Mosquito Confirmed At Warbirds Over Wanaka

The ex-RNZAF de Havilland DH98 Mosquito NZ2308 Confirmed To Participate In The Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow

A composite image of the first three de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito aircraft restored by the hugely talented team of restorers at Avspecs. Photo via Warbirds Over Wanaka
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On Sunday, February 19, 2024, Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow announced that one of the world’s most iconic WWII fighter-bomber aircraft will take part in its Easter 2024 airshow. The ex-RNZAF de Havilland DH98 Mosquito NZ2308 is weeks away from the end of a fifteen-year restoration in Auckland and the American owners have generously agreed to allow the aircraft to fly at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest Warbirds airshow before it is dismantled and shipped to its new home in the US.

Mosquito NZ2308 under rebuild with Avspecs of Armdore, New Zealand. [photo by Dave Homewood]

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager Ed Taylor said: “Securing the Mosquito is the ‘icing on the cake’ for airshow organizers. We already had an amazing lineup for our first airshow in six years but now it’s gone next level with confirmation that we are to have a Mosquito on the flight line”.

This Mosquito was built by de Havilland Australia at Bankstown, Sydney, Australia, for the Royal Australian Air Force. Originally planned to become an FB.40 fighter-bomber version (essentially the Australian-built equivalent of the very successful FB.VI) it was given the RAAF serial number A52-20. However, the decision was made to convert a batch of partly constructed FB.40s to dual control trainer status, and this aircraft was converted to a Mosquito T.43 while still on the production line. At that point it was renumbered with a new RAAF serial, A52-1054.

Ed Taylor continued “The news does come with a caveat. Warren Denholm and his team at Avspecs are confident they will have the Mossie flying in time but there is always the possibility that there may be a last-minute problem which prevents that.”

An overview of the Mosquito in the Avspecs hangar.
An overview of the Mosquito in the Avspecs hangar.

This is the fourth Mosquito restored by Avspecs and Warren has told airshow organizers his team has committed to doing “everything within their power” to complete the job on time. All four aircraft have been built for American customers. The only other airworthy Mosquito in the world is in Canada.

NZ2308 flying with 75 Squadron in the early 1950s
NZ2308 flying with 75 Squadron in the early 1950s

The aircraft will be test-flown at Ardmore and then displayed at Wanaka by accomplished American pilot Steve Hinton. Steve, a former Reno Air Race champion, has flown numerous Warbird types, including the last Mosquito from the Avspec’s workshop, and is currently President of the Planes of Fame Museum at Chino in California.

For more information about the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow, visit www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com

2 Comments

  1. Great restoration cannot wait to see her elegant lines in the air.
    Five airworthy Mosquitos and all in North America while the birthplace of the legend is the UK which has not one flyable example available.
    This is so sad and needs to change.

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