The Mosquito B.35 VR796, F-for-Freddie has left town. After its first flight at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) on June 16th, 2014 it has departed to Vancouver (YVR). It will be appearing at the Abbotsford Airshow this month.
I started following the restoration of F-for-Freddie in 2010 and had the opportunity to record the progress until a “photography ban” was put on the project. It was an honour to follow this project and to record it over the years. Of course I was not there when the engines are installed, but to walk in later and see them hanging on the aircraft is also very rewarding and exciting.
B.35 VR796 was built at the Airspeed factory in UK after the war, Serial # VR796, it was put in storage, and did not serve in the RAF. Purchased by Spartan Air Services in 1954, one of 15 Mosquitoes (10 were flown and 5 were used for parts). They were to provide for high altitude photo mapping work in Canada and abroad. VR796 got the Canadian registration CF-HML and was the first of the Spartan Mosquitoes to be ferried across the Atlantic, arriving at the Uplands Airport on May 3, 1955. It soon went to work, using Wild RC5 and RC8 cameras throughout northern and western Canada for its photo mapping missions.
About 5,000 of the 7,781 Mosquitos made contained parts made in High Wycombe. In Canada, fuselages were built in the Oshawa, Ontario plant of General Motors of Canada Limited. These were shipped to De Havilland Canada in Toronto for mating to fuselages and completion. As a secondary manufacturer, de Havilland Australia started construction in Sydney. These production lines added 1,133 from Canada and 212 from Australia. (Wikipedia).
A statement from Mike Ingram who is the President of the company who did the restoration.
“The De Havilland Mosquito VR796 was delivered to her owner in Richmond British Columbia yesterday. Victoria Air Maintenance Ltd would like to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement throughout this project and offer a heartfelt apology to all of the veterans and everyone else who wanted to see it that didn’t have the opportunity. Due to circumstances and contractual obligations outside of our control we were unable to announce anything publicly and for this we are truly sorry. I would like to personally thank all of my staff for their dedication and attention to detail in bringing this amazing aircraft back to Airworthy status”.
Mike Ingram, President
Victoria Air Maintenance Ltd
Following are some photos that shows the restoration progress up to the date of the first flight.