View Full Version : Mosquito HT-E

17th Jan 2003, 10:38
Sorry people.... more questions!
I can't remember the year that the last airworthy example of a mossie crashed killing both members of the crew of HT-E ? What was the outcome of the crash enquiry?

Has anyone heard any news about other examples being returned to the register so that we can savour the growl of two merlins again?

I heard there might be one at Duxford....... any ideas??

ps. ( as you've probably guessed i've got the DH bug! :rolleyes:

17th Jan 2003, 11:58
RR299 (HT-E) crashed at Baton in July 1996. IIRC the problem was a minor fuel problem (carburretor?) which led to one engine losing power at low airspeed during a wingover and thus to a spin.

There are actually two Mossies at Duxford - IWM has one on static display and The Fighter Collection has the IWM example from Lambeth in store fore eventual restoration to fly.

There is also one in the US owned by Kermit Weeks which may fly again eventually, one in Canada under rebuild and possibly one in OZ?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
17th Jan 2003, 12:07
21st July 1996 at Barton. I'd just taken off in the Chippy before the Mossie display and was aerobatting a few miles north so didn't actually see it except on video later.

Although the primary reason was negative 'G'-induced failure of one engine during a 'wing-over', not mentioned in the AAIB report was the 'wing over' technique being employed by the pilot. Some experienced aeros pilots who witnessed the display and crash have told me they think it should have been.


17th Jan 2003, 13:22
The Duxford Mosquito which I think Chris is referring to is indeed The Fighter Collection's example. She is TV959, and is in the queue for restoration to airworthiness.

There have been various concerns raised about the feasibility of this, as her main spar was sawn through just outboard of the starboard nacelle to allow her to be mounted against an internal wall of the Imperial War Museum at Lambeth. This has prompted some discussion in the past over whether or not the wing would have to be re-sparred, but as I understand it, the cut has been inspected during the least few years and estimates are that it can feasibly be repaired to airworthy standard without the need for a full re-sparring.

TFC obviously have a number of projects on the go at the moment (Beaufighter, P51C, Sea Fury, Gladiator, etc), but I've heard the tentative suggestion bandied around that she could potentially be flying again within 2-3 years of the start of a restoration to fly.

Visitors to The Fighter Collection hangar can see the wing standing on it's leading edge in the north-east corner of the hangar, and I understand the rest of the aeroplane is held in storage elsewhere on the airfield, which suggests that we're unlikely to see work on TV959 start in the near future. Hope this helps.

Iron City
17th Jan 2003, 13:32
The Canadian collection in Ottawa had, at least last time I was there, a mossie in bomber configuration, don't know the mark mod. At the time I recallI was told that all the aircraft possible were kept in flying condition and one or twice a year were at least taxied about the ramps if not flown. this was born out by the cans under the engine catchingthe oil as it leaked out. Anyone know whether this example is airworthy and possibly flown?

17th Jan 2003, 14:52
AAIB report available at http://www.aaib.dft.gov.uk/bulletin/jun97/gaskh.htm

17th Jan 2003, 15:54
Kermit Weeks ' Mossie is airworthy and flies regularly!!

17th Jan 2003, 16:24
I have heard Kermit's Mossie is grounded due to problems with the glue/wood.

I think it was in the EAA Museum when I was there in 2001. I know, I know, I should be able to remember whether it was or not, but I saw so many wondeful aeroplanes that week... did see it flying at Biggin Hill in 1987? flying with RR299 (and Bleinheim #1?)

17th Jan 2003, 16:27
Jimgriff - I'm not too sure about that I'm afraid - Kermit's Mosquito was resident in the EAA Museum at Oshkosh when I saw it there in 93, and there is some confusion as to its current status; some reports state that it's still there, while others suggest it may be with Kermit in Florida, where the heat and humidity is said to have badly delaminated the wings. Either way, she's no longer airworthy.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was, my money would be on Ed Zaleski's TT35 being the next Mosquito to fly, currently undergoing restoration in Canada. Unfortunately I don't know any other details offhand.

17th Jan 2003, 16:50
Ah yes, Ed Zaleski... I think his project was for sale at one time wan't it, as some enthusisasts here were hoping BAe might take the hint and buy it.

And before anyone takes me to task, I do know how to spell Blenheim, just a quick lunch time beer having its fun with me fingers :D

17th Jan 2003, 17:07
Two Mosquitoes and a Blenheim. Must have been a wonderful sight... :)

Sorry about a little bit of misinformation about the 'Zlesky' Mosquito; she is a B35, serial VR796, civil reg CF-HML, and now owned by Bob Jens. Sorry for any confusion... :eek:

17th Jan 2003, 20:38
Strange that the Mosquito retains such affection after all these years, esp with women in my experience, something it shares with the Vulcan.

I'd have thought the Mossy would be one of the easier aircraft to get back into flying shape - the original design/manufacturing principles still apply. After all, wood is still made and I'm sure there are still the skills around to work it. The metal content was easily fabricated aiui.
IMO the sweetest sound ever was twin Merlins, somehow even sweeter than 1 or 4. It must fly again.

I could be talking out of my hat, or I could be drunk. I know I am at least one of them.. the joys of a Friday lunchtime finish :)

17th Jan 2003, 21:14
CF-HML was one of five Mosquitos - 'HMK to HMO - acquired in Britain in November 1954 by Spartan Air Services of Ottawa. They were used for high altitude photographic survey, mainly in the Arctic. A month later they purchased five more - 'HMP to 'HMT. The price was $7500.00 CA per batch of five.
That same company also operated a handful of P-38's and, briefly, a DH103 Sea Hornet in the same role.
I don't know if the Mosquito in the museum in Ottawa is airworthy. I'm guessing it isn't, but Davaar would know for sure, as he's on the board of that institution.

18th Jan 2003, 00:47
The Sparton aircraft came from RAF Little Rissington.

There were 6 of them ferried to Burnaston and we converted them for photo survey for Sparton.
After the work they were test flown at Burnaston by if my memory serves me by David Ogolviy ( Elstree CFI)
These test flights were something to behold ahhhhhhhh:eek:

Of the 6, 5 were delivered to Spartan and the last one sat at Burnaston in the storage hanger for a long time.

We used to take it out and run it from time to time. The Mossie had a priming pump outide the right nacelle just in front of the landing gear. As an aprentii i would get the job of priming the engine for start. The problem was that when you stood and primed the exhaust blew straight at you :( Not bad if it was just red hot exhaust gas) :eek: but as the engine was only run ever few months the lumps of carbon that came out were lethal :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

After a long period we got the aircraft out and readied for a potential customer. All polished and ready for inspection the purchaser's man arrived. A "lady" called Roberta Cowell, better know as a BoB fighter pilot Robert Cowell.
The idea was that he was going to break some long range record by flying at flight level tremendous, ( they were PR's with 2 stage 2 speed SC), pick up the jet stream and go for ever !

Never happened and we eventually broke the aircraft up and burnt the fuselage. That was when I learned about the burn characteristics of Magnesium:D :D

18th Jan 2003, 05:11
I recall seeing three Mosquitos at Thruxton in 1959, rather unceremoniously dumped. They were NS639, NS753 and RG173 and had civil reggies G-AOCI, K and L roughly painted on. In fact 'OCK was painted 'OOK.

Wonder who intended what with them?

Then there's the one suspended from the roof of the museum in Johannesburg.

And to make your mouths really water, at least seven were operational at Exeter in August '59, RR299, RS709, 712, 718, TA719, TH998 and TV959.


18th Jan 2003, 11:48
The three at Thruxton are listed as owned by R A Short and "not converted and burnt at Thruxton October 1960. There were six altogether 'OCI to 'OCN - the others went to the Israeli Air Force in 1956.

RR299 crashed at Barton
RS709 is at the USAF Museum
RS712 is Kermit Weeks' aircraft
RS718, no info might htis have been RS715 which was with 3 CAACU at Exeter - parts of this are now with Tony Agar
TA719 is at Duxford with the IWM (via Skyfame)
TH998 is with the NASM at Washington
TV959 is with The Fighter Collection at Dxuford

Quite right, we do need another Mossie flying - I do hope TFC can bring theirs on fairly quickly, but as Beauman says, the other aircraft in the restoration queue need to be finished first!

Still not sure whether the two Mossies did fly with the Blenheim, but it was certainly Biggin '87 and all three aircraft would have been there. The Blenheim crashed a week or two later I think...

Sir George Cayley
18th Jan 2003, 15:48
Mosquito's at the deHavilland Museum Salisbury Hall Herts

W4050 D.H.98 Mosquito I prototype
TA122/UP-G D.H.98 Mosquito FB.VI
TA634/8K-K D.H.98 Mosquito TT.35
TJ118 D.H.98 Mosquito TT.35 nose

Also I have a hazy recollection of a photo in Flypast a few months after the tragic loss of RR299 (which I witnessed) of a partially restored Mossie "somewhere in East Anglia" , or was it Scotland.?

