BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

The Taylorcraft Auster was a British military liaison and observation aircraft produced by the Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited company during the Second World War.

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Zak
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:17 pm

I've handed all the paperwork in at CAA the week before they closed for X-mas.

Unfortunatly for me the person dealing with this is still not back from leave, so I can do nothing but wait patiently :(

I've been at it for 5 years, so another week or two will probably not matter, just hope everything is in order.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:49 pm

Finally, the big day arrived. :D

CAA gave the go ahead on Thursday and test flight was done successfully on 1 Feb 2013.

5 years and a few months after restoration started, Taylorcraft ZS-VHL took to the air for the first time in 28 years.

Thanks to Oom Mieg du Toit for doing the test flight. He flew 3 sorties and on the fourth I went along. Handles great and engine seems to perform great, with temps end pressures well within parameters.

The realization is still sinking in, but must admit it is a great feeling :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Last edited by Zak on Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by JJS » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:29 pm

Well done Zak, congrats!
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by FLYGUYS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:46 am

Very well done, hope you have many happy safe Hrs of flying. She looks great.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Bearcat » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:00 pm

Where is ZU-VHL based now ?
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:55 am

Hi Bearcat

About 2 miles east of Copperleaf golf estate (2 o'clock) is a little grass strip on John Bonnard's property.

She sleeps their.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Hilton » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:08 pm

Hi Zak.
I read your story about your rebuilt ZS-CCW Taylorcraft. I have some info pre-1964.
My late Dad, who was a navigator in 24 Squadron during WW2 in Bostons, flew at Grand Central aerodrome (just outside Jhb) in the late 1940s. The club had three Taylorcraft— CCW, BLX and BLD. He stopped flying when I was born in 1951, but resumed in 1960. I used to go to the club with him and watch him flying those Taylorcraft.
CCW was black and white. BLX and BLD were Red.
Grand Central is 5350ft above sea level, and those planes, with their 65hp engines battled to climb to circuit height sometimes. Yours , with its 100hp engine must be fantastic!
I was just a child, but have very vivid memories of these planes. I flew in CCW when my Dad got his license. I recall a float-based fuel indicator, located on the cowling in the centre , just forward of the windscreen. It was a piece of wire bent at a right angle at the top. That was the fuel gauge!
There were no radios then. The ATC in the control tower , when operating, gave a red or green light to take off or hold!
In the early sixties, the club bought a Piper Colt— ZS-CSD. A little later, they bought Cessna 150s, and sold the three Taylorcraft.
I'm so pleased to learn that CCW ( it’ll always be CCW to me) is once again flying. My Dad would have been very chuffed to read about it. Sadly, he passed away in 2005.
I now live in Sydney Australia.
Best wishes.
Hilton.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:02 am

Hi Hilton

Thank you for the info, Its lovely to hear about the history of such a grand old aircraft and that you have fond memories of the time you flew with your dad. If you are in SA sometime, you must join me for a flip, and you will notice that it still has the same old fuel gauge as you described above :lol: .

There has been a few small upgrades, like a bigger engine, MAUW was increased and obviously a radio is now mandatory, but in essence its still the same lovely aircraft as 60 years ago.

If you have any photos of CCW during that time please post here or send them to me.
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:20 am

Always nice to share your passion, especially if the other party just can't get enough :lol:
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:32 am

Cruising along at almost 100mph for 74 year old plane is not too bad
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Zak » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:34 am

All credits and compliments to the photographer
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Re: BC12D ZS-VHL rebuild

Unread post by Neville Ferreira » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:55 pm




The designer, Clarence Taylor, can rightfully be called the father of private aviation in America, as he designed the original Taylor Cupin 1931. Taylor shared with a colleague William T. Piper a dream of making aeroplanes as common as cars for Americans. He designed an inexpensive and easy-to-build craft to compete with the heavier craft which was common at the time. The classic battle between engineer and businessman quickly caused a rift between the two. Piper took advantage of Taylor's absence during an illness and instructed Taylor's junior engineer Walter Jamouneau to modify the Cub to be more attractive and marketable.[citation needed] Taylor returned from his illness and raised the roof in anger[citation needed] and left the company.



