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Williams Aeroplane

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Based on a model and built in the 1970s without official blessing. The aircraft was kept at Wickcliffe Bay, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand, and flown by the builder/owner. By all accounts, the aircraft flew rather well. Built Geoff [or Jeff] Williams. To achieve the correct scale, the builder is said to have sat on a chair and scaled the plans around himself. This was flown from an old wartime emergency airstrip situated on a farm owned by the Neil family on the Otago Peninsula. Both aircraft are said to have been soundly constructed, no doubt the builder’s occupation having some influence here, but the engine installation, undercarriage and other fittings left something to be desired. The fuel tank in the high wing craft was nothing more than a twenty litre can hung by its handle behind the pilot’s seat. The fuel line a flexible rubber hose pushed over a cooper tube protruding through the instrument panel. When the aircraft required refuelling it was a simple task to remove the can and take it to the nearest service station.
As well as the Omarama incident, the little homebuilt was flown to Cromwell where it landed on the main road. On another occasion Williams turned up at Queenstown in the VW-powered aircraft where he attempted to purchase fuel from a local helicopter operator who refused to cooperate. Apparently he was less than impressed by the craft. I’m led to believe CAD finally caught up with the wayward flyer, confiscating the engine and thus bringing his illegal activities to a halt. For a number of years the aircraft remained dismantled in a shed on the Neil farm until the property changed ownership, when both airframes and the storage shed were destroyed.
Geoff flew this aircraft successfully all over Otago while refusing to register it with CAA. They eventually threatened to prosecute him unless he signed a declaration stating he would never fly it again. During this time he had about 65 hours of flying and many incidents.

Engine: VW

 

 


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