The Porterfield 2-seat touring monoplane was built by the Porterfield Aircraft Corporation in Kansas City. The model number denoted the year of manufacture, and the engine type. The model 35 therefore, appeared in 1935, and was introduced at the Detroit air show.
Two aircraft of this type were imported to New Zealand prior to WWII, although one was lost prior to the war. The survivor (c/n 316) was originally registered as ZK-AFT and used by the Hawkes Bay and East Coast aero club. Impressed by the RNZAF in October1939, it was serialled NZ581. In June 1940 the aircraft was released to the New Plymouth aero club as ZK-AHJ, but was subsequently re-impressed in October 1942. This time it was serialled NZ598, and used by the Communications flight at Rongotai, before passing to 42 SQN. The aircraft was released in 1946 to Walter Wilmott who registered it as ZK-APJ. At some point the original 90hp Warner Scarab engine was replaced with a Lycoming which powered the aircraft until 1974. In 1980, after some time in storage, the aircraft was loaned to the RNZAF Historical Centre (forerunner of the RNZAF Museum) who began to restore it. The aircraft is now presented in a wartime camouflage with its serial NZ598, and resides at the Ashburton Aviation Museum.
Last Update:- 27 September, 1998
© 1998 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved