de Havilland Mosquito returns to Canadian Skies!
by Donald Nijboer
June 18, 2013
|Photo by Gavin Conroy|
Jerry Yegan’s beautifully restored de Havilland Mosquito FB.26 KA114 made its Canadian debut during the Hamilton Air Show this past weekend. It was an amazing site to see a Canadian-built Mosquito fly for the first time since, I believe, since the late 1940s. Bought by Jerry Yagen’s Fighter Factory, based in Virginia Beach and beautifully restored by Glyn Powell and his Mosquito factory in New Zealand, KA114 is an incredible feat of perseverance and ingenuity. It’s one of the finest restorations to come out in years and it’s the only flying Mosquito in the world. Great to hear the growl of the twin Merlins, and, to top it all off, the mass formation of the Mosquito, Lancaster, two Hurricanes and a Spitfire was, well, awesome. Hats off to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Jerry Yagen and Glyn Powell for making it all happen.
Editor’s Note: The Military Aviation Museum’s Mosquito arrived early at Hamilton in order to be the subject of a special featured event at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on Friday June 14th that included discussions with several former Mosquito pilots including 89-year old RCAF veteran and Mosquito pilot, George Stewart, who had recently shared his knowledge and experience with a new generation of Mosquito pilots in New Zealand. The Mosquito departed from Hamilton on Sunday, June 16th to fly to Washington D.C.
|Photo by Lisa Sharp|
The de Havilland FB.26 KA114 was built at the Downsview plant in Toronto in 1945, too late to see action in the Second World War. Used briefly for training, the RCAF declared it surplus in 1947. Along with another Mosquito purchased by a farmer in Milo, Alberta, KA114 was parked in the open for a decade. The Museum of Flight and Transportation at Langley, British Columbia, obtained the pair of wartime fighter-bombers in 1978. After the sale of the best of the examples, warbird owner Jerry Yagen purchased KA114 in 2004, intending to restore the badly deteriorated aircraft to flying condition. Shipped to Glyn Powell’s AVspecs in Ardmore, New Zealand for restoration, the project turned into an eight-year long process of recreating the distinctive Mosquito construction. Emerging in September 2012 for flight testing as “EG-Y", KA114 appeared in the 487 Squadron (RNZAF) colour scheme, as a tribute to the restorers in New Zealand who undertook the painstaking restoration. The newly rebuilt aircraft was shipped back to the United States in 2013 to become one of the showpieces of Yagen’s Military Aviation Museum.
|Photo by Stephen Parry|