Sunday, 30 June 2013

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasairs of New Zealand (3) - Glasair IIIs

The Glasair III was developed in 1986, and it is the big daddy of Glasairs with a 300 HP IO-360 HP motor up front which gives a cruise speed of 282 mph!

Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft went bankrupt in 2001, and Thomas W Wathen, who was also the owner of Flabob Airport, purchased the assets of the company and re-named it Glasair Aviation LLC.  He in turn sold it to Chinese businessman Feng Tieji in 2012 and he registered the company as Glasair Aircraft USA LLC.  Currently there are plans to certify the Glastar Sportsman (which is another Glasair model, of which we have had several in New Zealand, and which I will post in a future post).

The Glasair III had a length 6.50 metres (21 feet 4 inches), a wingspan of 7.10 metres (23 feet 3 inches) and the same wing area as other Glasairs, of 81.3 square feet.  Empty weight was 703 Kg (1,550 pounds) and MAUW was 1,089 Kg (2,400 pounds)  With an O-360 motor cruise was 221 mph.

We have had 3 Glasair IIIs in New Zealand to date, including Buster Persson's recently registered ZK-ELB.

Our first Glasair III was ZK-EFW (c/n 3289) which was built over many years by Bob Irving of Auckland and was first registered on 16/2/06.  The above photo of it was taken at Ardmore on 25/3/06.  Its first test flight was on 5/6/06 but unfortunately it suffered a nose gear collapse and overturned doing considerable damage.

Bob Irving rebuilt the aircraft and it test flew successfully on 17/9/07.  It is photo'd above on 17/10/07.  Sadly it crashed on take off at Whitianga on 21/6/09 when its nose wheel dug in and it overturned again.  This time it was written off  and it was cancelled on 9/7/09.

Our second Glasair III was ZK-MKP (c/n 3191), which was built by Buster Persson of Whitianga, and was first registered on 11/2/08.  This was Buster's second ZK-MKP (his first was his Glasair Super II S-FT which I covered in my post on Glasair IIs), and in fact Buster wasn't finished there and he has become New Zealand's "Mr Glasair".  The above photo of ZK-MKP was taken by Mike Condon at Ardmore early on in its life, on 27/2/09.

Later Buster applied this attractive colour scheme to ZK-MKP, as seen at the 2009 Black Sands flyin on 7/11/09.  It later showed a very impressive take-off and rocketed overhead on its way back to Whitianga.  It is still current.

But Buster Persson was not finished with Glasairs, as he bought the damaged ZK-EFW from the insurance company.  He re-used the wings from ZK-EFW and bought in a new partly built fuselage from overseas to make ZK-ELB (c/n 3289R).  ZK-ELB was first registered to Buster on 13/12/12, and it is now in its test flying programme.  Thanks very much to Buster Persson for the above photo which was taken at Whitianga today, 30/6/13.

There is another Glasair III being built at Masterton by Craig Stobbs, as has been posted on this blog at   This one could become ZK-UAE.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

FINALLY - a fine day at NZRT

At last - a fine day at Rangiora . No rain or snow and just a slight north easterly wind.
A couple of strays were noted..
 The Cessna 180J ZK-DXA (c/n 18052516) of Gunson Enterprises from Ongaonga dropped in very briefly. DXA came new to NZ via Rex Aviation (NZ) Ltd,
 arriving here aboard the Austral Ensign in June 1975 for use briefly by Astro Air Ltd of Napier from October of 1975 until it went to Bob Gunston on 26-05-1976.
 Below : Robinson R22 Beta ZK-HNS2 (c/n 1304) was parked near the Aero Club. This was a 1990 built R22 which had three US registration before coming to NZ in April of 1996. It has had a bunch of listed owners - the current being HNS Syndicate of Haast.

Above : the locally based Zenair CH701 STOL ZK-JUG (c/n 7-6067) of Dean Philip returning from an upcountry mission.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasairs of New Zealand (2) - Glasair IIs

The Glasair II came along in 1986 with a wider and deeper cabin. It was further developed in 1989 into the Glasair II S with a 14 inch fuselage stretch, and then again in 1993 into the Glasair Super II S with a further 6 inch fuselage extension, the wing repositioned slightly aft and with increased tail surface areas.  It still could be built as a taildragger (TD) version, a fixed tricycle version (FT) or a retractable version (RG).

The Glasair II S had a length 6.30 metres (20 feet 8 inches), a wingspan of 7.10 metres (23 feet 3 inches) and a wing area of 81.3 square feet.  Empty weight was 635 Kg (1,400 pounds) and MAUW was 998 Kg (2,200 pounds)  With an O-360 motor cruise was 221 mph.

