Glyn Powell has recently been reorganizing and preparing to take on the next phase in the de Havilland Mosquito restoration work at his Drury Hills base, near Auckland New Zealand. At the time of our visit in January 2014, work was about to commence on the construction of two fuselages with each likely to take around a year to complete. Glyn has been contracted by Avspecs of Ardmore NZ to build the two fuselages in addition to the work he completed earlier for them in the construction of Jerry Yegan’s Mosquito FB Mk26 KA114 for which he constructed the wing and fuselage wooden assemblies. Avspecs is highly regarded for their Mosquito restoration work in getting KA114 flying and now has two more on the way.
The first fuselage is now confirmed to be for a USA based operator. This aircraft was, at the time of our last visit to Avspecs possibly going to utilize its original fuselage. The decision has now been made to build a new structure and Glyn is building the fuselage whilst the wing construction for it is well under way at Avspecs of Ardmore NZ. The wing and fuselage will then be mated and the aircraft completed in much the same way as Jerry Yegan’s Mosquito FB Mk26 KA114 which flew in 2012 and is now based in the USA with Jerry’s collection. Another fuselage will then be constructed for a yet to be announced Mosquito restoration project, which is underway and will also be constructed and flown in New Zealand. The two fuselages are expected to take Glyn around 2 years in total to complete.
Including Glyn’s Mosquito T Mk43 NZ2308, this will result in him creating 5 Mosquito fuselages (including a non-flying prototype now in Canada) and 2 wing assemblies. Glyn says “he is no spring chicken” so after completion of the fuselages he is planning to retire from the Mosquito construction business and is considering moving on his wealth of tooling and knowledge to someone else to take up the cudgel. A very well earned retirement for one of the most proficient and prodigious of the Warbird movements aircraft restorers and a “damn good bloke” too!
In regard to Glyn’s project, Mosquito T Mk43 NZ2308, work has progressed well since our last visit and much of the internal fit out has been completed especially the complex hydraulic fittings. However as this is a less comfortably funded project, work is now at the stage where it progresses as time and funds become available so Glyn anticipates another 3 years until completion of the aircraft.
A previously announced plan that would have seen NZ2308 head to the UK appears not to be proceeding and the ultimate fate of the aircraft is at present unknown. Glyn is keen to see the aircraft remain in New Zealand and it is to be hoped that this is possible. It would also be fantastic if Glyn’s aircraft can remain in the country of its last service and perhaps have the occasional hop over the “ditch” to visit the land of its birth, Australia. Australians would surely flock to see a real Australian built Mosquito back home.
As mentioned, there is some hope that both Glyn’s aircraft and the aircraft being worked on at Avspecs could both be flying at the same time, which is a very tantalizing prospect. Judging from the first flight display of Jerry Yegan’s KA114 in 2012 at Ardmore, there would be standing room only at Ardmore NZ if two aircraft were to fly together.
So it now appears that real steps are being taken that will see at least four de Havilland 98 Mosquito’s from New Zealand and one in Canada in the air in the next 3-5 years.
Now who would have thought that ten years ago!
© John Parker 2014