Bent wings are best

Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, ‘bent wings’ were best in New Zealand. The Jodel D11 was the backbone of the recreational/homebuilt aircraft fleet, and the Fletcher was king of most topdressing operations around the country, plus the first Thorp T18 had flown here in 1976. So the bent wings had it all: a workhorse in the FU24, versatility in the D11 and speed in the T18.

Surely but slowly all of these types are fading as more modern aircraft and quicker-to-build kit sets have become available. The Jodel D11 as a type still musters 30 on the register, plus we have a couple of Falconar cousins, a slightly modified version of the Jodel with plans available from Canada, and we also have a couple of factory-built Jodels and the bigger brother Robin 400, with the 400 still wood construction.

Not bad for a design from Eduard Joly and Jean Delemontez (Societe Avions Jodel) that first flew in 1950. The design itself was based on their very successful Jodel D9 that first flew in 1949. The little D9 had impressive performance and this inspired hundreds of builders all over France to start construction and also put pressure on the designers to develop a two seater.

D 11s were licence built by several European aircraft companies and various models with different engines were developed. Plans were offered for homebuilders by Falconar of Canada and in Australia by Frank Rogers, who named his model the D 11 Club.

The D 11 is 6.2 metres (20ft 4in) in length, and its wingspan is 8.2 metres (26ft 11in). Empty weight is around 340kg (750lb) and MAUW is 616kg (1358lb). This lies outside the present microlight limits in NZ, and so the Jodel D18 stepped forward to offer similar performance but designed around the larger capacity VW. The NZ examples are generally powered by the O-200 and give a cruise around 95kt and a stall around 28kt.

ZK-LAN first flew in 1987. It was partly built by Bob Wagner in Nelson and completed by Les McAlwee and Arthur Jordan of Mapua, and steadily flew up until 2000. Early this year LAN changed hands to Claus and Annett who dismantled it for a full inspection and found it to be in good condition, so set about some minor restoration before reassembly at Motueka. It returned to the air in August, watched over by Bob, Margaret, and son Gary who had fond memories of the aeroplane being constructed out in the shed all of those years ago....


New operations manager as Wanaka steps up

Experienced airport and aviation professional Daniel Debono will join Wanaka Airport early in 2018 as Operations Manager, following an Australasia-wide recruitment process for the role.

Daniel has worked in the aviation industry his whole adult life and has a solid understanding of general aviation, airport infrastructure, operations, the Civil Aviation Act, associated Civil Aviation Rules, and Health and Safety Legislation.
Originally from Dunedin, Daniel is no stranger to the Southern Lakes region, having worked and holidayed in Queenstown and Wanaka for many years after he graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Aviation Management.

Airlines fined

Three US airlines, Delta, Frontier and United, have been fined a total of US$850,000 (NZ$1.165m) for violating US Transport Department airline customer protection rules.

It cost American Airlines $250,000 (NZ$342,000) for failing to make timely refunds to passengers while Delta was slugged slightly less for filing false missing baggage reports in order to prevent its baggage handling rating from slipping from fourth to fifth.....

Medical drones

Robin Kamira is a pioneer in the commercial use of drones in New Zealand. She has a plan for trialling safer drone operations that has gained enthusiastic support from the CAA.

In the proposed venture drones could be delivering medicine to remote, rural Northland communities by March next year.
Her company, Medical Drones Aotearoa, plans to begin a trial delivery of medical supplies to Mitimiti, near Hokianga, in November 2017 and aims to start its first regular service by March, pending CAA approval...

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