Post by Peter Lewis on Mar 6, 2006 19:50:31 GMT 12
I was in Rotorua for a family outing in late 2004. At Rotorua, we were booked on a tour which started from the NZ Farm Tours in Fairy Springs Road. In their souvenir shop there is a small photo display on aerial topdressing just inside the front door, together with a couple of 1950s photos of James Aviation Tiger AVJ. Inside, hanging from the rafters, there is a Tiger Moth marked up as ZK-AVJ. It is either real or a very good replica. The chap I spoke to onsite mentioned that Warren Denholm and his father were involved in it. According to the records, AVJ crashed in 1956 and the remains went to Australia. I suspect that as they had the photos of AVJ either a replica was built (a very good one) or some other airframe was used and the result was painted as AVJ to match the photos. At this time that's all I know, but obviously the whole thing needs investigating further! Have queried Peter Layne and Cliff Jenks, and have followed up the Denholm link with no success. Any ideas as to the providence of this machine?
It is actually a Replica, originally built for the agridome. It was indeed a project by Wal and Colin Denholm, also Colin Sutherland of White Island Airways. It incorporates a number of genuine components. I worked with both Wal and Colin at Gulf Aeronautics before this Tiger was built (Circa 1993) and I know that the quality of workmanship would be superb. Colin was an awesome engineer who had done his time with Union Airways and NAC - including converting DH express airliners to Bombers before they went to Fiji! (unfotunately he passed away a few years ago) Neither Wal nor Colin had any time for "cosmetic Replicas" so its not surprising its hard to tell the difference with this one.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...