World Air Photography Blogs

The Story about the Mosquito B.35 VR796, F-for-Freddie

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

Video from the first running of the Rolls Royce Merlin Engines

Video from the first Flight

The story about the original F-for-Freddie, by Richard de Boer.

Following are some photos that shows the restoration progress up to the date of the first flight.

2010:

2010 Mosquito Restoration

2010 Mosquito Restoration, wiring.

2010 Mosquito Restoration

2010 Mosquito Restoration, nose and some bomb bay details.

2010 Mosquito Restoration

2010 Mosquito Restoration, sitting in the corner waiting for the paint.

2013

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration, partly painted. Owner wanted glossy paint for ease of maintenance.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. The Merlin engines are installed.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. The cockpit is ready to fly.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration, paint job is progressing.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. Camouflage painting done

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. The Rolls Royce Merlin engine.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. Cooling radiators installed.

2013 Mosquito Restoration

2013 Mosquito Restoration. Nose art done, let us run the engines and fly.

2014

2014 Mosquito Restoration

2014 Mosquito Restoration. The big day has come for the first running of the Rolls Royce Merlins. Being pushed to the test area.

2014 Mosquito Restoration

2014 Mosquito Restoration. Both engines running. Watch the video! (link on this page).

2014 Mosquito Restoration

2014 Mosquito Restoration. Back to the hangar for a check up after the first run. They ran the engines 3 times that day.

2014 Mosquito Restoration

On June 16th 2014 F-for-Freddie flew for the first time, it was a very short flight, followed by a longer one on the 17th. I was not there to record it, but my friend Rhys Kent took the photo. Watch the video! (link on this page)

F-for-Freddie Mosquito restoration project

That is the end of this story and it has been a privilege to be a tiny part of this great project.
photo again from Rhys Kent. Watch the video! (link on this page)

Advertisements

Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Story about the Mosquito B.35 VR796, F-for-Freddie

  1. Thank you for the excellent coverage of this very important milestone. There are now two flying Mosquitoes, and Mike Ingram and the team at Victoria Air Maintenance have obviously done a superb job. Congratulations and well done. We at The People’s Mosquito are doing our best to swell the Mosquito population still further; we have a long way to go, but we are determined! http://peoplesmosquito.org.uk

    Posted by shortfinals | August 2, 2014, 3:49 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: