Wednesday 14 December 2022

Homebuilt and Sport Helicopters of New Zealand - Canadian Home Rotors Safaris (1) 2001 to 2004 Examples

The Canadian Home Rotors Safari helicopter was developed from the Helicom Commuter that was designed by Harold Emigh in the early 1950s.  The design was developed through the 1960s, 70s and 80s and the rights were purchased by Canadian Home Rotors of Ear Falls in Ontario in 1986.  They produced kits and the helicopter was introduced at Oshkosh 1992 as the Baby Belle because it looked like a small Bell 47.  However Bell Helicopters objected and the helicopter's name was changed to the Safari.  An updated model called the Safari 400 was introduced at Oshkosh in 2011.  Kits for the Safari have been produced by CHR International Inc of Marianna, Florida since 2010. 

The Safari is constructed of welded 4130 tube and the main rotor blades are of composite construction.  Specifications are:  length 9.22 metres (30 feet 3 inches), height 2.44 metres (8 feet) and the main rotor diameter is 7.72 metres (25 feet 4 inches).  Empty weight is around 430 Kg (948 pounds) and in NZ the MAUW is 680 Kg (1500 pounds).  A variety of aircraft engines can be fitted and with a 180 HP Lycoming O-360 the cruise speed is 85 knots (137 mph or 74 knots) and the climb rats is 1000 feet per minute.

We have had 16 Canadian Home Rotors Safaris registered in New Zealand to date with the first batch below:

Our first Safari ZK-HXJ2 (c/n XJ0301N) was back in the days when it was called the "Baby Belle" and it was registered to Bruce Belfield of Tokoroa on 19/1/01.  It is photo'd above flying at the 2002 SAANZ flyin at Matamata to much interest.

Bruce Belfield has been the driving force behind Safari helicopters in New Zealand He formed South Pacific Home Rotors Ltd in 2011 and they are the New Zealand and Australian agents for CHR Helicopters Inc.  The above photo was taken at the 2014 Black Sands flyin at Raglan on 8/11/14.  It suffered an accident near Te Awamutu on 10/2/15 which required a major rebuild.

In the rebuild Bruce Belfield incorporated several improvements including an all titanium tail boom and a titanium tail rotor and the widening of the frame to allow more cabin room.  Bruce also canted the main rotor system forward by 1.5 degrees and the angling of the cabin floor to be level in at cfruise speed.  The results were a helicopter that was 27 Kg lighter and had a 200 fpm better climb rate to 1,200 fpm.  This model was called the Safari 600 as can be seen painted on the fuel tank in this photo of the rebuilt and repainted ZK-HXJ2 taken at the 2016 SAANZ flyin at Hastings, on 20/2/16.

ZK-HOK3 (c/n 0488N) was built by Bart Kindt of Auckland and was registered to him on 29/7/03.  It is photo'd above at Te Kowhai in early December 2003 at a flyin to celebrate 100 years since the Wright Brothers first flight.  Bart sold it to S M Weir of Runanga on 1/5/09 who in turn sold it to W A (Alan) Weir, also of Runanga on 1/1/19.

The next Safari to be registered was ZK-ISH (c/n 0515N) which was registered to S G Hamilton of Tokoroa on 10/3/04.  It suffered a heavy landing and roll over at Tokoroa on 8/11/08 but was rebuilt, possibly by Bruce Belfield as it was registered to South Pacific Home Rotors Ltd, now of Te Awamutu on 22/5/13.  Both of these photos are via Bruce Belfield.

On 1/9/15 it was sold to W D Rose of Whangarei and on 10/1/21 ownership changed to Warren Sinclair of Whangarei.

Our fourth Safari helicopter was a bit different as it has a Robinson R 22 cabin as can be seen in the photos which were taken at Tokoroa on 18/11/11.  ZK-HIV2 (c/n 0514N) was registered to C R Goddard of Te Kuiti on 28/10/04.  Ownership changed back to Bruce Belfield on 1/6/13 and then it went to Cloud 7 Aviation (B and J Norgrove) of Ruakaka on 22/11/19.

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