Help bring a Mosquito to Omaka and ready it for public display.
The Aladdin’s Cave that was the late John Smith’s shed at Mapua has been opened and the family have chosen NZAMT (a charitable trust trading as Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre) to become custodians of several its aviation treasures. Included is John’s pride and joy, the de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber. This WW2 icon has been in storage since the 1960s and is now desperately in need of some TLC.
To do justice to this great privilege, the Trust needs to send a team of experienced aircraft engineers to carry out the preliminary work of removing the engines and then engage Mosquito experts AvSpecs Ltd to carefully disassemble the major sections, before transporting it all to a hangar at Omaka where the process will be reversed.
The original paint on the Mosquito is too poor to provide adequate surface protection so the decision has been made in concert with the family's wishes to sensitively re-coat the aircraft with a protective paint finish in a suitable scheme (details of which will come later).
Once this has been completed the aircraft will be moved into the evocative museum space set aside for it where final detail work will continue over the following few months, with a view to having it fully completed to display standard.
Over the Easter weekend when the Yealands Classic Fighters Airshow takes place at Omaka, the WW2 Dangerous Skies hall is normally closed, since all the flyable aircraft are outside for the airshow. This coming Easter 2021, our plan is to use this temporary space to display the Smith Collection, with the Mosquito joining the Lockheed Hudson already in the museum, along with John’s Tiger Moth and famous ‘Gloria Lyons’ P-40.
So many people have known about these significant aircraft for many years, but very few have had the privilege of seeing them. That will change with your help, when we open the John Smith tribute display to the public next Easter.
The NZ Aviation Museum Trust is the governing body behind the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. This world class facility was established at Omaka Airfield in Marlborough to store, maintain and display original and replica historic aircraft.
Funds will finance specialist help to disassemble and transport the Mosquito, followed by careful cleaning, painting and reassembly. Any surplus funds will be put towards the P-40 and Tiger Moth.
Mosquito Project Completed 30 July 2021
Thank you to everyone for your generosity in supporting the Mosquito restoration.
We raised $35,050 through givealiitle and a further $17,000 direct. The work has been completed and the aircraft is in the museum and looking fabulous!
At present the propellers are being overhauled under a sponsorship by Airbus, but they will soon both be back and reinstalled. At some point in the near future, Alistair is keen to run the engines in the Mosquito, which will require some creative plumbing to bypass the original, fragile systems. If anyone can make that happen, Al will.
In the meantime, the Mosquito is on public display in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre here in Marlborough. Our fundraising air show, Yealands Classic Fighters is only weeks away, so why not take the opportunity to visit this Fathers’ Day weekend and take in both amazing spectacles?
Once again a huge THANK YOU for supporting us through givealittle.