The development of the YA-1 began at Bankstown in New South Wales, Australia in 1958. The prototype (c/n101) VH-BJF was flown on February 15, 1960. The aircraft utilised the fuselage of the CAC Wackett, an Australian designed trainer which first flew in 1939. The Cropmaster utilised a new metal wing, engine and apart from the first few aircraft, a new tail fin and all flying tailplane. The aircraft was originally intended to have a tricycle undercarriage, but all eventually retained a tailwheel layout. The final three aircraft had the main undercarriage moved forward to rectify a tendency to nose over. The 23 cubic foot hopper could be used wet or dry. Commercial operation began in April 1960, and the aircraft received full certification in 1962. Twenty-one Cropmasters were completed.
Six Cropmasters were imported into New Zealand ZK-CCP (c/n108), ZK-CDI (c/n110), ZK-CLW (c/n117), ZK-COE (c/n118), ZK-CPW (c/n119), ZK-CTX (c/n120). These were used by Farmers ATD and Southern Aviation for agricultural work. One aircraft was modified as a 3-seat Yeoman Hanes YA-1. Two aircraft remain on the active register (as at July 1, 1998). ZK-CPW (ex VH-TPM) belonging to L. McNicol is based at the Ashburton Aviation Museum (illustrated below), and ZK-CDI based in Auckland. A further aircraft (the YA-1) is in storage at Thames.
Last Update:- 30 September, 1998
© 1998 Phillip Treweek, all rights reserved