We have had 2 Glasair IIs in New Zealand to date.

ZK-MKP (c/n 2367) built by Buster Persson of Whitianga was our first Glasair II.  It was a Super II S-FT model. with a Lycoming O-320 motor.  It was first registered on 1/11/01 and it first flew on 16/11/01.  It is photo'd above at the 2004 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  It was cancelled on 8/4/05 and it was sold to Australia where it became VH-NEO.  Interestingly, the 3 aircraft in the above photo ZK-MKP, ZK-REH and ZK-NRV have all been sold to Australia.

And our second Glasair II was ZK-REH (c/n 2138) which was a II S-FT model built by Brian Horne of North Shore.  It was registered on 26/6/02 and its first flight was on 7/9/02.  It was powered by a Lycoming IO 360 motor and had extended wingtips.  The above photo of ZK-REH was taken at an Auckland Chapter SAANZ flyin at Pikes Point in 2003.  It flew across the Tasman in February 2009, and was sold in Australia where it was registered VH-PND.  Its New Zealand registration was cancelled on 6/3/09.


Chatham Island musuem progress

A recent visitation to the Chatham Islands found the following progress at the Aviation Museum at Kaingaroa.
The Short Sunderland NZ4111 is now mounted on a cradle and housed within the framework of one very large shed.
NZ4111 was an ex Royal Air Force Sunderland and carried the serial VB880. It was taken on charge by the RNZAF at Fiji in September of 1953.
After landing on the Te Whanga Lagoon at the Chathams on 04-11-1959 it struck submerged rocks whilst taxying and sank in shallow water. Recovery was deemed impracticable and it was sold locally after removal of useful items.

It has spent many years among the trees at Kaingaroa with the fuselage being used as a shed and the wing used as a wall.

The above photographs were taken earlier this month (06-06-2013).
The two pics below showing the "shed" and the "wall" were taken on 15-10-1992.
 And one of the props was planted outside the Waitangi Post Office.

Below : more pics from earlier this month.

The recent arrival Fokker Friendship ZK-BXI, rests alongside the shed - fuselage and centre section on a cradle and wings on the ground.

In fact those wings - if you look at the markings - are from the Friendship VT-NED - which has been derelict at Woodbourne for some time. 

The tail section being the latest part to arrive.
See previous post on ZK-BXI at :-
Whilst on the subject of Chatham Island aircraft.
Can anybody point their finger to the remains of the Cessna Squashmaster ZK-TAI which was damaged on Pitt Island in November of 1986. Last seen in an open sided shed at Te One in October of 1997.
And I assume that the Beech Queen Air ZK-CIA still rests at Hastings !

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Stearman progress.

Sir Minty managed a quick look at Ardmore yesterday (26-06-2013) and has passed on this photograph of the Boeing Stearman A75N1 as taken in the Avspecs hangar.
It was registered to Peter J Sundberg on 08-05-2013 using the owners initials to become ZK-PJS (c/n 75-4245). It still bears its US registration of N245TF just below the tailplane.
Note in the background the Grumman G.44 Widgeon.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasairs of New Zealand (1) - Original Models

The Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair was the first pre-molded composite kitplane to be available to homebuilders, and it was the next type of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft to appear in New Zealand.  The fuselage came in 2 halves and was glued together with bulkheads by the builder.

Tom Hamilton designed the original Glasair TD and the prototype first flew in 1979 with an O-235 motor, but most later aircraft featured an O-360 motor of 200 HP.  Tom Hamilton formed Stoddard- Hamilton Aircraft at Arlington, Virginia using his middle name and surname to make the company name seem more impressive!  In 1983 a retractable gear Glasair RG was added and in 1984 a fixed trigear Glasair FT was introduced, with little loss in performance over the RG model.

The original model Glasairs had a length of 5.94 metres (19 feet 6 inches), a wingspan of 7.42 metres (24 feet 4 inches) and a wing area of 81.3 square feet.  Empty weight was 621 Kg (1,368 pounds) and MAUW was 998 Kg (2,200 pounds).  With an O-320 motor cruise was 201 mph.

Our first Glasair was a TD model, ZK-ADY (c/n AACA/692) which was built by Mark Elworthy of Timaru.  It was first registered in June 1986 and its first flight was at Timaru on 19/8/87.  It is photo'd above at the 1989 AACA flyin at Tairei.  It was sold to MW Ross of Wellington on 7/7/94 and then to RG Warren, also of Wellington on 1/7/00.  It was then exported to the USA and its registration was cancelled on 2/6/04.  It is still current as N361V, owned by RE Warren of Hawaii.

