Sunday, April 9, 2017


A few years ago after missing out on seeing Mosquito KA114 in the air, I joked that I'd probably see the Flying Heritage Collection Mosquito flying long before I enjoyed the sight of the ex RCAF Mosquito taking flight. Looks like that wisecrack was pretty close to the truth.

Arriving in Seattle as an early Christmas present, it has been fun to watch Mosquito T.3 TV959 slowly being assembled at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum. TV959 was built by de Havilland at their Leavesden, England factory, being accepted by the RAF in August 1945.  It spent most of its time with the RAF shuffling between various training units and MUs.  It was featured on the silver screen in the "633 Squadron" movie, before spending most of the 60s, 70s, and 80s on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.  Sadly, the right wing was cut off to better display the Mosquito in the Museum.  TV959 was acquired by Stephen Grey's The Fighter Collection and then traded to Paul Allen.  Allen had the Mosquito transferred to AVspecs Ltd. of New Zealand for restoration.  The original plan was to use as much of the original wood as possible in the restoration, but it was later decided to complete the airplane with a new build fuselage and wing.  Taking to the air in late 2015 in New Zealand, the Mosquito was then disassembled and shipped to Washington.

The Mosquito as it arrived at the Flying Heritage Collection. (Photos taken January 14, 2017.)

That is one large piece of wood!

A couple of attempts at cockpit photos.

The Mosquito as it appeared today.

While the Mosquito was originally built, and then restored, as a training variant, there was no question the aircraft would masquerade as a Mosquito FB.VI in the night intruder scheme.  While I had hoped that the FHC would honor a local Mosquito ace who flew with 418 Squadron RCAF, they instead decided to finish it was "Wag's War Wagon" NS838 UP-J of 605 Squadron.  Wag's War Wagon was flown by Flight Lieutenant Alan Wagner who had downed two Aichi Val dive bombers while flying Hurricane in Ceylon.  Flt. Lt. Wagner had at least one V-1 kill flying the Mosquito, but was killed while chasing a V-1 in a Hawker Tempest in July 1944.

The Mosquito looks stunning in its Intruder scheme, especially the matt Night undersurface, and it is neat to see both German and Japanese kills on the type.   I can't wait to see it in the air.

The mighty Rolls-Royce Merlin.

Modeler's Note: Tamiya has scored a hat trick of the best Mosquito in all three scales. The 1/32 Mosquito FB.VI is one of the best kits ever released in plastic. The 1/72 Mosquito is beautiful but, as can be expected, it is quite a bit simplier than the 1/32 scale beast.

No comments: