Post by Peter Lewis on Nov 2, 2008 21:09:37 GMT 12
The final few Transavia PL-12:
PL-12/T300A-1 Skyfarmer ZK-TRP c/n NZ109 Registered to Transfield (NZ) Ltd., Auckland September 1982, sold D L Hart (t/a Skyfarmer Aviation, Waimate) February 1983 (Del.19Nov82). Sold Ross Aviation Ltd., Rotorua July 1985. Sold abroad Australia and delivered by ship 1989, became VH-JDS with Jones Contracting Services, Kempton, Tas. December 2003 (was there a previous Aussie owner in here?)
Skyfarmer ZK-TRP while with Ross Aviation, late 1980s
PL-12/T300A-1 Skyfarmer ZK-TRR c/n NZ111 Registered to Transfield (NZ) Ltd., Auckland April 1983, sold Kaikoura Aerial Topdressing Co-operative Ltd. July 1985. Sold M E Bolgar, Waimate September 1986. Last flight 21Jul87. S.Abd Australia to D Jones, Kempton, Tas and became VH-JSS September 1987.
PL-12/T300A-1 Skyfarmer ZK-TRS c/n NZ112 Registered to Transfield (NZ) Ltd., Auckland November 1983, sold D L Hart, Waimate t/a Skyfarmers June 1985. Blown over by gale at Burkes Pass 3Jul90. Reg canc 27May91. Rebuilt at Thames by Heliplane Services and restored to register April 1993. Sold M Feeney, Thames July 1994. Sold A P K & M A Turner, Masterton November 1998. Crashed on t/off Glen Donald Station, Bideford, Wairarapa, 5Aug00 Thames airfield 1995
There were another 10 NZ registrations allotted to the Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, but never used by them: ZK-DVO ZK-DVQ ZK-DVS ZK-DVT ZK-DVU ZK-DVV ZK-DVW ZK-DVX ZK-DVY ZK-DVZ
Post by daddysflying on Nov 8, 2008 14:58:27 GMT 12
Absolutely fascinating post. This is my favorite airplane of all time. I once had a strange looking tricycle from Germany that had swivel wheels and flat bars, and I loved it. Once I saw the Skytruk I had to investigate. I'm saddened that there may be no more airworthy PL-12s left, but am investigating as to whether I could acquire one and bring it to the United States (I'd love to relocate to NZ, but that seems even more difficult. Any help anyone could lend would be greatly appreciated. I now fly a 1952 Piper Tripacer.
Thanks Peter for sharing the history and the wonderful photos of all the Airtruks and Skyfarmers in New Zealand.
I can answer a couple of your questions regarding the different serial numbers that came off the production line over the years.
Aircraft with serial numbers comprising of three digits only were manufactured in the decade commencing 1960. The first digit denotes the year of manufacture and the last two digits denote production line number.
Aircraft with serial numbers comprising of four digits only were manufactured in the decade commencing 1970. The second digit denotes the year of manufacture and the last two digits denote production line number.
Aircraft with serial numbers commencing G were manufactured in the decade commencing 1970. The first digit denotes the year of manufacture and the remaining digits denote production line number.
Aircraft with serial numbers commencing H were manufactured in the decade commencing 1980. The first digit denotes the year of manufacture and the remaining digits denote production line number.
(The above information came from the Australian Type Certificate Approval Document)
As for the Skyfarmers that carried NZ serial numbers I’m not sure what the story is as they don’t appear in the Australian certificate and I’m sure that they were also built in Australia but assembled by Flight Engineers Ltd at Ardmore. All of the New Zealand Skyfarmers were designated as PL12/ T300 – A1’s where as all the Australian Skyfarmers were only PL-12/ T300 A’s. Was there a difference between these aircraft? And does anyone know what the New Zealand serial numbers were all about?
I have read the accident report involving ZK-TRO and a large portion of the report revolves around flight controls as the pilot had made a number of complaints about control snatching at low speeds to the manufacturers and to Flight Engineers Ltd. Flight Engineers Ltd quickly did a number of test flights in a PL-12 using the new Skyfamer ailerons but weren’t able to get the aircraft to behave in the same manner. I know that at the same time ZK-TRP was also in countered similar problems. Sadly ZK-TRO crashed before the problem was resolved and if my memory serves me correctly ZK-TRP’s ailerons were replaced with the older style PL-12 ailerons. For some reason Col Bolgar was never very happy with ZK-TRP and the aircraft was sold and replaced by a PL-12 ZK-CJT.
I also have a numbers of photos of ZK-TRP, ZK-TRR and ZK-TRS in action which I will post next month when I arrive back in New Zealand along with other PL-12 photos.
Daddysflying, there are still a number of airworthy Airtruks and Skyfarmers around the world and many of those are still working for a living.
