On the up

Zagreb Airport
As July draws to a close, all of Croatia’s main airports have reported their passenger figures for June 2010 and the news is good. All of Croatia’s airports reported increased passenger numbers with the exception of Rijeka, which continues to struggle not only financially but passenger wise as well.

The biggest passenger increase, when compared to the same month last year, was recorded in Zadar. The airport handled 33.838 passengers last month, an increase of 36.4%. Also doing well were Osijek and Dubrovnik with the airports reporting an 18.1% and 12.2% increase respectively. Osijek’s result should be particularly noted because the airport saw aircraft movement fall by 30.7%, when compared to June 2010. Split handled 154.776 passengers compared to 147.865 and thus recorded a 4.6% increase. Out of all of the airports reporting growth this June, Zagreb saw an increase of only 1.4%, handling 200.515 passengers.

On the other hand, Rijeka struggled with passenger numbers declining 43.8% this June. It welcomed only 9.341 passengers.

Below you can view June 2010 results for Croatian airports:

AirportPassengers JUN 2010Passengers JUN 2009Change (%)
Zagreb200.515 197.652 1.4
Dubrovnik167.931 149.550 12.2
Pula53.159 50.341 5.6
Split154.778 147.865 4.6
Zadar33.838 24.797 36.4
Osijek3.3772.859 18.1
Rijeka9.34116.647 43.8

Oshkosh Day 5

<> The Sleeping Giant Wakes Dept.:  Big news from China: IndUS Aviation threw a big lunch bash today at Oshkosh to break word of its exciting new program to shift production of all its Thorpedo LSA to China, as part of a unique collaboration with the country's government and private industry to begin to grow Chinese General Aviation.
The program will launch this fall at the new LuYangHU General Aviation Development Zone in Weinan, China.  There is currently no GA permitted in the country.  This will be the first - carefully studied and controlled, to be sure - attempt to bring private aviation to Chinese citizens: a fascinating period in history, and one that, with this partnership, aims to open the country wide to sales of light sport aircraft from all over the world.
Indus will build LSA for its domestic market as well as worldwide - including Chinese citizens.
Boeing, Diamond, Cessna and Airbus have also established manufacturing sites at Weinan, but Indus is the first LSA company to be invited to build a "primary entry level aircraft in large numbers to meet the expected demand for such aircraft in India and China," said Dr. Ram Pattisapu, IndUS CEO.
The "prototype" airspace will be 100 square kilometers in size, with a legal ceiling up to 3000 meters, and will be the only place for now where private Chinese aviators will be allowed to fly.
Congratulations to all involved.
<> Had a good talk with Tecnam's Ray Swanson, VP of Distribution and Avionics, about the company's new iPad (or computer)-based Sport Pilot Course which was introduced here and will be offered to TFC (Tecnam Flight Center) members across the country.
Through TFC, flight schools can gain access to software flight training programs, such as the Tecnam Sport Pilot Course Dan demoed for me and P&P Publisher Mike McMann.  I'll be going through it in a few weeks as I refresh for my biennial flight review in Nov.
The programs were developed in collab with MS Aviation and Hilton Software, LLC to maximize student pilot training.
Students can carry the iPad with them everywhere, drop it into the center panel slot on their Tecnam trainer for geo-referencing sectionals, airport info and much more.  Tecnam North America Prez Tommy Grimes, above, presents an iPad loaded with the Sport Pilot course to the first student to go through the program.
Course materials are constantly refined and uploaded wirelessly to students...very cool, I'll have more on it down the road.
<> Today I spent the day dreaming of electric sheep...or airplanes, listening to an all-day symposium with the likes of legendary aeronautical designer Burt Rutan, FAA's head Randy Babbitt, Bertrand Piccard who spearheads the Solar Impulse project, Erik Lindbergh, visionary grandson of Lucky Lindy himself, Craig Willan, emcee, research engineer and I gather the person who brought these luminaries and several others under one roof for the EAA Electric Aircraft World Symposium 2010.
It was fascinating, and I'll have more to say about it when I put the article on electric flight together for Plane & Pilot but here's a few highlights:
Rutan: "I want to watch the young designers, I want to inspire you to do the new stuff even if it doesn't work right the first time.  I want to see an electric manned aerobatic airplane here at Oshkosh."
Chris van Buiten (Sikorsky's Firefly electric helicopter): "Electric airplanes are hard; electric choppers are very hard."
Piccard: "The bottleneck in manned electric flight isn't energy capture, but energy storage.  The Solar Impulse project (which flew all night recently on battery-stored solar power) is not only an airplane project but an energy project.  We proved we can fly all day and all night and have energy left over."
Eric Lindbergh presented the 2010 LEAP awards - and $25,000 in cash prizes (which recipients donated right back to LEAP!) - to:
<> Yuneec for its e430 (Best practical electric aircraft)
<> Sonex (Best electrical aircraft subsystems)
<> and the Antares 20E electric motorglider (first certified production electric aircraft.)
I watched the Antares fly yesterday (see photos).  Two words:  most impressive.
General Electric, Tesla Motors and Ford Motor Company all had excellent presentations on electric-powered cars and discussed applications and implications for electric flight.
As I've said before (and Erik Lindbergh among others echoed today), these are the Wright Brothers days of electric flight.  So what if flight times are "only 1 or 2 hours" so far?  Remember how long the Wright's first flight was?
Of course, many technical challenges are ahead...but the first flights are happening, history is being made, and interest is surging, as this well-attended seminar in the vast EAA Museum Eagles Hangar proved today.