Anybody remember this

Sir George Cayley

The air is a navigable ocean that laps at everyones door

18th Jan 2003, 21:44
Hmmm, I wonder if that was after all RS715 vs 718. I will admit I did not have a good pair of binoculars in those days, possibly a little pink plastic telescope from the toyshop. It was coded '49' anyway, so that may help identify it positively. Not bad, to get corrections to logs after 44 years!

The one at the military museum in Jo'burg is LR480, a PR IX, of 60 Sqn SAAF, marked 'Lovely Lady'. At least, it was in April '92.

18th Jan 2003, 22:09
Is there still most of a Mossie at YAM Elvington?

I was once driving South on the M6 when there was a sudden blast of sound - two Merlins at low level! It was HT-E on the way somewhere on a nice late Summer day. Hadn't heard that sound since the CAACU at Exeter stopped flying the Mosquito 30 years or so earlier....

19th Jan 2003, 02:12
Article in 'Aeroplane', Jan. 2002 reported start to a rebuild of prototype W4050.

The RR Heritage Trust, Derby, took the engines.

Marshalls Aerospace of Cambridge were assigned the control surfaces.

Props to Deltair Airmotive at Fareham, Hamps.

Any further updates been heard?

Unable to find another article, however memory serves that the Canadian B.35 undergoing restoration has received ( or will soon) a new fuselage, from a guy south of Auckland, New Zealand, who has built his own fuz jig.

.. to be cont/

19th Jan 2003, 12:16
ATB, unfortuantely the code isn't given for RS715 (for the others yes - s0d's law!).

The Elvington Mossie has been rebuilt by Tony Agar and friends...
That's probably the one Sir George is referring to... It includes components of HJ711 (its i/d) plus PF498, VA878 and RS715... this all according to my ancient Warbirds Woldwide Directory. Thinks, must buy a more up to date copy!

19th Jan 2003, 14:07
In Carel Birkby's book 'Dancing in the Skies' there are wonderful anecdotes about SAAF Mossies, two in particular, NS520, which staved off several attacks from a ME-262 over the Black Forest in August 1944, and LR480, flown from San Severo Italy to Pretoria in December of the same year in an attempt to set a record.

Birkby's book is really about the aircraft on display at Saxonwold, but he builds in stories relative to the pilots who flew them or against them, and who eventually became chief pilots or even CEOs of South African Airways.

Canadian Luscombe
19th Jan 2003, 19:40
Here is a fairly complete (?) list of suviving mosquitoes: http://www.mossie.org/Mosquito_loc.htm

The rest of the mossie.org site also has plenty of interesting stuff, especially the list of books: http://www.mossie.org/Mosquito_books.htm

19th Jan 2003, 20:56
Remember once standing atop the control tower at Woodvale some time in the early 80s and watching RR299 do a 'departing pass' at about 10' between the tower and the hangars. Impressive to say the least. Where the Mosquito should be, grunting along down in the weeds. Good to look at from above and good motivation for a young chap just starting out in flying.

19th Jan 2003, 21:38
Watched 'The Purple Plain' on BBC 2 tonight. Lots of FEAF Mosquito shots - but sadly the hero's ac was burnt out.

Wie Schade!!

20th Jan 2003, 12:53
RickyRossco - As I understand it, W4050 is being (has already been?) surveyed to determine the extent of any delamination, and will then undergo a conservation programme to ensure that she remains as a pristine static exhibit.

TA634 has also recently undergone the survey, and although there had been some speculation as to whether she was being looked at with a view to airworthiness, I believe that she's also destined to remain safely on the ground.

TA122's fuselage was in with Skysport for refurb work a couple of years ago, and is currently being worked on at Salisbury Hall. She will eventually be mated to a rare Sea Mosquito wing which I understand was recovered from Israel, and will eventually be statically displayed as an FB6.

20th Jan 2003, 14:07
Thanks everybody for this wealth of info..... looks like i hit a topic close to everyones heart. I haven't been to the mosquito museum for ages and i only live fifteen minutes away! :rolleyes:

I always saw it as a shame to see W4050 cooped up in a dingy hanger, is she being restored as we speak?

I must go and have a look when the museum opens again in March!

20th Jan 2003, 15:20
That serves as a timely reminder that I have NEVER been to the Mosquito Museum, despite the fact that it is just a quick whiz round the other side of ther M25 (ho, ho, ho!) from me. THIS year, I promise... any good real ale pubs nearby?

