Flight of Mosquito wows crowd

NZ Newswire September 30, 2012, 1:39 pm

The flight of the only airworthy DH98 Mosquito aircraft in the world wowed a crowd of thousands that included World War II veterans at an airshow at Ardmore Airport in Auckland on Saturday.

"It was magic," aircraft restorer Glynn Powell told NZ Newswire.

The flight of the fighter bomber was the culmination of years of painstaking work started by Mr Powell and completed by Avspecs for American owner Jerry Yagen, who will keep the aircraft at his Military Aviation Museum at Virginia Beach in the US.

A number of pilots who flew the planes during the war were at the airshow to watch the Mosquito go through its paces.

Mr Powell said the aircraft took nearly eight years to restore and his company built the airframe.

The Rolls Royce Merlin-powered twin-engine Mosquito flew for the first time on Thursday.

"They did a little bit of test flying, which they needed to do before they went to the airshow," Mr Powell said.

The aircraft was originally built in Toronto in 1945 and was delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force but never saw combat.

It was a decaying frame rotting on a farm before the restoration began.

Mr Powell has his "own one" in the works.

He is restoring an Australian-built T MK43 dual-control Mosquito.

It began life on a Bankstown assembly line and was one of four purchased by the RNZAF in 1947.

Mosquito airframes were built of wood using moulds that were scrapped when production ceased in 1950.

With the help of a boatbuilder, Mr Powell constructed new moulds to build the whole airframe from new. He uses epoxy glue but otherwise the original materials are employed.

Mr Powell wants to fly this Mosquito back across the Tasman to Bankstown when it is fully restored in about three years' time.

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