ZK-BQV, serial number 18-5546, was imported into New Zealand as a new aircraft in May 1957 by the Piper Agents, The Auckland Aero Club. It was originally fitted with a Continental C90 engine. BQV was delivered to its first owners, the Waipukurau Aero Club on 6th May 1957 and spent the next 7 years there until 1964. From there it was sold to the Patea Aero Club. Since then the aircraft has operated from Omaka, Gisborne and Taupo, before being purchased and operated from Ardmore, by Ardmore Taildraggers, then Taildragger Classics. In 1973 the engine was replaced with a 100 hp Continental O-200 which it still runs. BQV has been updated with mandatory equipment modifications, such as transponder, 406 MHz ELT and modern radios to enable it to fit into the modern ATC system, but otherwise is largely as it left the factory. The aircraft currently lives in a hangar at Te Kowhai, approximately 12nm north-west of HN.
ZK-BTC serial number 18-5805 is a 1957 PA-18A-150, bought new into New Zealand by the then Piper agents, Airwork (NZ) Ltd. For the first year it was registered to 5 different owners, including the Hawera Aero Club, who coincidently were later owners of our other Cub, ZK-BQV. Finally BTC was purchased by a group of farmers in the North Waikato who had it converted for fertiliser spreading and shared it amongst themselves. This lasted for about 9 years, when it was sold to a private owner from Hamilton. The new owner was a keen PPL and had BTC refurbished, and the engine overhauled, but after only 10 hours flying unfortunately had a car accident and banged his head. Thus ended his flying days, and the aeroplane was parked up in the hangar in Tauranga.
Neroli and Bill purchased the remains of BTC in 2016 and began a rebuild, a process that took 4 1/2 years. BTC flew again on 1 May 2021, 53 years after its last flight. The rebuild was from the ground up. Interestingly the rear turtle deck stringers were the original ones fitted at the factory using wax string, the fuselage tubes still had the original linseed oil inside and there were various other components that were original factory fitted. We replaced the engine with an O-320 of 160 hp from a Robinson R22 helicopter, the instruments are 2nd hand items that have been through and overhaul, and radios have been fitted to fit into the modern world.