Our second Glasair TD was John Luff's ZK-JDL (c/n AACA/1067) which he built in Wanganui.  It was first registered on 31/1/90 and it is still owned by John Luff.  The above photo was taken quitte recently, at Ardmore on 21/4/12

And our other original Glasair was Glasair RG ZK-NRG (c/n 764) that was built by Greg Laird of Auckland and was first registered on 18/1/90 (making it our second Glasair to be registered).  It is photo'd above at Wanaka.

It is photo'd above at the 2002 AACA flyin at Matamata.  It suffered a nosewheel collapse at Ardmore on 3/8/05 but it was repaired.

As it was sold to BM Williams of North Shore on 3/7/09.  It suffered power loss and force landed gear up at McLean Reserve at Bucklands Beach, Auckland on 8/11/09.  It was again repaired and is flying again as shown in this photo taken at North Shore on 9/12/12.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Montgomerie Bensen B8MR Gyrocopter at Tauranga 22/6/2013

Another new gyrocopter in the Gyrate NZ Ltd hangar yesterday was this Montgomerie Bensen B8MR.

ZK-OOZ (c/n PFA G/01-1262) is ex-G-BWJN, and it is powered by a Rotax 582 motor.  It was imported into New Zealand and registered on 12/12/12 to AJ Unwin of Mt Maunganui.

AutoGyro GmbH Gyrocopter Evolution at Gyrate NZ Ltd, Tauranga 22/6/2013

Also at Tauranga yesterday I photo'd several of the AutoGyro GmbH gyrocopters that Gyrate NZ Ltd are the agents for, showing how they have evolved over the last several years.  I have previously posted on the MT 03 Eagle gyrocopter at

Following the open cockpit Eagle, the next model was the Calidus Fern which was a fully enclosed tandem seat model.  We have 3 of these gyrocopters on the New Zealand register.

And then came the Calidus Cloud which is a side by side 2 seater.  We also have 3 Cavalon Cloud gyrocopters on New Zealand.  You can see the 3 AutoGyro models in the above photo.  All have Rotax 912 or 914 motors.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

LM Harris CASH Aviation Mk 3 ZK-LHC at Tauranga Today 22/6/2013

A trip to Tauranga today revealed several sport aircraft out and about or being worked on in hangars.

Harry Harris was fitting a new propeller to his latest homebuilt aircraft, his convolutedly named LM Harris CASH Aviation Mk 3, ZK-LHC.  Harry told me that the fuselage is from a Lancair kit but that the wings are 30% larger and power is from a 100 HP Rotax 912, enabling the aircraft to fit into the Class 2 microlight category.  Harry said that the aircraft flies very well and he has already flown around 28 hours in it.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Douglas LC117D Bu17188

Continuing the occasional deviation away from NZ civil aviation.
But still with strong NZ connections.
Among a large batch of Douglas C47A-20-DK aircraft ordered by the U.S.A.A.F was c/n 12847.
This was allocated the USAAAF serial number 42-92986.
In April of 1944 it was transferred to the US Navy with a new designation of R4D-5 and is known to have served with the following units:-
 VMR-253 in Aug 1944;  to VMR-152 in Mar 1945.
To AIRFMFPAC in Apr 1945;  to  NAS Corpus Christi TX May 1945.
To  MAG-15 in Jan 1946; to VMR-152 in Feb 1946.
To MAG-25 in May 1946; to CASU-12 in July 1946.
To CASU-44 in Sept 1946; to FASRON 118 in Oct 1946.
To FASRON in Nov 1946; then to NAS Pear Harbour in May 1947.

It was then converted to R4D-8 in early 1950s with a new Douglas c/n of 43384.
This conversion involves a longer and strengthened fuselage, a new horizontal and enlarged vertical tail with square tips. It had smoother engine cowling covering its Wright R1820-80's of 1475hp.
Then followed mods to bring it to R4D-8L status for assignment to VX-6 Squadron in 1958 and it was used during Operation Deep Freeze III an IV; followed by the ODF 1960, 1961, 1962.
Another designation change in 1962 listed it as a LC-117D and it then served the early part of the ODF 1963 season, but it crashed on Sentinel Ridge in the Ellsworth Mountains on 22 November 1962. (not far - as the LC117 flies - from the Vinson Massif - Antarctica's highest hill).
The first view shows her at Wigram.