Jean Batten clips.

I have had a note from Deb Diaz advising that a documentary about the 1930's aviatrix Jean Batten is now online, to watch for free at :-


Jean Batten broke solo distance flying records and achieved international fame. Directed by her biographer, Ian Mackersey, Garbo of the Skies chronicles Batten's life through archive footage, interviews, narration from her unpublished memoirs and reconstructions of her epic flights. The film also reveals a lonely private world: a domineering mother, romantic tragedy, an itinerant fall into obscurity, and death in a Majorcan hotel (a mystery solved by research for the film).
Please, please spread the word through your membership and networks. It’s legal to use the link on websites, newsletters, social media like Facebook, etc.
Thanks and kind regards,
Deb Diaz
For NZ On Screen

Turkish takeover rumoured

Another EX-YU airline for Turkish Airlines’ collection?
Yet another takeover in the EX-YU region, orchestrated by Turkish Airlines, is being rumoured. Croatian media report that the Turkish national carrier is interested in purchasing the struggling Croatia Airlines, its Star Alliance partner. Srećko Šimeunović, the head of Croatia Airlines marketing, says that he is unaware of any interest on Turkish Airlines’ behalf because it hasn’t been decided whether the airline will be privatised but adds that any interest on Turkish’ behalf show that Croatia Airlines has value. Speaking to the “Večernji list”, Šimeunović says that Croatia Airlines is reporting financial losses and therefore plans to cut its work force and fleet (despite the fact that the airline recently purchased new aircraft and has more on order).

Earlier this year, the CEO of Croatia Airlines said that the carrier’s only saviour from bankruptcy was swift privatisation. Lufthansa was rumoured to be interested in the airline but the German carrier denied such claims several months ago. This year, Croatia Airlines is loosing its grip on the Croatian market, unable to fight again low cost airlines. Of particular concern to the carrier is the arrival of low cost airlines in Zagreb.

Turkish Airlines owns 49% of B&H Airlines and is the front runner in the purchase of Jat Airways.