Taylor vowed to build a new personal aircraft superior to the Cub in all respects. Taylor formed his own company in 1935 as Taylor Aircraft Company, renamed Taylorcraft Aviation Corporation in 1939. Meanwhile, a disastrous factory fire brought production of the Cub J-2 to a halt,(1) and Piper bought the company out. It was placed back in production as the Piper J-3 Cub (2) becoming the iconic aircraft of general aviation in the '30s and '40s; to the uninitiated, any light plane might be a Cub.

By contrast, the Taylorcraft was faster, more comfortable, more attractive, and more modern. Piper and his updated Cub were also vindicated, selling far more aircraft and creating the icon of private aeroplanes for all time.[citation needed]
During World War II, many light aircraft were used for training, liaison, and observation purposes. Taylorcraft's DCO-65 model was called the L-2 by the Unites States Army Air Forces and served alongside the military version of the Piper Cub in WW2.
After the war, production boomed until the company reorganized in 1946 and produced few aircraft during the 1950s.[citation needed]

Ownership by the Feris family 1965-1992
In 1965, Charlie and Dorothy Feris purchased what was left of the company and started production again in 1970. Mr Feris died in 1973 and Mrs Feris kept the company going until her retirement in 1985.[citation needed]

Taylorcraft Aircraft
New owners moved production to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania until business problems forced the company to close again in 1992.[citation needed]

Polychron & O'Reilly ownership
John Polychron, former CEO of Delmonte Foods purchased Taylorcraft and operated it for approximately one year until he sold it to Philadelphia Attorney Phillip O'Reilly. O'Reilly never reopened and the company became deeply in debt resulting in a scheduled Sheriff's sale in 1996.[citation needed]

Booth ownership
Taylorcraft was saved from extinction by Mr Lee F. Booth, a former Marine and an Engineer from Seaford Delaware. Booth renamed the Company Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace, Inc. Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace paid all creditors in full and relocated the entire company in 88 53ft long truck trailers to Greensboro, North Carolina. [citation needed]
Booth, as Chairman and President, directed the Corporation through an extensive Recertification of all Type Certificates, Engineering, FAA Audits up to the Aircraft Certification Office level, Production procedures, complete re-tooling and certification of tooling and work processes. Booth enlisted the assistance of Mr Dayrl Romick, former Chief Engineer of Taylorcraft Airplane Company and BF Goodrich. Romick was a close associate of Werner von Braun. Booth also hired a young Physicist and Chief Test Pilot Mr Hooman Bahrani of Winston Salem, NC. Bahrani a graduate of Wake Forest University became a Minority Stockholder thus becoming the first American born Persian to become an owner of a US aircraft manufacturer in aviation history.[citation needed]

Taylorcraft Aircraft
Booth-Taylorcraft Aerospace, Inc became a contractor to numerous Governments for Military Aircraft, Weapons Systems and Firearms. Booth was the first Taylorcraft owner in the company's history to keep the Company debt free the entire time he operated it. In March 2000, Booth formed a strategic Partnership by selling half of the Civil Aircraft Division to Mr Harvey Patrick of Pats, Inc. Booth retained all Military items, UAVs, several Type Certificates, Designs and patents. The small Aircraft Division was moved to Georgetown, DE at the Sussex County Airport. Booth and Patrick then formed Taylorcraft 2000, LLC and served as Co-Chairman. Booth eventually sold his half to Harvey Patrick and Taylorcraft 2000, LLC was owned by the Harvey and Vera Patrick Foundation. In 2003 The Harvey and Vera Patrick Foundation sold the company to Mr Harry Ingram, with 100% financing.
The current owner, Harry Ingram, moved the plant to La Grange, TX in 2003 and on April 25, 2005, it was announced that the factory was moving again to the border town of Brownsville, TX and outsourcing the labour.

2008 Repossession
On February 21, 2008, the company was repossessed by its former owner, Taylorcraft 2000 LLC. The previous owners had taken orders for new struts for existing aircraft to alleviate a repetitive inspection Airworthiness Directive and is delivering struts to customers. The design's type certificates, drawings, jigs, templates and parts have been put up for sale (3).

Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited
The Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited company was licensed in 1938 by Taylor to produce Taylorcraft designs in the United Kingdom for the British market, beginning as "Taylorcraft Aeroplanes England, Ltd" which subsequently became Auster Aircraft developing its own range from a Taylorcraft design.[citation needed]

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