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Object: DH82a Tiger Moth, ZK-AJO

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Title DH82a Tiger Moth, ZK-AJO
Production de Havilland (NZ) Aircraft Co., Ltd (manufacturer(s)), 1941, Wellington
Materials steel, aluminium, spruce, linen, glass, rubber
Classification aircraft
Dimensions Overall: 7290mm (Length) x 2700mm (Height) x 8940mm (Width)
Credit line Purchased 2009
Registration number GH012131

De Havilland Tiger Moth (DH82a) aircraft, ZK-AJO, fitted for use as a topdresser [front seat and instruments removed and replaced with a hopper and release mechanism for spreading fertiliser and grass seed.].

This aircraft is one of the two war-surplus Tiger Moth training aircraft purchased in 1948 by Mr Oswald ["Ossie"] James for his pioneering aerial topdressing firm, James Aviation Ltd. It was in service with James Aviation from late 1949 until 1956, mostly operating in the Waikato, North Auckland and Rotorua/Taupo areas.

During its active life, ZK-AJO flew 6,000 hours on agricultural operations, and dropped about 55000 tons of fertiliser and grass seed.

The widespread use of aerial topdressing, especially in hill country, was a hugely important factor in New Zealand's postwar economic development. The increased agricultural productivity which resulted did much to lay the basis for New Zealand's prosperity during the 1950s and '60s.

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