with her arm as the soundtrack of the engine winds up and the helicopter rises!

Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas from Us!


Have a blessed Christmas everyone - there is an interesting back story here for a later time.

North Shore on 23-12-2022

Another avgas run to North Shore yesterday found the airfield pretty quiet but I did manage to get a couple of photos:

One of the ex Fly My Sky Islanders ZK-PIZ was purchased by Auckland Seaplanes Ltd on and has now been painted in this Island Aviation scheme with the subtitle Connecting the Hauraki Gulf.

And also fuelling up was the Bell B 206 L-4 Long Ranger ZK-HNY5 has been owned by NZ@500FT Ltd of Albany since 15/7/21 and is now in an all black scheme.

You can see most of our previous ZK-HNYs HERE

Friday 23 December 2022

More US visitors at Christchurch

 This Cessna T240 Corvalis N362CS c/n T24002062 is actually not a stranger to us in NZ. 
I first met it in March of 2017 when it arrived as a demonstrator. 
It went on demo tours to Australia and South East Asia.
It arrived in Christchurch this morning (23-12-2022) from Wanaka.

Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Global Express N77NZ c/n 9144 has been parked up at Christchurch since earlier this month in a difficult photographic position. 
Alas my camera's 'fence removing Ap' is not working at the moment. 
This was initially listed to the manufacturer as C-FAGV and was quickly transferred to Bombardier USA as N6VB with an airworthiness certificate dated 14-04-2005 and by 19-04-2005 was listed to Paramount Pictures Corporation of Los Angeles, California.
It was then certified as N77NZ on 23-04-2021 to TVPX Aircraft Solutions Incorporated Trustee out of North Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The Gulfstream GVI (G650) N889YF c/n 6127 in an equally difficult spot. 
This started as N627GA with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation at Savannah, Georgie in January 2015 and was delivered to Yungfen Investment Management (HK) Ltd on 05-08-2015 as N650HH only to disappear into the books of the Bank of Utah at Salt Lake City.
It was re-registered as N899YF, still under cover with the Bank of Utah, on 07-05-2016.


With the weather finally on the improve the number of visitors to Pauanui airfield has started to increase and this week has included the Cessna 182S Skylane ZK-RIK.    This is a 1998 model which was imported from the USA mid 2022 for its Hamilton owner.

And down from Ardmore was the Rotor Flite NZ Ltd Hughes 369E ZK-HTU3 which is one of 2 369E imported by International Heliproperties from Australia earlier in 2022.


Thursday 22 December 2022

Hughes 369D ZK-INA.

Law enforcement agencies in the US have been big users of the various Hughes helicopters models, quite a few of which have eventually found their way to NZ. 
A reasonably recent addition is the Hughes 369D which is now ZK-INA2.
As N8387F, with the c/n 270080D, this joined the California Highway Patrol out of Sacramento, California in April of 1977, changing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in February of 1986.Photo above of N8387F taken on 30-09-1999 at Long Beach, Doughtey Field by Mike Head.

It was sold off to Grizzly Mountain Aviation Inc of Prineville, Oregon in October 2005 and then briefly to Billings Flying Service Inc at Billings Montana in February 2018 until Helicopters Unlimited LLC of La Crescenta, California listed it from 29 June 2018 and was operated by Summit Helicopters of Pacoima, California
It was delivered to Argus Aviation on 20 May 2021 as N8387F and was flying as such in NZ by the 24th.     And is seen here in its US N8387F markings at Motueka on 24-05-2021 thanks to Cody Forward.

Its US registration was cancelled on 30-07-2021 and it became ZK-INA2 to Argus Aviation and first it first flew as such on 9 August 2021.
On the 17th of that month it was listed to Heli Marlborough 2021 Ltd of Blenheim.
Above as seen at Motueka yesterday 21/12/2022 by Cody Forward.