The De Havilland Mosquito T Mk 43 NZ2308

The chosen aircraft for the Mosquito Pathfinder Trust is an Australian built T Mk 43. This aircraft started life in 1944 at the de Havilland factory at Bankstown, near Sydney. It was originally laid down as an early production Mosquito FB Mk 40 (All Australian Built Mosquitos were given a 40 series number and Canadian Built Mosquitos were given a 20 series number). Hence the Australian version of the FB Mk VI was designated the FB Mk 40. It was initially allocated the Royal Australian Air Force number of A52-20 (All RAAF Mosquitos carried a serial starting with A52)

While on the production line it was decided to convert the aircraft into a trainer, the T Mk 43, equivalent to the UK built T3. It was fitted with two Packard Merlin 33 engines and issued with the new serial number A52-1054. It did not however serve operationally with the RAAF and spent some time in storage.

Mosquito A52 - 1054 was sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force for £3,000 and delivered to New Zealand on 13th June 1947, being flown from Brisbane to Whenuapai in a record time of four hours. The aircraft was then issued with the RNZAF serial NZ2308 and assigned to 75 Squadron where it was given the Squadron code of YC-Z.

As a trainer Mosquito the aircraft was equipped with a fold-down second seat which allowed the second pilot to sit alongside the first pilot. On an FB Mk VI the second seat was usually occupied by the navigator who sat about 40cm behind the pilot. This seat allowed the second pilot access to the second control column and rudder pedals, he also had access to a second set of engine throttles.

As our aircraft will be configured as a trainer it can be used to cross train other prospective Mosquito pilots or to charge other pilots for training to get a Mosquito rating in their log book - a great revenue earner. We also hope to be able to remove the fold-down seat and allow passengers to take up the classic navigator's seat, just aft of the pilot.

In addition to the second set of controls the T Mk 43 differs from the FB Mk 40 in that there is a second instrument panel in front of the second pilot equipped with a full set of flying instruments.

It was common practice to remove the four 20mm Hispano Suiza cannons from a trainer aircraft, and NZ2308 was no exception, it spent its active service in the RNZAF equipped with the four .030 Browning machine guns and rocket rails capable of carrying eight 60lb rockets. However we intend to display the aircraft as a FB Mk VI and therefore we intend to install the four 0.303 Brownings and the four 20mm Hispano Suiza cannons.

The Current NZ2308 which was the original flying airframe built by MAR as Glynn Powell's personal Mosquito is now 95% complete in terms of the airframe. It has been built to an exemplary standard and now awaits transfer to Avspecs at the nearby airfield at Ardmore to have all of the control, instrumentation, hydraulic, pneumatic systems and engines installed to get her back into the air where she belongs.