Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 24, 2019 11:25:58 GMT 12
In this episode I sat down with aeronautical engineer and recreational pilot John Hansen, in his hangar at his private strip at Pokuru. John talks about his life in aviation, from watching the topdressers as a kid at Rangiora and playing in his uncle’s war surplus Avro Ansons, to becoming a loader-driver with Peter Rowley’s Aerial Sowing. He learned to fly at Harewood and was intending to go commercial and get into flying topdressers, but his path diverted into engineering.
He worked with the then-new company New Zealand Aerospace Industries at Hamilton Airport, setting up tooling for production of the CT/4 Aitrainers, and then working on the assembly line of Airtrainers and Fletchers.
He then worked for around a decade with Wishart helicopters, which was owned by Sir Tim Wallis, during the height of the deer recovery days. When that industry cooled down, John returned to Aerospace, now known as Pacific Aerospace Corporation Ltd. There he led the engineering team that created the turbine-engined CT-4C Airtrainer, and later worked on the upgraded piston version, the CT-4E. He also worked on the PT-6 engined Fletcher project,and the ANZAC Frigate project, before he went out on his own and is now an engineering consultant.
John also spent time in France at the Alpha factory preparing the engineering side of the deal that would see the production move to Hamilton in New Zealand.
Meanwhile he got into recreational flying and briefly owned a Bede BD-5 project. He replaced that with a Druine Turbulent that he flew all over the country for many years. And later he built his Hansen Deuce, which is based on the Bakeng Deuce but very highly modified by John.
Look forward to listening to this one he has certainly has had a varied career. What year did he learn to fly at Harewood Dave? If he learned to fly with the Canterbury Aero Club I wonder if he flew my Auster?
The Auster should be recognised for what it is: a gentleman's aerial touring carriage and a nice aeroplane.
I listened to this episode today and it was yet another example of a subject I didn't know much about going into, but I would quite happily read a book on John's career! That was a fantastic series of stories I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you Dave and John.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 11, 2019 21:47:51 GMT 12
Thanks Zac. Yes John is a fascinating guy. At last year's Black Sands it was wet and windy but I really enjoyed it because I spent a lot of time listening to John's stories, and I knew I had to interview him for the show and for Sport Flying, which we eventually achieved.