Group Plans To Rebuild Second World War Mosquito Fighter Bomber

De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito
De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito

Twin Rolls-Royce Merlin engines powering a World War II Mosquito fighter bomber may once again be heard in English skies.

The People’s Mosquito, a group of aviation enthusiasts, has been formed to raise the funds for restoring DH.98, a former ex-Royal Air Force Mosquito, which crashed in 1949 and was recovered six years ago. Built primarily from wood and known as the ‘Wooden Wonder,’ the twin-engine aircraft was the perfect multi-purpose aircraft; although there are approximately 30 of the aircraft in the world, only three known Mosquitoes remain flight certified.

The group has raised in excess of £40,000 of the target amount of £7 million, as reported on the organization’s website. Being restored is the night-fighter variant, NF36 that had AI.Mk X radar, and powered by Merlin 113 and 114 engines.  It had crashed close to RAF Coltishall in Norfolk after both engines failed not long after becoming airborne. The recovered pieces were almost completely unusable.

So, the People’s Mosquito is building it from the ground up using a Mosquito FB.VI model which will have a new airframe, wings and engines. Some non-structural bits from the original will be integrated.

An additional factor influencing the rebuild is a replacement of the glue used in the fuselage that deteriorates as time passes. The restoration team has the original blueprints that will contribute to constructing an improved fuselage. Also, the Rolls Royce Merlin engines are still available.

The team is hopeful the new plane will bear such a resemblance to the old one as to be indistinguishable.  The same wood from Canadian forests used in the original airplane will be utilized once again, International Business Times reported.

Since this is now 2016, the restoration will integrate several upgrades such as electronics, anti-collision systems, and communications gear for flying in today’s skies. The team seems prepared to put in quadruple screwed-in gun barrels, but it seems unlikely this will extend to the installation of the Mosquito FB.6’s four nose-mounted .303 Browning machine guns.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE