Mosquito T.43 NZ2308 Undergoes Reassembly at Chino

The fourth "Wooden Wonder" to fly out of the Avspecs workshops in New Zealand has arrived in the U.S. and is being reassembled to fly again in its new homeland.

Mosquito NZ2308 is reassembled in the Planes of Fame restoration hangar. [Photo via Planes of Fame]
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By Adam Estes

Whenever a De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito shows up at an airshow, warbird enthusiasts are always bound to turn their heads to get a glimpse of the Wooden Wonder. At Vintage Aviation News we have been covering the restoration by Avspecs Ltd of the latest example to return to the skies, T.43 NZ2308 which flew again at Ardmore Airport near Auckland, New Zealand in March 2024 — the aircraft’s first flight in 70 years, witnessed by our own Nigel Hitchman. Having had the final stages of its restoration funded by Rod Lewis and Charles Somers, it is with great pleasure that we can report that the aircraft is now undergoing reassembly inside the Tom Friedkin Restoration Hangar of the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, CA. The museum’s president Steve Hinton was at the controls of NZ2308 during its post-restoration flight and its appearance at the Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow in March, and now a team from Avspecs has arrived with the aircraft to work on reassembling the aircraft with assistance from Planes of Fame staff.

Members of the Avspecs team raise the Mosquito on jacks so the undercarriage can be lowered. [Photo by Adam Estes]
The team from Avspecs could be considered old hands at reassembling Mosquitos for overseas customers: this is their fourth such project, with a fifth in the works for a UK client. [Photo by Adam Estes]

This Mosquito is an Australian-built example that was sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and had logged over 475 hours when retired from service. It is currently painted in a version of its postwar 75 Squadron RNZAF silver scheme and codes, albeit with the addition of wartime ‘D-Day’ stripes to mark the recent 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings. For more on this aircraft’s history read our report by Dave Homewood.

The Mosquito’s two Merlins on the Avspecs transport stand await reinstallation and testing. [Photo by Adam Estes]

According to a statement made by the Planes of Fame, NZ2308 will be undergoing reassembly over the next few weeks during regular business hours before it will depart from Chino for its next destination with its U.S.-based owners, which has not yet been made publicly available, and members of the public are invited to visit and view the work being carried out. We will be keeping a close eye on NZ2308 as it undergoes reassembly at Chino and for when this dual-control Mosquito will make its public debut in North America!

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14 Comments

  1. Absolutely wonderful to see restoration of various warbirds and other types of aircraft. The Mosquito being a favourite. It’s great to see and learn how they were developed, the Spitfire being another as was jet and rocket powered aircraft.

  2. The article is confusing to me. Maybe I am reading it in the wrong way.
    The aircraft underwent a long restoration in NZ, did a flight, was then taken apart and shipped to Chino to be restored again (in just a couple months)? And then it will fly back?

    • Correct, except that in Chino it’s being reassembled, not restored. It will fly again soon.

    • Restored in NZ, flew once5, then disassembled for transport to USA, is being reassembled before delivery to (apparently) USA owner/destination. Yes it’s confusing, but welcome to the wonderful world of warbirds! 😊👍🇺🇸

      • It did not fly just once in New Zealand. It underwent a test flying programme, and it then appeared as the star of the show at the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow. A lot of very grateful Kiwis got to see this beautiful warbird in the air.

  3. Hello
    I have in my possession a gear part from a original mosquito that was assembled in Canada, it has never been taken out of the box.
    I was wondering if could be used in future restoration
    Thanks

    Leo

  4. Pity most of the Mozzies are in US hands, and not one has been shipped back to British soil since the only one here that flew crashed in the 90s…
    2026 can’t come soon enough.
    I’d rather have it been the UK that had four Mozzies flying already. We designed and built the ruddy thing in the Second World War, so why is it that we have to wait until 2026 for ONE, over 30 years since the only one we had flying, crashed in the 90s?
    I’m still not happy that we should have had to wait over 30 years for another Mosquito to fly in the British Isles and American collectors have 4 already. My dad saw the one which was flying, crash and even he admits its been too long to wait. And he loves the Mozzie more than me. Unlike him, he’s happy for the US. But I am not.
    It’s always America this, America that, and I am sick of it.

    • Good grief. The only reason four have been restored for US customers is because it has been people in the USA that have stumped up with the substantial amount of cash to pay for it.

      However, the next example that will roll out at Ardmore, another rebuild by the combined efforts of Mosquito Aircraft Restoration and Avspecs Ltd., will be heading to the UK. So calm down and wait… or raise the cash yourself to get one rebuilt. Simple as that.

    • Just be thankful that somebody is prepared to pay for these restorations. Without them, wherever they live, we wouldn’t have any flying Mosquitos at all.

    • Ben,to recreate a Mosquito from an I.D.plate is a huge investment, not for the faint of heart, or cheque book.
      The commitment to do so should be applauded,not critized,as without these people or organisations we would not be able enjoy watching a Mosquito fly.
      Doesn’t matter who puts up the millions…..

  5. An editor’s note for Vintage Aviation News, the manufacturer’s name was de Havilland, not De Havilland. The ‘d’ is not capitalised.

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