Museum’s latest plane unveiled

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Ashburton Aviation Museum spokesperson Warren Janett with the Chrislea Super Ace.

The latest plane on display at the Ashburton Aviation Museum has been five years in the making.

The UK made Chrislea Super Ace built in the late 40s was one of two imported into NZ in 1948.

The plane has had a few owners in New Zealand and eventually fell into disrepair sitting outside for a few years.

It was then sent to Masterton Aviation Museum where it stayed for 40 years, and was stripped down in preparation for restoration, which never happened.

The plane was donated to the Ashburton Aviation Museum to restore five years ago.

Museum spokesperson Warren Janett said when the plane arrived it was in bits.

“We laid it all up outside to work out what we had and what we didn’t have, and what we needed to make,” he said.

Once in Ashburton, an Ashburton Aviation Museum volunteer who was a Volkswagon mechanic did most of the work on the plane.

“He took a shine to this, and boy oh boy he did a good job.”

Warren has had personal experience with the plane when he was flying for Mount Cook airlines.

“I was in Rotorua and saw this thing, and I had never seen one,” he said.

Warren had a chat to the man working on the plane and was offered a ride.

“It was very different, flew all right once it was in the air, bit of a handful on the ground because there is very little rudder control until you got over 40 knots.”

The four seater plane was used for pleasure flights, and could be described as a cosy fit as the seats are small with not much space in the cockpit.

The plane will be on static display at the museum.

-By Daniel Tobin