Skip to content



Stanfield Smith has a lifelong history as a vintage aircraft restorer and aficionado on de Havilland aircraft.  His meticulous work has given new life to vintage aircraft such as the DH84 Dragon and DH83C Fox Moth already featured.  If you are looking for an expert in this field, look no further.

Smith’s Tech-Air NZ welcomes all enquiries for rebuild and restoration of vintage aircraft.



ZK-AXI DH84 Dragon

In April 1983 Stan Smith exchanged a Fox Moth (ZK-APT) for the remains of the Dragon, which had been damaged in a landing accident, and trucked her to North Shore. Over the following fourteen years Stan worked on the aircraft and any damage was repaired or replaced.

Gipsy Major 10-MK2 engines with Fairey Reed metal propellers were fitted giving 145HP against the original 130HP units. New instruments and wheels, leather upholstery, carpet, soundproofing. Mahogany trim and a full electrical and radio system were installed and the new covering was painted in a dark blue/light blue and silver scheme.

After taxi trials the first circuit was flown on the late afternoon of April 17th 1997 which was followed by a check flight with a CAA observer and the issue of a full Standard Category Certificate of Airworthiness on 14th May 1997.

Since then the Dragon, now named “Taniwha” (Maori for the mythical water monster – nearest to a dragon in New Zealand) has had a life of scenics and travel. The longest being the North Shore – North Cape – Bluff – North Shore circumnavigation of New Zealand for the Millennium celebrations in February 2000. The total time for this journey was 31 hours 25 minutes.

To date over 300 hours of flying have been enjoyed with over 400 passengers making a  majestic aerial passage with on-board service of hot and cold finger food and champagne.

A little bit of history & specs….

The DH84A is a wartime re-design of the English 1932 DH84 by the Australian Division of the famous De Havilland Aircraft Co.  Designed originally as a light transport/bomber for the Persian Air force, the type first entered service as a 6 passenger airliner with Hillman Airways of Essex, England.

ZK-APT DH83C Fox Moth

The DH83C is a post-war re-design of the English 1932 DH83 by the Canadian Division of the famous De Havilland Aircraft Co.  Designed with a 3 seat cabin with the pilot in the rear cockpit (shades of the Victorian Hansom Cab), the Fox is an economical, comfortable “aerial carriage”.  Of all wood construction, it has the same engine, undercarriage, wings and tail surfaces as the well-known and proven “Tiger Moth”.


This aircraft has had a complete rebuild (approx. 10,000 man hours) and was granted a full Certificate of Airworthiness on 9th April 2009 by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and is one of only 2 Canadian Fox Moths left flying in the world.

This aircraft was operated by Marlborough Aero Club from 1947 and it was then transferred in 1956 to Henry Buchanan of Greymouth who operated it on freight, whitebait & venison recovery on the west coast until 1962 when the aircraft was withdrawn from service.


  • SPAN 30ft 10 5/8 ins. (9.43m)
  • LENGTH 25ft 9 ins (7.9m)
  • HEIGHT 8ft 4 ins (2.5m)
  • CRUISE SPEED 93 m.p.h. (150 k.p.h.)
  • ENGINE De Havilland Gipsy Major MK 1
  • Horsepower 130
  • Cylinders     4
  • Capacity 374 cu.ins (6,130cc)


ZK-AVR Avro Cadet 631

ZK-AKM DH94 Moth Minor

ZK-PPA PA25 Pawnee

ZK-DBU (NZ1702) Auster J5

Pitts S2

Piper L4A Grasshopper


Miles Gemini

Miles Messenger