Mosquito gets finishing touches
in War Articles / by Jack / on August 8, 2012 at 09:57 /
After seven years of painstaking restoration, the finishing touches are going on an old World War II bomber near Auckland. The combat aircraft is special because its frame was made almost entirely from wood, and when it first entered production in 1941 it was the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Revealed at Ardmore airport, the De Havilland Mosquito FB26 is the only one of its kind to be restored for flight, but it’s not finished yet.
The mosquito will hopefully be in the air soon
A team of eight warbird engineers are in top gear to get the fighter bomber ready to take to the skies next month, an event which will mark the 70th anniversary of the first flight of a Canadian-built Mosquito and commemorate the New Zealand pilots who flew them. “There are a lot of other WWII aeroplanes around you can look at, but these guys remember the Mosquito so fondly – it’s going to be fantastic to give them the opportunity to see it again,” says director of Av Specs Warren Denholm.
It has taken seven years and approximately $3 million to restore the plane up to this point, a tab picked up by a wealthy American collector.
When Av Specs began the project they only had old photos to work with in what is called a ‘basket case restoration’. “It was so had it you could have fitted it in a basket and carried it home,” says Mr Denholm. Nicknamed the ‘Wooden Wonder’, the plane is made almost entirely from wood which had rotted and had to be re-crafted, but all the metal components are original, including the twin Rolls Royce Merlin engines.
“We’ve done all the metal bits, all the fittings and fixtures that bolt on to the woodwork and the systems that make it fly,” says aircraft engineer Paul Levitt. Over the next month the Mosquito will be painted with RAF green and grey camouflage, and it’ll wear the markings of 487 Squadron, a famous New Zealand squadron that served in WWII.http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-art ... uches.html