The photo below was taken (I assume by the Otago Daily Times or Evening Star) shows 17188 parked beside the control tower at Taieri airfield.
 [and that is where I went for my first job interview - away back when Men where Men].
Then two views of her in the field.
It was aircraft number 7 of VX-6 which carried the tail letters of "JD" and it was know to have carried at least three names during its time in NZ and Antarctica.
"LouBird II",  "Big Daddy",  and "The Losers".

Recent picks from my pics..

 On Thursday I dropped into Ashburton for a "P" stop and then did a hangar snoop. Pick for the day would have to be Kevin Langford's Taylor JT-1 Monoplane ZK-DKQ (c/n AACA/125) parked between two Sportcruisers and with a backdrop of DC-3 wings.
 Back at Christchurch - and viewed from the Aero Club balcony was the Nelson Aviation College Piper PA-44-180 Seminole ZK-NAH3 (c/n 4496327) and below the new line up for the Club. Alas the Harmon Rocket II was just overnighting. ZK-TWU is c/n 04 and was an import from the US by Andrew Fairfax of Queenstown in 2004.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Falco F8Ls of New Zealand

Next up among the ranks of 2 seater homebuilt aircraft of New Zealand was the beautiful Falco, of which we have had 5 to date.

The F8L Falco was the eighth design of the renowned and prolific aircraft designer, Stelio Frati of Milan in Italy.  The prototype first flew on 15/6/55 with a C-90 motor of 90 HP and it has been developed over the years to have engines of up to 200 HP installed.  It is widely considered to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing designs ever available to homebuilders.  But it did not start out as a homebuilt aircraft, originally being built by Aviamilano, then by other Italian aircraft companies Aeromere and Laverda.

In 1985 Alfred Scott of the Sequioa Aircraft Co from Richmond, California bought the rights to the Falco design and converted it to a kit built aircraft, and plans and kits are still available today.  It is reckoned to be one of the more difficult homebuilt aircraft to build with its many compound curves.

The Falco is of all wood construction and it is stressed to +6G and -4G.  Its length is 6.5 metres (21 feet 4 inches) and the wingspan is 8.0 metres (26 feet 3 inches).  Its empty weight is 550 Kg (1,212 pounds) and MAUW is 820 Kg (1,880 pounds).  With a 160 HP O-320 motor the maximum speed is 202 mph.
Our first Falco was ZK-RNA (c/n 104) which was a very famous aircraft.  It was actually the second Falco ever built and was first registered as I-ERNA to T Candioli of Trentino in Italy on 9/5/56.  It went to the Aero Club of Lucca in 1972, then to Luciano Nustrini of Florence who stripped the aircraft to its basics and raced the aircraft in European air races, winning many races including one race at an average speed of 234 mph!  I-ERNA was re-engined with increasing power until it had a 160 HP O-320 motor.

The Nustrini family migrated to New Zealand in the 1980s and bought the Falco with them.  It first flew in New Zealand at Ardmore on 7/1/83. and it was registered as ZK-RNA to Luciano Nustrini on 13/3/86.  It can be seen in the above photo, taken at Tauranga in 1998, that it still wears its European air racing colours and its racing number 10.  If you look closely you can see that it still has the E of its Italian registration lightly painted out.  It had very smooth lines, especially around the canopy. Tragically it was lost in an accident when it dived into the sea of Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf on 6/2/99, while photographing racing yachts leaving Auckland, killing Luciano Nustrini and his wife.  It was cancelled on 23/6/99.

New Zealand's second Falco was ZK-TBD (c/n Design 606) which was built by Syd Jensen at Kerikeri. Commenced in 1980 progress was rapid and outstripped the supply of kits from Sequoia Aircraft. It was completed by 1984 but was not registered until 15/4/86. The above photo was taken in a hangar at Taupo in 1994.  It was sold to Graham Hodge of Christchurch on 1/2/95 and it was based at West Melton.  It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360 motor.

Enter Giovanni Nustrini of Technam Aircraft whose father Luciano bought his Falco I-ERNA to New Zealand and registered it as ZK-RNA in 1986 as noted above, Giovanni Nustrini really wanted a Falco of his own and he bought ZK-TBD on 18/5/02. He then tidied it up and painted the aircraft yellow as in the above photo taken at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  Ownership transferred variations of Giovanni Nustrini and Technam Ltd finishing up with Ardmore Aviation Services Ltd on 5/8/10.  It was sold to MF Spruce of Greymouth on 9/12/11 and it is still current.

Our third Falco was ZK-SMR (c/n 1230) which was built by George Richards of Auckland, and was first registered on 24/4/03.  It is powered by a Lycoming IO-360 motor.  It first flew on 2/1/04 and is based at Parakai.  The above photo was taken at the 2010 SAANZ flyin at Tauranga.  George undertook a great adventure in ZK-SMR by shipping the aircraft to California and flying it across America to Oshkosh 2012, and then returning to New Zealand.

Our fourth Falco is also an import, originally being built in America as N41854 (c/n 577) where it first flew on 17/11/84.  It was imported into New Zealand by Arthur Dovey of Wanaka and was first registered on 16/7/03.  It does not seemed to have been photographed much and the above photo was sourced from the internet.  Does anyone have a better photo of it?
And our fifth and so far final Falco is ZK-FWA (c/n 651) which was built by Russell Woods and Bruce Fraser of Christchurch over a 26 year period, being first registered on 28/8/08.  It is powered by a Lycoming O-320 motor and it first flew at Christchurch on 19/8/10.  It is photo'd above by Blue Bus at the 2011 SAANZ flyin at Ashburton.  It was sold to WI Thompson of Dunedin on 13/10/11, with whom it is still current.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Piper PA-18 ZK-BRP

Piper PA-18A-150 Super Cub ZK-BRP (c/n 18-5538) was imported and registered to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Christchurch on 18-02-1957 with its CofA being issued on 13-04-1957.
Ownership was transferred to Advance Aviation Ltd of Kaitaia on 03-05-1957.
It was rather badly damaged whilst landing at Kaitaia on 27-03-1960. I believe it was repaired by TEAL with ownership moving to Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd of Palmerston North from 23-09-1960.
Photo below (from an unknown source) shows ZK-BRP in its Aerial farming scheme.
Below is a shot of her from Allan Wooller taken at Feilding in September of 1966 showing hopper and all the spray gear fitted.

It was sold to Rik Holmwood of Masterton on 01-08-1967 and was captured at Hood airfield, Masterton, by Allan Wooller in September of 1967.
Now minus all the agricultural gear and as a two seater.

It was seen at the Air Contracts hangar at Masterton at about the same time by CMM just prior to a repaint.

 Its new scheme was photographed by Allan Wooller at Masterton in February of 1969.

It headed away down South and was registered to A I Hawker of Haast on 30-07-1969 and its back seat area was lined for the transport of deer carcases.
 Another ownership change was listed on 09-06-1970 to T J Finnie of Haast.
   These two views were captured at Taieri on 19-11-1970.
It carries the scrip "Masterton" and " R D Holmwood" on the forward fuselage and engine cowling.
 A few days after these pics it was damaged at Whiskey Creek when its undercarriage collapsed on 23-11-1970.
Another new paint scheme was noted at Dunedin (Momona) Airport on 23-12-1974.
By this time it was listed with J S Shewan of Haast.
A monochrome pic taken the same day shows the largish forward hinged door on the upper fuselage in place of the hopper inlet, a feature of several ex Aerial Farming Cubs.
The photo below (also dated on the rear as 23-12-1974) is obviously another time and place.
I suspect later - with some of the white fuselage stripe missing - and looking decidedly West Coast in nature.
On 02-07-1975 it was listed to R S Paton, just North of Oamaru.

The next three pics, from Allan Wooller, show ZK-BRP at Wanganui on 24-02-1979.

 It was listed to A J O'Rielly of Kimbolton on 28-03-1979. 
I believe it then went on line for a time with Dillon Flying School.
Then it was back to work again in another paint scheme.
Rowley Aviation Ltd of Amberley picked it up from 28-01-1985 and added a belly tank and spray gear, and gave it the name "Lil Penny".
If you look carefully in front of the "Lil Penny" script you will note a blackish dot.
This is a Penny coin (1957 from memory)
  Two views of her at Drake Aviation's at Christchurch on 10-10-1986.
As a useless aside- Three other Cubs went back on line with Rowley at about the same time :
"Lil Sister" ZK-COG:  "Lil Sarah" ZK-BNY:  and "Lil Squirt" ZK-BVJ.

On 12-07-1988 ownership moved to Neville Cameron of Coromandel and then to the Upper Valley Gliding Club from 19-02-1992.
These last two views show her at Strand Park, Lower Hutt on 18-02-01 for a day of glider towing.
Note the "Penny" is still there.
I have not seen her since - but I hear that it was at Wellington Airport recently.