Sunday 17 September 2023

Kitplanes for Africa Explorers of New Zealand

Kitplanes for Africa is a South African company with Stefan Coetzee as the major owner.  Their factory is in Johannesburg and they have been building light kit aircraft since 1993.  Their first aircraft was the Bush Baby and this has been developed into the Explorer which is a 600 Kg LSA aircraft that is certified in Germany.  More recently they have developed the Safari and the Safari XL which are bigger aircraft that come under the GA class.  They build their aircraft as kits or complete aircraft completely in their factory.  KFA also build their own version of turbocharged Rotax engines.  Of the three models we have had 2 KFA Explorers registered to date in New Zealand, both imported as completed aircraft from South Africa.  

The KFA Explorer has a length of 5.9 metres (19 feet 5 inches) and a wingspan of 9.34 metres (30 feet 8 inches) with a wing area of 131.2 square feet.  Its empty weight is around 340 - 356 Kg (750 - 805 pounds) while the MAUW is 600 Kg (1,323 pounds).  Engines can be up to 135 HP and many different types of engines have been fitted by kit builders, but with the Rotax 912 ULS of 100 HP the cruise is around 85 knots, while the stall with full flaps is 35 knots.

Warwick Hamilton caught the Te Puke owned Kitplanes for Africa Explorer ZK-MSC (c/n 159-01-12) flying at Tauranga yesterday.  It was registered to UGO Earthworks Ltd of Te Puke on 1/6/23 and was previously ZU-MSC in South Africa.

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