Central Leader : April 6th 2011
www.centralleader.co.nz Wednesday, April 6, 2011 More & more people are turning to our online editions everyday! Packed with extra features like video, audio, weblinks, galleries, your news and competitions, they're the ultimate multimedia experience. REE Just click on "Latest Edition" at News that you can Read, Hear & Watch! www.centralleader.co.nz Get more online Fighters just for fun By RHIANNON HORRELL Big plans: Manfred Bennett, the director of NZ Seal Services, is mounting this single-seater Russian fighter jet on the roof of his Church St building in Onehunga. He would like to add a second MiG, a two-seater, to the rooftop in due course. Mr Bennett is also planning to open a jet fighter simulation centre at the address. Photo: JASON OXENHAM ' I can't believe the popularity of jet fighters in New Zealand. ' Manfred Bennett A JET FIGHTER simulation centre is being planned for Onehunga along with two real airplanes which may grace the rooftop of a Church St address. The centre is the pet proj- ect of Onehunga businessman Manfred Bennett, who is con- sidering getting two more planes to add to the pair he has. Mr Bennett and his Russian fighter jet featured in a Central Leader story last November and he has just returned from the United States where he bought a 1972 Polish jet trainer -- an Iskra TS-11. The top speed is only 460 miles per hour [740kmh] and it has a ceiling height of 32,000 feet [10,000 metres]. Mr Bennett will not dis- close the value of his new toy but it will add to his collec- tion of luxury items which includes a Porsche, a Mercedes limousine, a Jag- uar, a Ferrari and property at Surfers Paradise. Mr Bennett says he s happy to enjoy life and make the most of it. He s planning to return to the US in May where he will assist in flying the Polish plane to a spot where it can be dismantled for shipping to New Zealand. He expects it to arrive in about four months and says it will be kept in an airport hanger when not in use. Mr Bennett, the director of NZ Seal Services, is also planning to start a jet fighter flight simulation business on the Church St premises and says it is six months away from opening. I can t believe the popu- larity of jet fighters in New Zealand. Simulators for the centre are being manufactured in the US and Mr Bennett hopes to eventually open further centres all over Australia. He s looking into buying a British war plane that would go inside the Church St build- ing and also buying a two- seater MiG jet. The MiG 21UM, a two seater, and the MiG-21, a single seater which he already owns, are planned for the rooftop. Mr Bennett says the two- seater is flyable but he s unsure if he would be a pass- enger as it can reach a gravi- tational force of six. It is estimated an average person can handle a G-force of five before losing con- sciousness but modern pilots can typically handle a G-force of nine. Mr Bennett says his addic- tion for planes has spiralled since he purchased the single-seater MiG on TradeMe last year. It s all stemmed from the MiG purchase. He picked up the plane for $59,454 but believes it is worth more. The previous owner, Christchurch property devel- oper David Henderson, imported the fighter from Russia and the sale of the plane attracted more than 257,000 page views during its online auction.
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