There is also one PL12 T320 in the United States which has been there for many years now, Transavia the company which built the aircraft took one to the states in the late 1970's to see if there was a market but sadly the American FAA system didn't allow any agricultural aircraft to operate in the states if the hopper is behind the pilot so the aircraft wasn't successful. However someone fell in love with the machine and brought it to display on the airshow circuit.
The aircraft was issued an experimental certificate of airworthness which is still valid today and registered as NPL12. According to the records the aircraft is owned by George Copland, Duncan, Stephens, Oklahoma, USA. You can find more details on this machine on the FAA website.
I don't know for sure but this aircraft must be one of the last airworthy T320's in the world.
Post by fletcherfu24 on Nov 9, 2008 19:49:17 GMT 12
the states in the late 1970's to see if there was a market but sadly the American FAA system didn't allow any agricultural aircraft to operate in the states if the hopper is behind the pilot
Are you sure on that point as in the late 70's some Fletchers were exported and used in the US....it even has a US type certificate,and I can think of some other rear hopper aircraft operated in the USA.Cheers.
Pool Guy, you may well be very correct but I know for some reason or another the Airtruk was never certified in the United States and I was told that was the reason. How many Fletchers were exported to the States do you know? And did they remain to the register as working aircraft for long?
Post by fletcherfu24 on Nov 10, 2008 21:21:14 GMT 12
At least 3 FU 24 aircraft went to the US. ZK-EGR / ZK-USA N4917Q 251 (kitset for Frontier AS, USA) N37509 253 (kitset for Frontier AS, USA) N212FA Plus 4 kitsets that were returned to NZ,I think after Frontier AS folded.I'm sure the 3 Fletchers subsequently crashed in the US or Central America,I dont think they ever sold any.they ended up leasing them out. I think the Fletcher ran up against the same problem as the Airtruk in that neither was really suitable for spraying in the USA where they up against the Agcat,Thrush,AirTractor etc which were big spray planes for covering big acreages of crops.
Post by Peter Lewis on Nov 11, 2008 8:24:36 GMT 12
Most aerial agwork in the States is either cropdusting or spraying. It's quite difficult to explain to them that aerial topdressing is a different sort of exercise involving aircraft with a different capability. They still refer to Fletchers as 'cropdusters'.
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Peter, not sure what the answers to your above questions are but will let you know next month, Transavia's production records are stored at the Power House Museum in Sydney and I have arranged to look through them for a day next month on my way home so should be able to answer whether there was a c/n 13 produced, it will be interesting to see.
As for DNA it is strange that it claims to be a 1974 model when clearly it's not as from your records the aircraft was already owned by Transfield (NZ) Ltd in late 1973. If you look at all the aircraft you will see that the production line numbers follow on through the years so I'm guessing with DNA that there is a paperwork error as to me it's clear that production number 59 was producted in 1973. I will also check this one out in the production records at the Power House Museum.
Hello,I just joined this group.First I'd like to say thank you for all this talk on this plane.I'm a r/c modeler from the U.S. and information is very scarce, on such a rare subject.Anyhow somebody posted about looking to the FAA to find information on one PL12 T320 that was in the air circut.Well it paid off and now I have a name and address. I copied what I found at the FAA .I thought I would post it here.Many thanxs ,Stefanp
Serial Number G575 Type Registration Co-Owner Manufacturer Name TRANSAVIA Certificate Issue Date 11/16/1992 Model PL12 T320 Status Valid Type Aircraft Fixed Wing Single-Engine Type Engine Reciprocating Pending Number Change None Dealer No Date Change Authorized None Mode S Code 50051251 MFR Year 1975 Fractional Owner NO
Engine Manufacturer CONT MOTOR Classification Experimental Engine Model 6-320 SERIES Category Exhibition
A/W Date 03/09/1987
This is the most current Airworthiness Certificate data, however, it may not reflect the current aircraft configuration. For that information, see the aircraft record. A copy can be obtained at Http://188.8.131.52/e.gov/ND/airrecordsND.asp
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other Owner Names
Post by Peter Lewis on Dec 16, 2008 20:32:47 GMT 12
Thanks for the info on N12PL Stefan - I guess that rego is an anagram of PL12. G575 makes it airframe 75 off the production line, built in 1975. It must have a previous history, if it's only been valid as N12PL since 1992. Wonder what the Coplands use it for?
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Sorry that it's taken me so long to come back with photos, have finally settled in but will be on the road for the next couple of weeks but though I would post a couple of quick photos of ZK-TRS and ZK-TRP both PL-12T300A-1's assembled here in New Zealand by Flight Engineers. Both these aircraft were photographed while been operated by Skyfarmers Holdings Ltd, TRP spraying in 1982 with Col Bolgar at the controls and TRS at the Waimate Airport in the late 80's with Max Anderson at the controls.