The Vintage Aviator

The Vintage Aviator Ltd

The Vintage Aviator Ltd. is a New Zealand Civil Aviation approved aircraft restoration and manufacturing company.

On this website you can view details of several of our construction projects, as well as many image galleries presenting our many activities and resources.

"Our primary aim is to build WW1 aircraft, engines and propellers to the same exacting standards they were originally made over 90 years ago."

 

We endeavour to maintain absolute authenticity with the original design. We make both airworthy and static aircraft for museum display and private collections. Our engineers look after, and operate, the WW1 aircraft owned by the 1914 -18 Aviation Heritage Trust. The Vintage Aviator Ltd. (TVAL) has been working closely with the NZ CAA to fulfil it’s obligations as a certified aircraft manufacturer. TVAL Gained CAA approval and was issued it’s Part 148 Manufacturing Organisation Certificate on May 10, 2007. It is probably unique within the world aviation community due to the fact that it solely manufactures aircraft from the 1914-1918 period. We work under strict CAA mandates, codes and systems, and CAA regularly audits our systems and procedures. Safety is paramount.

TVAL staff have a great deal to be proud of, a state of the art manufacturing facility coupled with an ICAO Aircraft Manufacturing approval. These two remarkable achievements emphasize our commitment to engineering excellence and technical innovation. We are using the most modern technology to reproduce the most accurate aircraft reproductions from a bygone era.  

 

TVAL has an extensive engineering facility

 

Our facilities in Wellington and at the Hood Aerodrome, Masterton are capable of every aspect of aircraft and engine construction imaginable. Our most valuable resource is our skilled craftsmen - specialized woodworkers, welders and machinists, and people experienced in the complexities of fabric covered aircraft.  This is the first time since WW1 that these aircraft are being produced in a factory setting, although we utilise the most modern CNC and CAD technology to increase accuracy and reduce labour costs. Working relationships with other restoration facilities and museums in Europe, Australia, Canada and in the USA assists TVAL in sourcing information as well as technical data and original parts for duplication and reproduction. 

The Vintage Aviator Ltd. works to New Zealand Civil Aviation Administration part 148 standards (FAA part 148) for aircraft manufacturing. This standard is the aviation equivalent to ISO 9001 2000 and the basic principles are that of a total quality management system. This creative manufacturing scheme is a first for New Zealand and the world. Our approved process and procedures manual dictates how we accomplish each task and our inspection process ensures that the highest standards and utmost accuracy are achieved. 

   

Parts Tracking and handling of parts

Our certification basis requires us to maintain detailed records of all components. To do this we inventory every item that comes into our facility. We have company forms for cataloguing, identifying and measuring each component.  

 

Personnel

 

Gene De Marco - Production Manager

With twenty five years experience on early aircraft types, Gene has worked for the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, Parker O’Malley Air Museum and Ryder’s Museum in the USA. An FAA licensed Mechanic with an Inspection Authorization and nearly 13,000 hours flying predominately early aircraft types, he has an intimate knowledge of these engines and aircraft. Gene has overhauled several vintage engines for flying aircraft and has studied Mechanical Engineering as well as Chemical Engineering. As Chief Engineer for Old Rhinebeck airshows and The SKYTYPERS he was trained in non-destructive testing and various inspection techniques particularly useful with vintage aircraft. Gene is also the TVAL nominated Test pilot for all flying aircraft produced, he has flown numerous WW1 types and has a great deal of experience with rotary engines.

 

 

David Cretchley- Maintenance Manager

David is a CAA licensed aircraft engineer, Group 1 & 3 Airframes and Group 1,2,3 engines (piston and turbine). David enjoys working with metal and is key in fabricating complex formed or welded parts. He is just as comfortable making parts for his "E" type Jaguar or TVAL's SE.5a. David is also a licensed pilot, both fixed wing and helicopter, and has restored or rebuilt several aircraft over the past seventeen years.

 

Project Staff

 

Chris Higson - Project Team Leader

Chris has been working with wood, in one form or another for almost 25 years. He learnt his craft traditionally, in theatre in the UK, he then progressed into the film industry and furniture making in the 90's. Chris has been building replica and reproduction aircraft as well as helping to restore original WW1 aircraft for the past 5 years.

 

Roger Posthuma - Engine Shop Team Leader

 

Chris Gifford - Vehicles and Film Props Team Leader

 

Warrick Steele - Network Administrator

 

Certification

 

NZCAA part 148 (manufacturing)

The Vintage Aviator Ltd is approved to manufacture aircraft components under the following ratings:

M1 - manufacture aircraft
M2 - manufacture aircraft components
M3 - manufacture parts or appliances
APPROVED MAGNETIC PARTICLE INSPECTION
APPROVED DYE PENETRANT INSPECTION
APPROVED EDDY CURRENT INSPECTION

 

Customers

Our customers are generally private collectors and museums. We are currently building aircraft and overhauling engines for customers in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA.