Tailwheel is a rare find and excellent acquisition

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Securing an original Mosquito tailwheel

by Ross Sharp, Director of Engineering, The People’s Mosquito

The surge of interest in The People’s Mosquito project, due, in part, to the acquisition of over 22,000 original drawings mounted on aperture cards, has given rise to some fascinating developments. One of these has been the recent acquisition by the team of a genuine De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito tailwheel. Such items are hard to come by, and this particular example is in good condition for its age.

Made of light alloy, and meant to carry a Dunlop-Marstrand 8.00 x 5 twin-track tyre, this particular wheel carries the correct AH 10191 part number (suitable for all versions of the Mosquito) as well as an AH7049 marking. The latter, it has been said, often indicates Canadian production by such companies as Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company, an important supplier to the U.S. automotive and aircraft industry. Also clearly visible is the Government ‘broad arrow’, an ancient mark which was first used to indicate Government property as far back as 1330.

Mosquito tailwheels have had a bit of a chequered history. Indeed, the Mosquito prototype, W4050, got its tailwheel stuck in a rut whilst travelling across some rough ground at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, during its official Service trails with the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. This accident, which occurred on 24th February, 1941, caused the rear fuselage to fracture, and was sufficient to cause the fuselage reserved for the PR prototype Mosquito, W4051, to be sent down to Boscombe Down, and utilized in repairs of the badly damaged unit.

Later Mosquitoes were equipped with the Dunlop-Marstrand twin-track tyre, which possessed ‘anti-shimmy’ properties, important in an aircraft whose tailwheel could not be locked in a particular direction. This 8.00 x 5 tyre should be inflated to a pressure of 40 pounds/square inch, (for all Mosquito  fighter types) when the tyre is resting on the ground.

John Lilley, the Chairman of TPM, has examined the tailwheel, and despite having some light surface corrosion in parts, has pronounced it, ‘a good find’. The People’s Mosquito looks forward to acquiring more rare components as we forge ahead in the race to put a de Havilland Mosquito into British skies, once more.

6 thoughts on “Tailwheel is a rare find and excellent acquisition

  1. Hello, I am a retired RAF officer and have come into possession of a Mosquito tail wheel, with tyre, all in. Reasonable . condition, located in Oxford UK Would anyone like it? SIncerely Wm Tootell. 11-01.2018

    1. Evening William,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch with the project regarding your recent acquisition. I’ve just emailed you on the matter.

      Best,

      Stewart Charman,
      Director of Communications

  2. Hello-I am Franz Shoaf of San Antonio Texas and am a retired USA MSG Special Forces. I have always been an avid Mosquito fan and since I could never build an original will have to settle with a large scale model, I guess. My question to any of you in charge of this rebuilding effort is: Why can you not get a professional copier to copy all your recent found drawings and blueprints in large scale similar to the way the Smithsonian Air and Space archives does and sell these as sets for a good price. I am sure you would collect a large audience of enthusiasts and modelers from all over the globe to respond . You could credit them with a donation and in turn they could get the world’s best sets of drawings. Thank you for all your work. Keep it up. FCS

    1. Hi Franz,

      Thanks for contacting the team.

      We’re in the process of assessing and documenting exactly what we have (it’s a lengthy process assessing 22,000+ drawings). At latest count we’re over the 15,000 mark, and have unearthed some incredible historical details of the aircraft. Once we have finished cataloging the entire collection, we know what we have and can then make an informed decision as to how to use the drawings to support Mosquito restoration around the world, not only our project.

      All the aperture cards have already been digitized, to preserve them as a historical record. This allows us to reproduce them in large format.

      Keep following the project and further details on how you can see/access/explore the drawings will no doubt become available. In the first instance, our priority will naturally be to see how how we can monetize them, in order to assist our aim of restoring another Mosquito to airworthy condition – this one specifically for UK skies.

      Thanks for the support and always great to know how many Mossie fans exist across the Pond!

      Best,
      The TPM Team

      1. Thanks for the communications. I am currently working on researching for 1/6 scale figures of an RAF pilot and navigator. I intended these for use with the large scale Mosquito model but now am thinking that it maybe just as easy to put these in limited production. When I finish the models I will send photos of the models to see what you think. This is another way of probably making some money for your project. It could be another path as good advertisement for me (selfishness aside) see what you think. Thanks again for all your work . Hope that I can be a small part of your dreams. Franz Shoaf. San Antonio

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