Would be nice if one of their machines could feel the breeze under wings once agian, but I fully understand the cons of doing so.

t'aint natural
20th Jan 2003, 20:52
The above-mentioned David Ogilvy writes about fying the Mosquito in the February 'Aeroplane'.
He's now President of AOPA UK.
Why were his flight tests "something to behold," GottheTshirt?

21st Jan 2003, 04:08

Well as someone said earlier the only way to see a Mossie is b****out among the weeds:) :) If you can get on top a tall van you should be able to see the top of the wing :D :D

The flights were done at Burnaston ( Grass strip) and in the days before "Regs"';) ;) Needless to say there was always a bit of tweaking that needed another test flight:)

The Mossie that went to Kermit was done at Booker by Doug ?? Bianci ( the son ). They did some pretty deep work into the woodwork and glueing etc before it left.! But I'm not surprised that the Florida climate has taken its toll. I dont think anyone thought the glue would have to last as long as it did ! (what was that purple gung called?)

That was also given a "test flight" before departing to the States on a ferry permit. The pilot was George ?? who flew the BAC aircraft and he also flew the aircraft with a couple of "low"passes.

Sorry about the ?? but due to extended senior moments!!

Edit : Was it George Aird ??

21st Jan 2003, 05:03

Ta muchly, kind sir. I wasn't sure if the restoration was the full Monty. Good to know. Still no joy with that particular summary on the NZ connection.


Shame on you! How can anyone with more than an ounce of Merlin addiction in their blood NOT pay respectful homage ?!?
I suggest a ready recruit for Ppruner-punishment-detail immediately visit upon treadigraph a well-deserved beating with a stick of limp celery (preferrably while wearing a flying helmet and in the presence of "The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies", by van Clomp...)

And I must forestall any potential chagrin from a so reactionary tirade. I live 8 000 mi from the nearest (museum) Mozzie. Then, again, I too have been guilty of same apathy at visiting sights tourists travel from overseas to see.

21st Jan 2003, 11:50
Ooohhh yes please! A beating, a beating...

It is a sin that I do hereby promise to put right forthwith, I have several friends of the aviation AND beer drinking persuasion who also wish to visit Salisbury Hall and also Cosford... working out the where the museums are is easy, it's deciding which Good Beer Guide pub is most worthy of our lunchtime attention that causes the arguments...

It was George Aird who ferried N35MK across the pond, so I imagine he also did the test flying and demonstrated her at Biggin. I think this was the ex Strathallan machine wasn't it?

I think George also ferried Doug Arnold's G-MOSI across the pond for the USAF Museum. there was a rathe nice pic of it on a snowy apron somewhere in Greenland or Canada.

21st Jan 2003, 12:16
RickyRossco - found some information on the New Zealand project; apparently being run by a chap called Glyn Powell. More information, including workshop pictures, on this link:


The site itself is well worth a good look through for anyone with a penchant for Mosquitoes... :)

I have control
21st Jan 2003, 17:31
Kermit's Mosquito is definitely still in the EAA Museum and is unlikely to be flying any time soon.

I have control
22nd Jan 2003, 23:24

There are very persistent rumours of a Mosquito on a farm up in the hills of New Zealand somewhere. I once talked to a fruit farmer who swore blind it was there, and I have heard it several times from other people. The story goes that the guy who has it has turned down many offers, and it just sits there in his barn.

Can you shed any light?

23rd Jan 2003, 00:55

Yes N35MK was from Strathallen.
I went up there for the ferry and George did a couple of beat ups at Strathallen which was very impressive. There was a short guy with him but can't rember his name ( Navigator with BAC)
he was also on the ferry to USA :)

23rd Jan 2003, 07:22
I went to look at this with Tim Moore of SkySport a few years back.

I got the impression that he was really keen to be awarded the work to put the wing back together.

I could think of no better company than SkySport - true artisans in wood with such an impressive pedigree - to do it.

Can it be done? I said. With typical Tim Moore passive confidence he replied, 'Its not difficult - it is just a big job and will take a bit of time. We'd love to do it.'

You can bet they'd make a cracking job of it too.

Whils the Mossie is indeed made of tree and 'shouldn't present too many problems in restoration' I think that there are a number of challenges with the design. Am I correct in believing that a lot of the plywood sections were steamed and then moulded at high pressure? This suggests that moulds would either need to be found or recreated?

All things are do-able. It really is a case of 'take out your wallet and repeat after me - help yourself'.

I'll guess (repeat - guess!) at 3-4M for a full airworthy restoration/ recreation, for an aircraft that will end up worth probably half that.

This is the problem.

How many people out there actually want an airworthy Mossie and - oh yes - have millions laying around doing nothing that will be depleted by 'one or two' if it had to be sold?