Christchurch pickings 30-07-2010

Registered on 29-06-2010 was the Robinson R44 ZK-HDM3 , c/n 0072 , to Heli Maintenance at Christchurch. This all yellow Astro finally arrived today, in its container, and was quickly unloaded into the Heli Maintenance hangar. This helicopters has served in Greece and the UK. In fact at one time it was flown by Sir David Jason ("Dell Boy" and "Granville" on the small screen).
A couple of visitors parked on the Western grass were the Cessna 182S Skylane ZK-LKM , c/n 18280796 , down from the Wanganui area. This carries the name "Mataitira" which I seem to recall was on a Cessna 180 some years ago.
Dropping off a load of day old chicks was the Piper PA-32-260 ZK-EKS , c/n 32-7300018 , of C E V Ltd from New Plymouth. The nose section of his Cherokee Six was fire damaged at Ashburton in January of 1998 and was repaired using the required sections of ZK-DDF.
In the Canterbury Aero Club maintenance workshop the Alpha R2160 ZK-VCA , c/n 160A-07014, (and ex ZK-CTX) was just having its new Club colour stripes and registration letters added.

Oshkosh Day 4

Catching up with Jon Hansen and James DeHart of Hansen Air Group in Georgia.  They rep the lovely line of FK Lightplanes German composite aircraft for all of North America (except Florida.)
Jon had just delivered the first FK 9 ELA to a customer, who was there when I came by with four of his six children, all boys.  Three of them, at least so far, want to be pilots like their dad.  Nice looking family as you can see.
The FK 9 ELA (which will be redubbed Sparrow to avoid confusion - some folks think "E" means Experimental) is a handsome, clean airplane that deserves to capture attention.  There are a whole line of these immaculate S-LSA, including the FA-04 that set a cross-country flight record for LSA last year and the gorgeous FK-14 Polaris that was originally going to be offered by Cirrus until that company ran into difficulties last year.
Jon also told me that Lycoming has given word that it's LSA-destined 233-LSA engine will begin deliveries at the end of the year after a period of R&D. The company is now taking orders, and it's reportedly less expensive than the 100hp Rotax 912.  Although 30 lbs. heavier than the Rotax, it delivers 115hp and has an alternator that pumps out 60 amps to power everything in the cockpit including the smoothie blender. 
What?  You don't have an ASTM-certified smoothie blender in your airplane?  It's what's happening...I call mine the iSmoothie. 
More on the Lycoming tomorrow.

Also spent time with Powrachute's Voyager ElectraChute which as you can guess is electric-powered on 128 volts of li-po batteries.  These guys are a happening company with several gas-powered LSA models but the electric model is in a class by itself, if powered parachutes are your bag, so to speak.  More on this tomorrow too, gotta get to the field.

B&H on the rise

Passenger numbers up by 200%
More flights, more aircraft and, most importantly, more passengers have seen B&H Airlines record a 202% passenger increase in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year. In the second quarter of the year, the airline carried 36.933 passengers, an increase of 90% compared to the second quarter 2009. The increase is somewhat lighter than that recorded in the first quarter when passenger figures increased by 133%. However, while the number of flights increased 46% in the first quarter, flight operations increased by only 4% in the second, making the second quarter passenger increase more remarkable. In the second quarter, a total of 429 scheduled flights were operated and 44 charters were carried out. The airline recorded an average load factor of 78%, making it the highest in the EX-YU region.

The national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina carried a total of 54.191 passengers in the first six months of the year. The upcoming month of August is traditionally the airline’s busiest month. In 2009, B&H Airlines carried a total of 87.158 passengers.

Meanwhile, B&H Airlines will finally receive its long awaited Airbus A319 jet on August 1. However, current booking systems show that the Boeing B737-700 will be arriving instead. You can read more details on the new arrival here on Sunday, August 1.

Question time # 107 resolved

Mit has correctly identified the Aero L-39 Albatros ZK-TCS wing tip tank.

