Tuesday 22 November 2022

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Ultrasport 555Ts

The 2 seat Ultrasport 555T turbine helicopter was developed from the piston engined Sportscopter 600 and is the brainchild of Dick Sybrandy who is based at Manaia in Taranaki.  In my previous post on Sportscopters of New Zealand I mentioned that Dick Sybrandy acquired the Sportscopter 600 ZK-HJY2 after it was cancelled from the register on 9/10/00.  He formed Ultrasport Helicopters NZ Ltd in September 2010 and I understand from Dick that ZK-HJY2 was developed into the Ultrasport 555T turbine helicopter and it formed the basis of the second Ultrasport 555T ZK-ITK.  Then Dick Sybrandy formed a new company Auroa Helicopters and I understand he is still working on helicopter development.

The Ultrasport 555T helicopter is of steel tube and composite construction and is powered by a Solar T62-32 turbine engine of 160 HP which gives a respectable cruise speed of 150km/hr (81 knots).  Its has an empty weight of 310 Kg (683 pounds) and a MAUW of 600 Kg (1,320 pounds).

We have had four Ultrasport 555T helicopters registered in New Zealand to date, as follows: 

The first Ultrasport 555T was ZK-HEH4 (c/n UH 001) which was registered to Dick Sybrandy of Manaia on 23/7/10.  It suffered damage on 17/11/10 at Kapuni when it lost power on takeoff due to fuel contamination but it was repaired.  It was cancelled on 20/8/15 as exported.

Next up were a pair of 555Ts that were also registered on 23/7/10 - ZK-ITK (c/n UH 002) and ZK-ITL (c/n UH 003).  These were registered to Ultralight Helicopters NZ Ltd.  According to the Auroa Helicopters website the fleet of three 555Ts flew for 130 hours in 2010 and 2011.

ZK-ITK was cancelled as exported on 12/12/12, and ZK-ITL was cancelled as exported on 28/7/11 and went to South Africa where it became ZU-RLC.  Thanks for the photos Dick.

After a gap of nine years another Ultrasport 555T was registered.  This was ZK-HJY3 (c/n UHNZL 004) that was registered to D R Hopkins of Balclutha on 5/8/19.  It is photo'd near Balclutha on 17/6/22.  Thanks very much for the photo Dave.

No comments:

Post a Comment