Nostalgia Page 14
Simmonds Spartan Production list and more pictures
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Simmonds Spartan Aircraft in New
ZK-ABZ - Picture and history added June 2006 - thanks to Jim Simmonds
New Pictures of ZK-ARH added October 2005- Thanks to Rod Hall-Jones
ZK-ABK (remains)at Ashburton Museum- Thanks to Dave Holland
ZK-ABZ is displayed hanging in the roof of the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Club.
The information below is a copy of the description displayed alongside the aircraft... Mr. Lister is now deceased and the aircraft is now in the custody of the
Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Club in perpetuity.
The Simmonds Spartan biplane, believed to be the sole survivor of its kind in the
A recent(2007) image of ZK-ABZ from Dave Holland.
world, was built in England in 1929, and registered No 93 in New Zealand on May 27 1930 as ZK ABZ.
During the next decade, it was flown by some distinguished aviation pioneers, among them Captains M. C. McGregor,
T. W. ("Tiny") White, J. Findlay, W. Parke, Maurice and George Buckley,
who fought in the First World War as members of the Royal Flying Corps, and others,
including E F. Harvie, on passenger, airmail, and parachuting flights through New Zealand.
From the end of 1933 until mid 1936 ZK ABZ was used extensively for general commercial flying and the training of
pilots at the New Zealand Airways Ltd flying school at Saltwater Creek in Timaru.
In 1937, it was sold by the company to Mr. H. Dobson of Ashburton.
In 1940, ZK ABZ was purchased by Mr. S. J. Lister of Temuka who had flown on his first solo flight in 1934
and for his A licence test at Wigram in April 1935.
During the second world war the aircraft was flown on Home Guard exercises, using an allocation of motor spirits
authorised by the Fuel Controller especially for that purpose.
The Spartan made its last flight in 1947 so that a flying sequence could be recorded on movie film.
Mr. Lister whose association with the aircraft spanned on half a century, resolved to keep the airframe
as a memorial to the pioneers of New Zealand aviation, and stored in a hangar on his farm.
The aircraft was refurbished, as it stands today – in 1967 by RNZAF tradesmen, for the 50th anniversary of
flying at Wigram in November that year, and again by the Canterbury Aero Club for the
Kingsford Smith golden jubilee re-enactment at Wigram in 1978.
The Simmonds Spartan was made available by Mr. Lister in 1982 to be used as an exhibit
by the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Club.
Spartan Three Seater II c/n 102,originally registered G-ABYN,was built at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in September 1932 and by October 1938 had been sold in Ireland as EI-ABU. The Cirrus Hermes powered biplane spent decades stored in a saw mill at Cloughjordan in Ireland before being rescued in 1992. There were 25 three seaters built in the 1930's but only 7 Three Seater IIs were built with the more powerful engine, of which c/n 102 is the only survivor. The aircraft's owner R.A. Clark, put the Spartan into storage in 1939 and there it remained until moved to southern England in 1992. Shortly afterwards it was sold in New Zealand to Rod Hall-Jones.
Southair Ltd., a major aircraft maintenance company located at Taieri Airport,Dunedin ,New Zealand has rebuilt the aircraft . It is now registered ZK-ARH and is expected to fly early in 2004.
The three photos below were kindly provided by Southair.~
The picture above shows G-ABYN along with two more Three Seaters and a Spartan Arrow.The picture was taken at an open day at the Simmonds factory at Cowes, IoW. ..
Spartan Three Seater c/n102 - restoration nearing completion at Taieri..
November 2003. Now registered ZK-ARH ,awaiting ground run at Taieri.NZ
The three picture below were kindly sent by Rod Hall-Jones showing 'ARH back where it belongs - in the air (October 2005)
Below:Two more pictures of 'ARH kindly sent by Rod in April 2009 show the aircraft against a beautiful backdrop of NZ scenery(over Lake Manapouri, South Island) ,and with wings folded for storage or transportation.
The tail fin of ZK-ABK,(c/n43) and possibly other parts , are at the museum at
Ashburton, about 80km south of Christchurch.NZ.The photo above is from Dave Holland.
More Spartan Aircraft in New Zealand( 1930s)
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