Monday 2 January 2023

Chipmunk ZK-ARL at Waipukurau

DHC 1A-1 Chipmunk ZK-ARL has recently been flying at Waipukurau.  Ron Day told me it is like a racehorse compared to the Auster he has also been flying.  Ron was planning to fly to the First in the World flyin at Wanganui but the weather was a bit too marginal.

ZK-ARL (c/n 61) was the first Chipmunk to be registered in New Zealand back in April 1949 and recently, on 29/7/22 ownership changed to The Brooklands Syndicate of Otane.

Here is what Ron told me about the recent changes for the Chipmunk:

S/n 61 was imported by de Haviland NZ as a demonstrator for the RNZAF, who didn't adopt the type and continued on with Harvards.   She was then sold to the Wellington Aeroclub as ARL. She acquired the RAF scheme while with NZ Warbirds at Ardmore, and retained it in subsequent private ownership.

I have a personal preference for aircraft wearing military schemes to not display civil registration, so applied for and was granted "Chipmunk 48".

The first Chipmunk taken on for RAF service was WB549, so it was felt appropriate as this airframe is older, to use the preceding number.

Some more information about its history and previous posts containing ZK-ARL can be found HERE

Thanks very much for the nice photos Ron.


  1. I'm sure ZK-APN also owned by Wellington Aero Club was the first Chipmunk in NZ

  2. Yes, I believe that is the order in which it APNed. ZK-APN c/n 21 was registered on 28 Oct 1947 and I have ZK-ARL c/n 61 as first registered on 11 July 1949. Is that date, or some date in April 1949, correct? Perhaps it arrived in April 1949 and registered in July. Comments anyone?

  3. My records indicate that APN and ARL were registered in 1947 and 1948 respectively but curiously no month is given for either. An interesting side note regarding APN which crashed in Lyall Bay on 2/09/50. After recovery from its dunking it was found to already be showing sign of corrosion and was stored behind the hangar however the April 1953 WAC committee meeting was advised the airframe had been removed by persons unknown