Edited from an article by Mike Lambert
“How do we get the Mosquito to Oshkosh?”
This is a question that Jerry Yagen has heard frequently since his magnificent deHavilland Mosquito FB.26 KA114 first took to the skies again in 2013. As most of our readers will be well aware, her resurrection from a rotted-out hulk into the glorious condition she is today took place at Avspecs, Ltd. in Ardmore, New Zealand. The painstaking rebuild, only made possible by the dedication of New Zealanders Glyn Powell (who figured out how to make the fuselage molds) and Warren Denholm (who lead the team at AvSpecs) and Jerry Yagen’s determination to see the project through, set a new standard for what is possible in aircraft restoration. It was a momentous day when she arrived home at Yagen’s Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia. But with such a world-class restoration arriving on US shores, it seemed almost automatic that the Mosquito would put in an appearance at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. However, as with nearly everything to do with warbirds, it often comes down to funding.
The issue is this: Most air shows pay for aircraft to attend, although the money offered is often just a subsidy and barely covers the real cost of their appearance. That being said, this model is effectively the only way that most operators can afford to fly their warbirds further afield than the home airport. However, the EAA cannot afford to pay for any aircraft to come to Oshkosh. With the mass of aircraft that arrive each year to attend AirVenture, funding one aircraft could sour the experience for the nearly ten thousand others that cover their own expenses. It’s the aviation world’s equivalent of picking your favorite child.
The Military Aviation Museum has several dozen flying aircraft in its collection and it costs a medium-sized fortune just to keep them all airworthy, let alone flying. Diverting funds for just one warbird to travel to Oshkosh would strip the rest of the fleet of crucial funds necessary to keep them all in safe operable condition. Without the benefit of an appearance fee, it makes it hard to justify the expense, and yes risk, of flying the Mosquito to Oshkosh.
So how do we get the magnificence of KA114 to Oshkosh for her debut before hundreds of thousands of eager aviation enthusiasts when neither party involved can spare the money to pay for it? Well, Warren Denholm at Avspecs Ltd. has taken matters into his own hands, so-to-speak, in an attempt to bring the “Mossie” to Oshkosh to join the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster in celebration of the Battle of Britain’s 75th anniversary. He started an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign (Click HERE) which offers some marvelous incentives to contributors, such as sitting in the Mosqito’s cockpit during an engine run-up. This sounded like a fabulous idea to us, so WarbirdsNews’ Mike Lambert recently talked with Denholm to find out more…
ML – Can you tell us a little about the IndieGoGo campaign?
WD – “I came up with the idea during discussions last year with Jerry and others about the available options for funding. It’s been running for two weeks. now. Rightly or wrongly I thought that fans around the USA might be motivated to support the attendance. It could be a model for appearances by other unique aircraft if it was to succeed.”
“The key to everything like this is spreading the word, and although EAA have promoted the Mosquito’s appearance they have not as yet pushed the funding side of things and I’m going o see if I can get them to make a bigger deal about what might be available to enthusiasts who can afford to help. T-shirts DVD’s and VIP seating is one side of it….”
“If there was anything that needed pushing it would be the opportunity for a handful of Mosquito fans who take up the $1000 option to hear, feel and
experience the roar of the Merlins and imagine what it must have been like to take a potent machine like the Mosquito into War!”
So there you have it. Can you imagine what it would be like to sit in the Mosquito’s cockpit while those twin Rolls-Royce Merlin engines throttled up to ‘max-chat’… to feel the echos of the Mosquito’s soul vibrating through your very core? Now that is an experience worth having! Please click HERE to see how this amazing and unique opportunity could become yours! Even if you can’t afford the luxury of being inside KA114 for the engine run… you could be standing nearby to witness it… then see and hear her soaring through the sky overhead. Let’s make it happen!