ZK-TCS2 c/n 131848, was listed to The Copter Shop Ltd (hence TCS) of Nelson on 05-01-07 and was removed from its container at Helicare Servcices at Nelson Airport on 26-02-2007.
It arrived in its full previous operators colour scheme.
These two pics were taken at Nelson 0n 28-03-2007.
It was rolled out in its new metalic Blue scheme on 16-09-2008 and first flew on 27-10-2009.
The above pic was shot by Matt Hayes. The lower shot taken during its first flight in NZ was captured by Peter Campbell on 27-10-2009.

Oshkosh Day 3

<> Jan Fridrich , head of Europe's LAMA, just sent me some intriguing stats from his comprehensive data crunching of S-LSA (or overseas equivalents) official registrations up to now.
Europe continues to lead overall numbers with just under 1850 total.  The U.S. tally is now over 1200.
Sales have been light for the majority of the 70+ suppliers but there has been some shifting of position in the ranks.  The top ten U.S. sellers to date are:
Flight Design (CTLS, MC) 316
American Legend (Piper Cub models) 156
CubCrafters  (Piper Cub models) 136
Tecnam (P2008, several others) 133
Czech Sport Aircraft (SportCruiser) 126
Remos (Remos GX) 121
Jabiru (J-230, -250 etc.) 96
Evektor (SportStar Max) 91
TL Ultralight (Sting S4, Sirius) 73
AMD (Zodiac models) 72
You may be interested in how the numbers fall for country of origin of all 3-axis S-LSA registered aircraft: The U.S. and Czech Republic each represent 26% of the total, with Germany right there at 25%.  Australia and Italy make up another 18%.
Again this is registration data, not actual numbers produced, but is a good medium term data point for tracking the health of the industry.
Noteworthy in these stats is CubCrafter's climb to the third slot on the wings of a strong spring sales showing.
Also moving up a notch ahead of Remos is Czech Sport Aircraft whose SportCruiser is now the PiperSport.  
Also, kit airplanes as noted yesterday are doing relatively better than S-LSA on the short term at least with companies like Legend and Rans, which continues to steadily gain market share and is now 14th overall in registrations.
Remos has been inexplicably quiet for awhile, more on that usually high-profile maker later.
Finally, TL Ultralight also passed AMD (which has had airframe failure and redesign challenges).
Beneath the radar as I said yesterday are the actual sales numbers.  FAA registrations which is the data Jan is massaging here will naturally lag behind.

For example, I talked with Piper's Chief Pilot Bart Jones who's now involved with the PiperSport as well, and he confirmed Piper has sold "around 40" airplanes since January.  In this economy, that's robust.  
Sidenote: Piper's dynamic CEO Kevin J. Gould resigned from his leadership of the company, part of a shuffle of the front office personnel.  No word on why he rode out of town.  I wish him well, I thought he was a strong and positive presence for the company but Imprimus, Piper's controlling interest, apparently felt otherwise.
To repeat from yesterday's blog, an American LSA distributor told me he visited the Czech Sport Aircraft factory where PiperSports are built and saw 24 or more in various stages of assembly.
Likewise Cessna, the other sleeping giant, is just ramping up delivery on its huge backorder log, which at one time was listed at more than 1,000.  No official word in the intervening three years from the Skycatcher's test setbacks to first deliveries on how many of those orders may have been cancelled but no horror stories are flying about, so we should see strong registrations from both companies in the next six months, which will if nothing else boost industry morale.

Of course nothing boosts the feel-goods more than seeing airplanes going out your own door, and that's something that not many dealers can say just yet.  The prevailing mood seems to be wait-and-see among the buying public.
Grateful thanks to Jan Fridrich for his inciteful latest report on the industry.

“Adria and Croatia should unite”

Could Adria and Croatia Airlines become one?
Eelier this month, Tomaž Lovše, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia, suggested that neither Slovenia nor Croatia need national flag carriers such as Adria and Croatia Airlines. He believes that both are a waste of tax payer’s money. Instead, Lovše suggests that the two airlines should unite. “The two airlines should unite due to the economic benefits they would experience from such a move. As a united airline, shares could be sold both on the Ljubljana and Zagreb stock exchange and long haul flights to New York could commence”, Lovše told the “Finance” magazine.

Both Adria Airways and Croatia Airlines are part of Lufthansa’s Star Alliance network. In 2009, Croatia Airlines carried the most passengers out of all the former Yugoslav carriers while Adria Airways came in third after Jat. Both Croatia Airlines and Adria are posting dire financial results this year but both have committed to a fleet renewal program. In recent times, Adria has focused more on its regional network while Croatia Airlines has been rationalising its summer charter flights from the country’s coast.

Earlier this year, Ivan Mišetić, the CEO of Croatia Airlines, noted that the Croatian national carrier must be privatised in order to avoid bankruptcy. However, the airline’s management now plans to bring the airline into positive financial territory by 2013 and only then should the Government decide whether the airline should be privatised.

Do you think the unification of Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways would be a rational move? Do you think it would work? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

The Brave

Away back on 05-12-1969 Piper first flew the low wing agricultural single seater all metal Pawnee replacement - the Piper PA-36-285 Pawnee Brave. The most interesting thing about the early production aircraft (in my view) was the engine of choice. The Continental Tiara 285. Basically this was a 405 cubic inch turbocharged engine with the propeller driven from the crankshaft. I believe the fuel consumption was rather high and that there was no significant advantage over the already well proven other options available. I don't believe any of these Taira Brave's came to NZ. Next engine used was the proven Lycoming IO-540 of 300hp in the PA-36 Brave 300.
Only one of these served in NZ and this was ZK-EIA , c/n 36-7760009 . This was imported by, and registered to Airwork (NZ) Ltd of Ardmore on 19-05-1977. It was used down south initially, being spied at Rangiora and Timaru soon after arrival. The pic below was taken from the wing of the real Pawnee (PA-25) at Timaru on 02-10-1977.
I lost track of it for a few years, but I believe it went on lease to Pask Air Service and then to M T Herbert of Napier in about August of 1983. It was re-listed to Kairanga Aviation on 05-07-1984 and was ferried across the Ditch from Kaitaia to Norfolk on 08-10-1984. It became VH-FEX and has spent most of the intervening years with Fiel Air at Ballarat in Victoria.

A further ten Brave aircraft came onto our register, but these were the PA-36-375's with the Lycoming IO-720 engines.

Oshkosh Day 2

Recovering from the mud soup floods that crippled arrivals a few days ago (so many airplanes typically park on the grass), things began to dry out enough yesterday to bring robust opening day attendance, helped in large part by the beautiful weather.  Humidity was manageable, temps were in the mid-80s.
A great start for EAA (which reportedly draws 45% of its yearly revenue from Airventure), with lots to see and talk about.
Yuneec, (which seriously needs to update its website), is the Chinese electric aircraft company that blew open the hangar doors of everybody's electric flight dreams last year with the debut of the beautiful E-430 all-electric S-LSA.  They've guarded some tasty secrets since, which came to light yesterday.
I spent a half hour with Managing Director Clive Coote to get updated, here are some highlights (more details down the road, and in my electric flight article which will run in a P&P issue this fall).
<> The E430 will likely begin deliveries end of 2011 or early 2012.
<> Many improvements big and small to the graceful design, including removable wingtip to shorten the span by 7 feet for easier hangaring;
<> Two - not one but two - new electric aircraft have been acquired and will be part of the rapidly-expanding Yuneec product line.  Both come from noted German designer Martin Wezel: the two-seat, t-tail Viva motorglider, German designed, that will also be S-LSA, with some phenomenal specs, including a folding propeller that streamlines to the nose cone, and a 38:1 glide ratio!  More on that soon.
<> The second new airplane is called the Apis 2.  It's a single-seater with a retractable propeller pylon behind the pilot.  Here's a brief profile on Yuneec that ran last week in the NY Times.
<> Meanwhile Yuneec displayed the eSpyder, an electric-powered single-seat ultralight based on the FlightStar marketed by Flight Design's Tom Peghiny that wowed the airshow crowds last year.  The e-Spyder is refined: longer wingspan, lighter structure...and twice the battery capacity. Clive Coote said flight times anticipated to be around an hour - the original projection when it debuted last year - and final price should be $27,995.  Still in development, deliveries next year also.

