Author Topic: A day (or two) at the airport  (Read 867 times)

Offline KiwiZac

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A day (or two) at the airport
« on: January 08, 2022, 07:09:46 AM »
On Tuesday I decided that, after having seen and heard a lot of activity in our skies over the previous few days, I'd pop out to our local airport (NZWU) taking photos as I went.

Our airport is home to John Luff's de Havilland Venom jet fighter, believed to be the sole example flying anywhere. He and ground crewman Cameron walker were kind enough to put up with my videoing their efforts and I helped where I could - I even got to take out the Remove Before Flight tags!

John's son Darren is also a pilot with several aerobatic titles under his belt, and he owns DH Tiger Moth ZK-BEF. I'd notice the day before the Tiger flew past our house seven times doing rides! He was kind enough to let me shoot a walkaround of this storied machine and then, to my surprise, invited me along for a flight in this venerable old lady!!

And then yesterday a friend sent me a Flightradar24 screencap and said "Interesting plane" - it just so happened to be ZK-FYA, my favourite Cessna Bird Dog! So I raced out and met owners Paul and Jen Dodd, who were kind enough to chat and allow me to take some detail photos of their baby for a future build. Would you believe she's in the same paint applied after her restoration 31 years ago?

Whanganui is a popular place for passing aircraft to stop and refuel while on cross-country so it's not a bad place to live if you have the aviation sickness!

Some weeks are better than others.  :)

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 07:10:39 AM »
On Tuesday I decided that, after having seen and heard a lot of activity in our skies over the previous few days, I'd pop out to our local airport (NZWU) taking photos as I went.

Our airport is home to John Luff's de Havilland Venom jet fighter, believed to be the sole example flying anywhere. He and ground crewman Cameron walker were kind enough to put up with my videoing their efforts and I helped where I could - I even got to take out the Remove Before Flight tags!

John's son Darren is also a pilot with several aerobatic titles under his belt, and he owns DH Tiger Moth ZK-BEF. I'd noticed the day before the Tiger flew past our house seven times doing rides! He was kind enough to let me shoot a walkaround of this storied machine and then, to my surprise, invited me along for an evening flight in this venerable old lady!!

And then yesterday a friend sent me a Flightradar24 screencap and said "Interesting plane" - it just so happened to be ZK-FYA, my favourite Cessna Bird Dog! So I raced out and met owners Paul and Jen Dodd, who were kind enough to chat and allow me to take some detail photos of their baby for a future 1/48 build. Would you believe she's in the same paint applied after her restoration 31 years ago?

Whanganui is a popular place for passing aircraft to stop and refuel while on cross-country so it's not a bad place to live if you have the aviation sickness!

Some weeks are better than others.  :)

Online lcarroll

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 07:57:52 AM »
   That's quite a spectacular 48 hours Zac! Great photos, thanks for sharing all of this. I particularly liked the coverage of the Venom, that cockpit crammed with all those "steam driven" instruments tugged at the old nostalgia nerve for sure! The Bird Dog is a beautiful restoration in it's original livery, are you planning to model it as this one?
   You are indeed fortunate to live close to such a busy airfield, it probably sees a lot of real treasures over time!
Cheers,
Lance

Offline WD

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2022, 08:22:03 AM »
Thanks for sharing all of this Zac!  You've had a very eventful week.

WD

Offline gbrivio

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2022, 04:36:28 PM »
You had a couple of great days out for sure, thank you for sharing.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Offline Monty

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2022, 08:11:35 PM »
Lovely photos, Zac! Very informative and useful! Thanks for posting... Marc

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2022, 05:15:59 AM »
Thanks folks, I feel very humbled to be allowed access to these machines. I certainly didn't expect Darren to turn to me and say "Well, we'll have to take you up in the Tiger later won't we?"!! Hoping for another trip further afield on Thursday and if all pans out expect some photos then, too. All ground-bound though I expect!

I particularly liked the coverage of the Venom, that cockpit crammed with all those "steam driven" instruments tugged at the old nostalgia nerve for sure!
And the ejection seat is maintained in operational condition - until the RNZAF's Beechcraft T-6 Texan IIs arrived it was the only live seat in NZ! I feel extremely fortunate to have her fly over our place most weekends in the lead-up to airshow season.

The Bird Dog is a beautiful restoration in it's original livery, are you planning to model it as this one?
I am, it's been on my wishlist for many years - she's been my favourite of NZ's Bird Dog fleet since I was a kid. With the release of the Roden 1/48 and 1/32 kits in recent times it motivated me to save a bunch of photos from the internet for reference, and then when she showed up here it seemed a no brainer not to do so! I'm thinking 1/48 to fit in with my collection of warbirds, although after owner Paul showed me period photos taken "in-country" in a later scheme in 1969 I foresee a 1/72 build of that incarnation too...

Offline Whiteknuckles

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2022, 08:24:09 AM »
Lucky you Zac!
My local airport is home to HARS (Historical Aviation Restoration Society - https://hars.org.au/ ), home to the worlds only flying Super Constellation. Yesterday I finally became a member and spent a good few hours crawling (literally in some cases) through a number of airframes - Grumman S-2 Tracker, Lockheed P2 Neptune, DC3/C47, Convair CV440, DC4, Super Connie and a rather forlorn front fuselage section of a 707. I'm now on the team that does odd jobs but is heavily involved in getting the Queen's DC3 (used when she was in Australia) and the 707 cockpit up to speed.
Great day!!

Oh, how could I forget, the Fokker FVIIB “Southern Cross” Replica was going through some engine runs - soon to take to the air for the first time in twenty odd years ;)
Eternal Apprentice

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2022, 04:10:37 AM »
If anyone's interested, I have several other videos of this Venom I've taken over the past two years on my YouTube channel:
https://youtu.be/V4pn2DFVI-s
https://youtu.be/Iem8x5rFb6o
https://youtu.be/frme_zsenFo
https://youtu.be/fSI5RqHSLQQ
https://youtu.be/RLOrxs4JCQk

My local airport is home to HARS (Historical Aviation Restoration Society - https://hars.org.au/ )(...)
Lucky me? You're a member of HARS that works on the fleet! That's amazing, I'm so envious!! Through the pages of Classic Wings Downunder (now Classic Wings magazine) and Flightpath, I've followed their good work since childhood. How wonderful!

Oh, how could I forget, the Fokker FVIIB “Southern Cross” Replica was going through some engine runs - soon to take to the air for the first time in twenty odd years ;)
One of my favourite aeroplanes since I was a kid, and one that's on my build list - complete with a trio of Jacobs and the Canberra wheels! Although I am planning on replicating her as she was when she made her 1990 NZ tour - perhaps you could start a whispering campaign to do that again?  8)

To digress from my own post, here's what triggered my interest as a five- or six-year-old : her appearance in the Australian Bicentennial Air Show at Richmond in 1988.
https://youtu.be/KmXRU2VWsxM

I wasn't there - born 13mth prior - but Mum taped the official show from TV (full official VHS can be viewed here) and I watched it on a loop as a kid so the show video was a major part in forming my aviation tastes,
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 04:33:45 AM by KiwiZac »

Bughunter

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2022, 05:49:57 AM »
Thank you Zac for the huge amount of reference pictures! So much wonderful details to replicate ;)

Cheers,
Frank

Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2022, 03:04:04 PM »
Awesome!  Always love seeing your walk arounds!

Cheers,

Hugh

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: A day (or two) at the airport
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2022, 05:29:28 AM »
Happy to share the love, gents! That's the wonderful thing about modern cellphones: you have the ability to do walkarounds with no notice and no need to gather lenses or ensure the battery's charged!