American Twins at MOTAT

A couple of 1930's/40's American twin-engined, twin-tailed aircraft are also displayed in the new display hall at MOTAT. Unfortunately they were not very easy to photograph.

The MOTAT Lockheed L-10 Electra is displayed as Union Airways ZK-AFD, named Kuaka. ZK-AFD was first registered in June 1937. After Union Airways was nationalised it served with NAC. It was withdrawn from use in September 1951 at New Plymouth, and it was obtained by MOTAT in March 1967.

In fact the Electra in the photo is ex ZK-BUT which was operated by Trans Island Airway, being first registered in October 1957, after a long international career. It was damaged in a ground loop at Christchurch on 18/2/59 and it was cancelled on 22/12/59. The remains were used for fire training at Christchurch for some years and it was obtained by MOTAT in January 1968.

MOTAT still have the original ZK-AFD but it is not currently on display.

And the second American twin-engined, twin tailed aircraft displayed is Aerial Mapping's Beech AT-11-BH Kansan ZK-AHO.

This aircraft was purchased by the New Zealand Government in 1943 and it was modified as an air survey aircraft. It was shipped to New Zealand arriving in August 1943 and it was assembled at Hobsonville. Ownership transferred to NZ Aerial Mapping Co Ltd of Hastings in 1943 and they operated the aircraft for all of its long service life. It is displayed in the colour scheme that it wore late in its life. It was withdrawn for use at Hasting on 31/12/80 and its final flight was from Hastings to Hobsonville on 19/1/82. It was cancelled from the register on 16/6/88 and was obtained by MOTAT.

ZK-AHO was named Manu Ruuri from 1960, as photo'd above and which shows the detail of the modified aerial photography nose. This is another important historical aircraft for New Zealand, as it would have done most of the aerial photography of the country (in conjunction with Monospar ZK-AFF, but that is another story....)


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