<> Terrafugia had itsTransition Roadable Aircraft ("flying car" for us non-marketing types) on display.  The new model, which ditched the disappointing canard, sports a twin-tail boom design instead.  Here's a rendering, they don't have the full-scale mockup out yet.
Current specs:
Max, Vh:
Cruise, Vc:
Stall, Vs:
100 kts (115 mph)
93 kts (105 mph)
45 kts (51 mph)
425 nmi (490 mi)
1700' (518 m) over 50' obstacle

<> The boys at Midwest Sport Aviation showed off their Cheetah XLS, a tasty tube/fabric S-LSA which I hope to fly after the show.  Nice paint job! 
<> The gang at Legend Cub had a good first two quarters although things inexplicably slowed down in June.  Enthusiasm for the new Cub Classic (under $100,000 - typically outfitted Legend Cubs go for upwards of $125,000) is yet to kick into high gear but company head Darin Hart says they're doing a lot of kit business.  Consensus is if pilots have the moolah to buy a Cub, they'll buy one fully tricked out.  Those more financially challenged (like myself) will typically find a used Cub or a rental at a local airport.
<> Piper Aircraft reportedly sold 40 aircraft since announcing the PiperSport last January at Sebring.  One person who visited the Czech production facility saw 10 on the assembly line and another 12 ready to start.
<> Those and other sales won't show up on the radar until they're actually registered.  FAA registration numbers for all S-LSA according to Jan Fridrich's latest tally were a fairly weak 68...but actual sales seem to be significantly higher.
<> Meanwhile, other significant news is coming in a couple days from a longtime LSA producer and LAMA...stay tuned for news on Thursday.

Expansion for Zagreb Airport

Zagreb Airport terminal
Zagreb Airport’s new terminal may be on hold but it is expected that the current terminal will receive a much needed face lift. Work on Pleso’s terminal is expected to begin by the end of 2010. The project anticipates the construction of a new domestic check-in and arrivals area, which will extend the current terminal to the airport’s control tower. The new part of the terminal will stretch over 5.872 square metres, the “limun.hr” portal reports. The international departures lounge will also be extended and more space will be given to duty free shops and restaurants. The cost of the project will amount to 5.6 million Euros.

Tonči Peović, the director of Zagreb Airport, says that the extension of the current terminal is a temporary solution until the construction of the city’s new terminal begins sometime in the near future. The current terminal is too small to handle the volume of passengers using the airport and big delays at check in desks have become frequent.

City authorities expect that construction of the first phase of Zagreb’s overdue, multi million Euro, new terminal will begin in August 2012. The first phase of the project should see the completion of a 40.000 square meter terminal building and four air bridges. The first phase of the project should be complete within two years, by 2014. If past promises by the city authority had been kept, Croatia’s capital city would already have had a new state of the art airport terminal.

