Tue, Feb 21, 2023 12:47 PM

Rare warbird to get engines revving at Classic Fighters


Matt Brown

A rare WW2 warbird, refurbished by a group of dedicated volunteers at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, will have its engines fired up at this year’s Yealands Classic Fighters.

The John Smith de Havilland Mosquito will be on the flight line for the Classic Fighters Omaka’s 20th anniversary show, from Friday 7th, to Sunday the 9th of April.

Airshow director Gavin Conroy says perfect weather is a must for the static display to take place.

Fireman on standby for the first John Smith Mosquito Engine-run November 2021. Photo: Gavin Conroy of Classic Aircraft Photography.

"We should stress that for this to happen, we need perfect weather and no sign of rain before putting the aircraft on the flight line," he says.

"Being such a special aircraft with a structure made of wood, we do not want any rain on it, no matter how little".

The rare WW2 warbird has been on display in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre since 2021, following its refurbishment by a group of dedicated volunteers.

A successful open day celebrating the Mosquito's completion and fundraising for ongoing maintenance took place in April 2022.

Yealands Classic Fighters is the ideal setting for a much-requested repeat performance, organisers say, with tens of thousands of guests from New Zealand and around the world expected to attend.

Held every alternate Easter, the air show is the primary fundraising event for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

The show is from 07-09 April 2023, and tickets are available at www.classicfighters.co.nz or the gate.

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