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!

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