Oshkosh First Day

Oshkosh has been deluged with a record downpour the last few days, which complicated arrivals because of the soggified grass fields...where most of the planes park and campers do their camping thing.
Many airplanes were turned away over the weekend but nothing deters the Airventure show, which must go on.
Several things already buzz, then out to the field for me to discover more and get things rolling (I got here late last night from the wonderful DC-3 Fly-In 4 hours south of here - half of the flying DC-3s in America, 35 total, turned up to be admired by thousands of visitors - a wonderful show.)
Back to Oshkosh and LSA-centric events:
<> If two flying cars aren't enough - the Terrafugia Transition and I-TEC Maverick I've reported on in the past- here's another one: the Caravella.  It's an intriguing work in progress and they're exhibiting at the show.
<> Oshkosh never fails to deliver sheer wonderment but here's one for the books: a rocket-powered helicopter (terms you don't expect to hear together!).  Read about it here, but the short tell is hydrogen peroxide powers rotor-tip jets to get things going.   Endurance claim is 1.5 hours!  Can you say LSA green helicopter in one breath?  This amazing project deserves a closer look.
<> Sonex Aircraft, which is working on its own electric-powered project, introduced the Onex, a single-seat, homebuilt E-LSA.  I'll have pix soon.  The bird has folding wings a la the F4U Corsair warbird (makes trailering legal) and will be powered by an AeroVee engine.
Off to the show!

Fatal mid air collision at Feilding

News has been filtering in with regards to a mid air collision between two Cessna 152's at about 3.30pm at Durie Road close to Feilding airfield today.
Sadly two persons lost their lives in the Cessna 152 ZK-TOD whilst the other aircraft  ZK-JGB landed safely back at the Taonui airfield.
Our sympathy goes out to all.

Sarkozy to seal Airbus deal

Nicolas Sarkozy to sign off on Jat Airbus order
After Jat Airways and Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding in London last week in order resolve Jat’s controversial order for eight Airbus A319 aircraft from May 26, 1998, it is expected that the issue between the two companies will be settled by the end of the year. A firm deal between Jat and Airbus is set to be agreed upon in the following months before the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, visits Serbia at the end of the year, the “Večernji novosti” newspaper reports. The agreement between Airbus and Jat will be finalised so the presidents of France and Serbia can sign the purchasing agreement in Belgrade, the newspaper writes.

It is believed that the new aircraft will be immediately transferred to Jat’s successor, which the Government of Serbia will set up. Earlier this month, the Government said it had delayed the process because of insufficient finances. However, media reports say that the Government has extracted 350 million Dinars from the Belgrade Bypass project budget and this money will be diverted to pay a company which will serve as a privatisation/restructuring advisor for Jat. Therefore, the process of setting up Jat’s successor might speed up yet again.

Ecureuil making movies

Noted at Helipro's Christchurch base today was the Aerospatiale AS350B2 Squirrel ZK-IHW c/n 2816.  This has a very interesting history.  First appearing on the French Colonial register on 27-07-1994 as F-ODYX it came to NZ to become ZK-HROfor about a day in July 1997 before becoming ZK-IPV on 08-07-97.  On 08-06-1999 it became ZK-HFV3 until exported to Australia on 26-09-2000.  There it became VH-ECO until returning to NZ to take up the ZK-HXMmarks on 24-01-2002.  Back off to OZ in November 2003 as VH-FRN until being damaged in the Latrobe Valley in January of 2006. Back to NZ for HeliQuip International  to do their magic and creating ZK-IBO on 03-10-2006. They re-registered it as ZK-IHW on 03-10-2006.
It was listed to Heli-Works Queenstown Helicopters from 20-12-2007 and remains with them although, as can be seen by the sign writing, it spends time at Mt Cook for Aoraki Mount Cook Skiplanes.
It is filming for a new National Bank advert.

Two more Alpha's for the Canterbury Aero Club

Noted earlier this month in the Canterbury Aero Club maintenance hangar were two Alpha R2160's, ZK-CTX , c/n 160A-07014 , and ZK-CTY , c/n 160A-0016. They had been registered to the Club on July 2nd via Alpha Aviation and Hamilton Aero Maintenance. Both off course being ex the CTC Aviation line up at Hamilton and have been in storage since about last October.

