Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cirrus SR22

An Ardmore-based Cirrus SR22 visited Wellington today as part of a trip around much of New Zealand.

Wikipedia has a reasonable rundown on the aircraft which is starting to become popular in New Zealand, along with its close cousin the SR20.

Cirrus SR22

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Air Force UH-1 Iroquois

A Royal New Zealand Air Force [RNZAF] UH-1 Iroquois helicopter visited Wellington today. While here [for barely 5 minutes] it picked up Matt Ferris who is an RNZAF C130 Hercules pilot who is cycling the length of New Zealand by himself raising money for prostrate cancer research ["Movember"].

For those not familiar with New Zealand, there's a chunk of water between the North and South Islands... hence the Iroquois ride. For details of this sponsored ride, you can go to Matt's Facebook page [Facebook login required]. Far out, you could even follow the instructions on that page and cough up some cash or something for a worthy cause :-)

Here are two of the best pictures I got at the Iroquois flew past the Aero Club on its departure.

Polynesian Blue

Here's a picture of a Polynesian Blue [aka Virgin Blue] B737-800 taking off at Wellington today.

Polynesian Blue B737-800

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Welcome Pacific Blue!

Just in the last week or so, Pacific Blue [local outpost of Australia's Virgin Blue] has started flying New Zealand's rather lucrative main trunk [Auckland / Wellington / Christchurch] routes. Pacific Blue have been flying trans-Tasman [to/from Australia for those of you outside of the Pacific region] for some time, and so it was only a matter of time I guess before they decided to enter the domestic market.

If nothing else, it has provided a temporary shakeup, with plenty of $39 one way fares. While fares will undoubtedly rise in the future, this arrival of competent domestic competition has seen the two other main operators [Air New Zealand and Qantas] respond in ways that can only be good for the consumer.

The only issue is that historically, New Zealand only really has room for a couple of domestic main trunk operators. It will be interesting to see how things lie in a couple of years. Pacific Blue/Virgin Blue is a tough competitor, and I doubt that they will give up easily.

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures.

Pacific Blue B737Pacific Blue B737

Thomson from the UK or Air New Zealand?

What a surprise when I saw this aircraft landing at Wellington today! It's a UK registered B737 in the colours of Thomson []. Given that even the mere hint that an airline is considering starting services in New Zealand makes the "front page" [and nothing has been said], I was surprised indeed.

Turns out that this aircraft is being operated by Air New Zealand. I'm not sure of all of the details [can someone fill us all in???], especially as it still hs a UK registration.

In any case, it is always good to see new and interesting liveries flying around [some local operators could learn from this :-)].

B737 ThomsonB737 Thomson

Vans RV-6 amateur build airplane

Earlier today an awesome looking [though for Wellington, unusual] visitor popped in for a short time. It's a Vans RV-6 which had flown direct to Wellington from Queenstown in about 2.5 hours.

This particular model cruises at about 140 kts on 160hp with a fixed-pitch wooden propeller, which is quite good for a two seater, but nothing too unusual for many of the better amateur built aircraft.

[As an aside; notice the weather? Fantastic!]

Vans RV-6Vans RV-6Vans RV-6

More of the Southern DC3

As mentioned in my previous post, Wellington had the pleasure of a DC3 arrival last week. The aircraft is still here, and earlier today I saw a bunch of hard working engineers removing the right hand engine.

I also had the pleasure of a quick look inside the aircraft which was really neat. The cockpit is clearly from another age [just look at those control wheels!] but it's still a beautiful aircraft! Another thing that struck me was just how large the engine looks when sitting on the trailer. Hopefully it will be back in the air shortly where it belongs.

The following are some of the pictures I got of the aircraft at various times during the day. Top to bottom:

DC3 engine still being worked on
Engine off
That huge engine closeup
DC3 cockpit

DC3 engine being worked onSans engineCloseup of engineBeautiful cockpit

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Southern DC3 at Wellington

Here are some pictures of the Southern DC3 Dakota [or C47 for my American viewers] parked up at Wellington just outside of the Aero Club. ZK-AMY has [like any DC3] a long history, more details of which are available on the Southern DC3 Trust website.

Apparently, ZK-AMY was not actually heading for Wellington, but had an issue with an engine, and so diverted here, along with the requisite "fuss" accorded to any aircraft reporting an in-flight problem.

Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3Southern Trust DC3