Even if volunteers are involved, the costs will still be huge.

Nice thought though - a wonderful, evocative machine that I too have seen in the air. MMMmmm!

Salisbury Hall - I spotted a small strip very close by. Any idea how long it is or who owns it? I saw a microlight on it and suspect that it is a bit short for 'proper planes'(quick duck below the parapet!)


23rd Jan 2003, 09:36

I suspect that the guy crewed with George Aird was Harry Robins (sp?). Harry often acted as the 2nd crew member in HT-E when it flew in the 60s and 70s. He was, I believe, an engineer based at Hawarden, and gave a lot of his free time to help keep HT-E airworthy. I think I'm also right in saying that Harry had been a Mosquito flying instructor during WWII.

23rd Jan 2003, 18:05

Yes it was Harry.
They made a good crew and both "gentlemen of the air"

Feather #3
24th Jan 2003, 02:52
On a lighter note, one of my now retired colleagues was learning to fly in the RCAF on T-33's some time ago. Some civil registered
PR Mossie/s were operating on survey work and one day while on a cross country, he sighted one below. He decided to 'bounce' it and work it over.

He zoomed past from behind, but missed the last laugh! For many minutes, despite all he tried, his rear was nearly being chewed by two Merlins which stuck to his tail relentelssly until the pilot was sick of it. A useful lesson for youth. :D

G'day ;)

24th Jan 2003, 08:26
There is a strip next to the museum at salisbury hall, it is an unlicensed microlight strip last i heard....... the only plane i've seen land there was Denny Dobson's pitts.... best call salisbury hall (museum) to see what the situation is as they know who runs the strip.. hope this helps.

25th Jan 2003, 21:26
mossie cf-hml is alive and well in vancouver canada, hml is an ex-spartan aircraft currently under restoration by owner bob jens. the aircraft is complete and is being restored to flying condition, mr jens is sparing little expense as i have witnessed first hand the level of restoration. have some pictures of the mossie next to mr jens immaculate griffon spit, available if anyone is interested.

31st Jan 2003, 05:10

Yup, interested. ChrisVJ

1st Feb 2003, 15:54

Some Mossie pilot notes from 1944


Note the advice re feathering:D

13th Feb 2003, 13:25
Any more info???? any pilots who flew the wooden wonder out there??:cool:

15th Feb 2003, 19:23
How about the original pilots notes? Haven't yet found out how to project onto string, but happy to email.
[email protected]

16th Feb 2003, 13:39
I have one or two photos in the attic of Mossies at Bovingdon after filming "Mosquito Squadron". I always had a deep affection for the aircraft, as of course "633" was also filmed in the area, and I used to see them flying around regularly.

By a strange quirk, the air display at which the Mossie crashed was organised by myself, and I was on the Tower balcony alongside the commentator when it happened. A terrible day that I'll never forget.... time seemed to stand still as she span in. Put me off flying for a few years after that...

21st Feb 2003, 01:16
Superb article about flying the Mossie, by David Ogilvy in this month's "Aeroplane" Excellent pics in B&W and reminiscing about flying her on one engine....apparently not for the faint hearted. I think the remaining engine just carried you to the crash site a bit quicker than none.!!

Feather #3
21st Feb 2003, 05:00

While yet to read David's article, I cannot disagree strongly enough with your conclusion on engine-out flight.

I was privileged to read through my old nav instructor's logbooks [his son had just dissuaded hiim from throwing them out!!], kept during WWII when he was a Coastal Command navigator on Beaufighters and Mosquito's. I was amazed that almost 1 in 3 flights resulted in coming home on one engine. This was over a full tour plus, so they can't have been that bad at asymmetric performance.

Indeed, the Mossie's were causing so much strife along the North Sea coast, that if a CC Mossie was downed, the German pilot got double points towards an Iron Cross. Having lost an engine to a JU88, his pilot dived away only flattening out at wave height and hi-tailed it home all the way from Denmark. The bloke was a big Canadian and Alan surmised that someone of lesser strength would have been unable to recover from the dive.

If you allude to engine failure after takeoff, that's another matter; there was a large dead-zone where the only answer was to pull off the live engine and land straight ahead!

G'day ;)

21st Feb 2003, 09:34
Back to the subject of delaminating plywood, I seem to remember reading somewhere that Mossies sent out to the far east suffered delamination of the ply due to humidity. There was also an article about changing the glue type in production as the original was attractive to certain oriental insects which then fed on the tail section and rear fuselage.

21st Feb 2003, 12:40
Appologies if this has been posted before;