The photo above shows ZK-CTY as seen at Hamilton on 20-03-2008. This is now registered as ZK-VCC.
Below is ZK-VCA with temporary tape markings as seen today (26-07-2010). This was previously ZK-CTX.
They will carry the Clubs new scheme, incorporating what I will call the Northwest Wave, similar to that of their Tomahawk ZK-EYJ as seen at  http://design-plane.blogspot.com/2010/05/one-and-same.html

Kraljevo Airport in 2011

Kraljevo Airport
As was reported a month ago, Serbia’s newest international airport will be located in the town of Kraljevo, in central Serbia. The project for Kraljevo Ladjevci Airpot has received much needed financial backing which could see the military airport open for commercial flights by the fall of 2011. The project is being headed by the town of Kraljevo but also by the nearby city of Kragujevac and ten other towns in central Serbia.

The 22 million Euros needed for the airport’s conversion into a commercial one will be funded by the Government of Serbia and Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. USAID-MEGA will finance the business strategy plan for the airport along with local municipalities.

An airport in Kraljevo, in central Serbia, would benefit many. Kraljevo is an industrial town and the need for cargo flights would be welcome. All industrial companies in Kraljevo have expressed their desire for the reconstruction of the airport. Kragujevac is home to the Zastava-Fiat car maker which will be producing new Fiat models in the city next year and a nearby airport would come in handy. Furthermore, Kraljevo is close to the mountain ski resort of Kopaonik which could see seasonal tourists. Ladjevci Airport was heavily bombed during the 1999 NATO air raids with most of the runway and the control tower destroyed.

Germanwings success

More flights and more passengers from Croatia
Many low cost airlines have been reporting successful results this summer from various EX-YU airports. One of them is Germanwings, which expects to carry some 440.000 passengers from Croatia by the end of the year. Lufthansa’s low cost offspring anticipates that it will see a 10% passenger increase on flights heading to and from Croatia when compared to 2009. The airline explains that this is in part due to increased capacity. The German airline has increased its frequencies from Hannover to Zagreb and Split this summer. Germanwings’ Airbus A319 aircraft, operating to Croatia, have an average load factor of over 80% per flight and the airline believes that the same high numbers will continue throughout the year.

Germanwings operates flights to five Croatian cities during the summer months – Pula, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split and Zagreb. The airline has been present in Croatia for several years. In the region, it operates flights to Belgrade, Priština and Sarajevo as well.

Question time # 107

I have another chocolate fish sitting wrapped on my table here for somebody !
All you need to do to get your teeth into it is to tell me:-

1.  What is this device ?

2. What aircraft type and model would you expect to find it hanging on ?

3. Would you care to place a NZ Civil registration on that aircraft ?

Another Bristol exposed

Bristol 170 Freighter 31M , c/n 13156 , was listed to the Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd on 22-12-1953 using their manufactures test registration of G-18-148. It went to the Pakistan Air Force and was allocated the S4403 serial and carried the code letter "A".
It was acquired by Straits Air Freight Express Ltd (S.A.F.E.) and arrived in Auckland still in its camouflage paint scheme on 01-06-1966. It then went on to Woodbourne for its NZ certification.
Two views of S4403/ZK-CLU during conversion at Woodbourne. Taken late June of 1966.
It was registered as ZK-CLU to S.A.F.E. on 01-06-1966 and allocated the name Merchant Buccaneer.
On 31-10-1967 the Company was renamed SAFE Air.
Picture above of ZK-CLU in its early S.A.F.E. scheme taken about mid 1967.
The view below shows her at Woodbourne on 27-12-1979 in the Safe Air markings. A close look at the registration letters shows a smaller earlier edition over painted.
A view in the office below and shutting the doors above at Wellington on 29-11-1985.
ZK-CLU was withdrawn from freighter service on 30-09-1986 and its last flight was from Woodbourne to the Whakapuaka Sandflats at Nelson on 20-11-1986 for delivery to the Nelson Founders Museum where it rests to this day. It had a total of 21314 airframe hours and 25,978 landings to its credit.
A view above of her at the Nelson Founder Park taken on 16-02-1990.

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