By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
A de Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, the only one of its kind in the world that is flying, will appear at the Wings Over Wairarapa airshow in New Zealand, Jan. 18 to 20. The airplane is owned by Jerry Yagen, owner of Fighter Factory in Virginia Beach, Va. It first flew in September, and news reports at the time said the airplane would soon be shipped to the U.S. Now it will apparently first spend some more time in the country where seven years of restoration work took place. "The legendary Mosquito has a fond place in the hearts of Australian and New Zealand airmen," said Tom Williams, director of the airshow.
Williams said booking the Mosquito was a "major coup" that he was able to achieve through his acquaintance with Yagen, who attended the Wairarapa event in 2008. Having the Mosquito on the flight line is "an enormous achievement," Williams said. "It will provide visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this unique aircraft fly." The aircraft will be displayed alongside 12 other de Havilland aircraft, ranging from an early World War I biplane, the DH5, to the DH Vampire Jet. Yagen bought the crumbling hull of the Mosquito, which was built in Canada in 1945, from a small British Columbia museum in 2004. He sent it to New Zealand where it was reconstructed by Avspecs, led by Warren Denholm. Workers had to re-create the massive molds used to shape the plywood for much of the airframe.