Monday 3 October 2022

Homebuilt Helicopters of New Zealand - Revolution Mini 500Ks

In my post on our only Elisport CH 7 Angel helicopter I mentioned that it was developed from the Cicare CH 6.  This was after Cicare had done some work with Dennis Fetters of the Revolution Helicopter Corporation but could not agree on a licensing agreement.  The single seat Revolution Mini 500K was designed to resemble a scaled down Hughes 500 and I guess that this along with the cheap kit price was part of its appeal.  The prototype first flew in 1992 and the first factory assembled helicopter was delivered in July 1994.  The first example to be registered in New Zealand appeared in November 1995, the first of six Mini 500Ks to be registered here within a year.  It was claimed that the kit was so complete that the helicopter could be assembled in 40 hours.  The factory claimed to have sold more that 500 kits but it went out of business in November 1999.

The specifications for the Revolution Mini 500K were: length 22 feet 6 inches (6.9 metres), rotor diameter 19 feet (5.79 metres), empty weight 330 pounds (150 Kg) and the MAUW was 820 pounds (372 Kg).  With a Rotax 582 two stroke engine the cruise speed was 75 mph (65 knots).

We have had eight Revolution Mini 500K helicopters registered in New Zealand as follows:

The first Revolution Mini 500K helicopter to be registered in New Zealand was ZK-HNF (c/n 0019) that was registered to Graham A Sievers of Levin on 11/12/95.  It is photo'd above at the 1996 SAANZ flyin at Matamata on 10/2/96.  It was cancelled as revoked on 23/4/09.

Next to be registered was ZK-HOB2 (c/n 0060) which was registered to Bruce R Dawson of Whakatane on 23/3/96, (the first of  five Mini 500Ks to be registered here in 1996).  It is photo'd at Ashburton on 7/2/09 when it was about to undergo conversion to the 2 seat turbine powered Alpine Aviation T 500, which is still current.

The next Mini 500K to be registered was ZK-HOZ2 (c/n 0034) which was registered to Colin F Hopkins of Papatoetoe on 8/5/96.  It was withdrawn as Cancelled on 8/6/01 and I have not been able to obtain a photo of it - can anyone out there help?

Then followed ZK-HOW2 (c/n 0065) that was registered to S C Rowe of Rongotea on 23/5/96.  It is photo'd in a hangar at Feilding aerodrome in the late 1990s.  It was withdrawn as Cancelled on 18/11/13.

The next Mini 500K to be registered was ZK-HEW2 (c/n 0108) which was registered to Brian A Adams of Motu on 13/9/96.  It didn't last very long at all as it crashed at Motu Falls on 21/3/97.  It was withdrawn as Cancelled on 8/1/01.  Unsurprisingly we don't have a photo of this helicopter - can anyone out there help?

The final Mini 500K to be registered here in 1996 was ZK-HQG2 (c/n 0126) which was registered on 2/10/96 to B W Matthews of Anakoha Bay on Banks Peninsula.  It is photo'd above at the 1999 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton on 6/2/99.  It crashed near Orari on 6/2/99 which is the same date of the photo.  It was cancelled 1/9/99.

Our eighth Mini 500K to be registered was ZK-HPN3 (c/n 312) which was registered to Ryoko Nishida and Karl Hamer of Christchurch on 6/12/07.  It is still current but we haven't got a photo of it - again, can anyone out there help?

And our final Revolution Mini 500K (and probably out last?) is ZK-HXH4 (c/n 432) which was registered to Tomi Cacciamani of Blenheim on 15/3/16.  It was for sale on Trade Me and on 14/5/22 ownership changed to M G D Brightwell of Ohaupo with whom it is still current.



  1. Excellent post, I've been waiting for this as there was a Mini 500 on static display at RotorX, held at Manfeild in early 1996. Does anyone know which example it was? Or have any photos of the event...?

  2. Love those little choppers

  3. Not many people like them. Unfortunately the revolution company that build them went out of buisness. Maney complant about the quality of the kit itself.