Al Marsh

Restored Mosquito bomber to fly at ‘some’ airshows, but not Oshkosh

January 7, 2013 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

The Fighter Factory in Virginia will soon add a flying restored Mosquito bomber to its collection. It was built with recovered parts and new tooling by Avspecs, Limited, at Ardmore Airfield on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. The company is owned by Warren Denholm and his wife, Shona and was started in 1997. As you’ll see, the company has done a photoshoot in New Zealand and is selling a calendar with photos.

There are videos of the tedious and difficult restoration here, and here. You’ll find video of its first flight and landing here. If that’s not enough videos, here is one more of the first run-up of those powerful Merlins. You’ll see it at the Fighter Factory’s airshow, Warbirds Over the Beach, on May 17. It will also appear in Canada at the Hamilton Air Show near Toronto in June. 

It will not appear at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Fighter Factory owner Jerry Yagen said he asked EAA for an appearance fee to offset expenses, such as he has received at New Zealand airshows where the aircraft is now performing, but was rebuffed by EAA Acting President Jack Pelton. EAA officials said it is impossible to determine who would get such a fee and who would be denied it.  An EAA spokesman asked, “Where do you draw the line?” See comments below.

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25 Responses to “Restored Mosquito bomber to fly at ‘some’ airshows, but not Oshkosh”

  1. Alex Kovnat Says:

    I heard that one of the advantages the Mosquito had was that due to its wooden fuselage, it had a lower radar signature than metal aircraft. Also, the Northrup flying wing (XB-49) had a lower radar signature than a non-flying wing aircraft. So sooner or later, somebody was bound to come along and ask, “Why not a flying wing made of wood to get a yet lower radar signature?” And so it was that the B-2 Stealth bomber was thought up.

    Would it be possible to have the restored Mosquito come to Edwards AFB or some place like that, and undergo a round of radar signature measurements using the most up-to-date equipment, to measure said signature for a range of wavelenths/frequencies ranging from 100 MHz all the way to the millimeter wave (up to 100 GHz) region?

    Also, it would be interesting to see that aircraft at Oshkosh.

  2. Alton Marsh Says:

    Hi, Alex,
    Edwards would have to make the request to test it for its radar signature. Interesting thought. It’s not going to Oshkosh. The owner at Virginia Beach wanted financial support for taking it to the show. UPDATE: EAA officials say EAA has never paid an appearance fee, so it would be precedent setting if they did, and lead to requests from other display aircraft for similar fees. It is already touring airshows in New Zealand before it heads to its owner in Virginia Beach, and one of those shows gave him $50,000NZ ($42,000US), saying they still made a profit on additional visitors the airplane drew.

  3. Allison Watkins Says:

    Mosquito Bombers have the coolest history! I wonder how long this plane will be around, hopefully forever!

  4. James Martin Says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this over the Father’s Day weekend at the Hamilton International Airshow.

  5. James Martin Says:

    Looking forward to seeing this at the Hamilton International Airshow, Father Day’s weekend.

  6. Bert Rupert Says:

    Will the Mosquito be flying at any other air show in eastern Ontario / western Quebec (i.e.- Gatineau Vintage aircraft show in September 2013) ?

    please advise.

    Thank you & great news that we now have a restored functioning vintage Mosquito (kudo’s to the restoration team).

    Please advise a.s.a.p.



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