Mosquito to buzz airshow for first time

Former RNZAF de Havilland DH98 Mosquito NZ2308 is set to fly at Warbirds Over Wanaka at Easter...
Former RNZAF de Havilland DH98 Mosquito NZ2308 is set to fly at Warbirds Over Wanaka at Easter after undergoing restoration in Auckland. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
In a major coup, Warbirds Over Wanaka has secured one of the world’s most iconic World War 2 fighter-bomber aircraft for its Easter airshow.

The ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force de Havilland DH98 Mosquito, NZ2308, is weeks away from the end of a 15-year restoration in Auckland and the United States owners have generously agreed to allow the aircraft to fly at the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow before it is dismantled and shipped to its new home in the US.

Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor said securing the Mosquito was the "icing on the cake" for airshow organisers.

NZ2308 sits in a Riwaka orchard near Nelson in the early 1960s.
NZ2308 sits in a Riwaka orchard near Nelson in the early 1960s.
"We already had an amazing lineup for our first airshow in six years but now it’s gone next level with confirmation that we are to have a Mosquito on the flight line," he said.

"Warren Denholm and his team at Avspecs are confident they will have the Mossie flying in time, but there is always the possibility that there may be a last-minute problem which prevents that."

Mr Taylor said having the aircraft at Wanaka might well be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for many New Zealand and Australian warbird enthusiasts.

NZ2308 flies with No75 Squadron RNZAF in the early 1950s.
NZ2308 flies with No75 Squadron RNZAF in the early 1950s.
His only regret was Warbirds Over Wanaka founder Sir Tim Wallis, who died late last year, would not be at the airshow to see the great warbird lead the fighter fly-past.

"We know Tim will be looking down grinning from ear to ear to finally see a Mossie fly at the airshow he started 36 years ago."

The aircraft will be test flown at Ardmore and then displayed in Wanaka by accomplished US pilot Steve Hinton.

Mr Hinton, a former Reno Air Race champion, has flown numerous warbirds, including the last Mosquito from the Avspec’s workshop, and is president of the Planes of Fame Museum, in Chino, California.

— Staff reporter

 

 

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