A giant leap forward for RL249’s return to flight

In March, we issued a couple of pictures on social media featuring the arrival of the 200,000 tonne Al Dahna container vessel docking in Southampton, along with a subsequent image showing a precious cargo container loaded on a truck!

We appreciate not every supporter is a frequent user of Facebook and Twitter, so for those who haven’t been able to follow the latest exciting developments in RL249’s restoration, here’s a fresh update from John Lilley, Chairman & MD.

The shipping container, which safely completed its 13,000 mile journey from Napier, New Zealand via Singapore and the Suez Canal, delivered more than six tonnes of vital assets for the project. These jigs and essential equipment included wing and tail jigs plus tooling for flaps, bomb bay and fuel tank doors for our Mosquito! These proven assets have already been successfully put to use fabricating the wing and section for the recently-restored PZ474, the third Mosquito restoration delivered for private US collectors by Avspecs.

While these physical assets will be vital to the successful restoration of RL249, the biggest of all was that the acquisition included the complete CAD data required for wing and tail section fabrication. This digital asset will be sure to save many hundreds of manhours on the fabrication of the wing and tail unit.

Following safe delivery to Retrotec’s facilities, work has begun to assess and inspect all the jigs, cataloging them ready for use in the restoration. Pictures show the load delivered to our supplier, Retrotec’s premises in mid-April. All at The People’s Mosquito would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the team at SJG Haulage for their fantastic logistics support.

Support our fuselage mould

We are also delighted to announce plans to produce the first Mosquito fuselage mould in more than 70 years for the UK is progressing well. More than 60% of the design and CAD work has already been completed and we are currently seeking corporate support to assist with the material and fabrication costs associated with building this vital asset for the project. The ability to create what will be only the second Mosquito fuselage mould in existence anywhere in the world, will enable the new wooden airframe for RL249 to constructed here in the UK, under close Civil Aviation Authority scrutiny. 

As we begin the next stage of the restoration journey we invite corporate support to share our vision and join us in celebrating this exemplar of British engineering genius. To assist with the construction of the fuselage mould, we are looking for industry support in the form of a donation of materials. If you work in the UK timber industry, and would be interested in supporting this remarkable work – either through sponsorship or provision of materials – please contact the team via sponsor@peoplesmosquito.org.uk

A unique opportunity

We will also soon be announcing plans to offer supporters and members of the public a chance to own a piece of the UK Mosquito fuselage mould, in the form of a limited number of commemorative plaques which will be placed on the mould frame. This unique opportunity to support the project at a vital phase of its work allows members of the public the chance to put their name, those of a loved one former Mosquito crew member, or a personal message of support on the mould, for as long as the mould is in existence. It’s a chance to celebrate history and make history at the same time.

Places will be limited due to the size of the frame, but we expect to announce further detail on this focused campaign, which forms part of our wider fuselage fundraising, very soon. Watch this space!

For TPM Club Members the next quarterly edition of our journal ‘Mossie Bites’ is now available, containing even more more information on what the team has been up to, along with several fascinating features commemorating more Mosquito crews as well as a personal story from one of the women who helped to build the very same fuselages we are aiming to recreate in 2019/2020. Remember, Mossie Bites, our free quarterly Mosquito journal, is only available to TPM Club Members.



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