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Minister to launch innovative plane in Waikato

19 February 2002

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton will launch a new type of flying machine at the SportAvex airshow in Matamata on Friday.

The Kahu, a prototype gyroplane developed by father and daughter team Chris and Michelle Wade, is a cross between a helicopter and a plane, and features the same carbon fibre technology used in making America's Cup yachts.

The Wades have set up a company, Aero-Sport International, to market the Kahu gyroplane, and are aiming specifically at export markets.

Mr Sutton will also open the SportAvex airshow at the Matamata Aerodrome.

He will also visit two companies, one in Matamata and one in Thames. An export commendation award will be presented to Thames company A & G Price Engineering and Foundry.

Mr Sutton said there was a lot of innovation going on in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

"Agriculture and horticulture are making great advances in the area, but manufacturers are also demonstrating great ability."

He said he was looking forward to getting a first-hand view of some of the developments companies in the areas were making.


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