PRESS RELEASE – Mosquito NF.36 restoration confirmed
Issued: 15th March 2012
Unique Mosquito NF.36 Night-Fighter restoration confirmed
The People’s Mosquito are very pleased to announce that an airframe for the restoration project has been confirmed. The remains of Mosquito NF.36 RL249, recovered in 2006, have been donated to the group. The remains include the all-important identity, along with several other original items.
The fuselage and wings for the restoration will be manufactured from new, while other parts will be sourced from other locations or re-manufactured.
When the restoration is complete NF.36 RL249 will be the only surviving example of this type in the world. This will give the people of the UK a unique opportunity to see, in flight, one of the last Mosquitos that served with the Royal Air Force before the introduction of the night-fighter jets in the early nineteen-fifties.
RL249 was serving with No. 23 Sqn, stationed at RAF Coltishall, when it crash-landed due to engine failure after take-off on 14th February 1949. The aircraft was destroyed by fire, and the remains were subsequently buried where they remained until they were unearthed again in 2006.
The final night-fighter version used by the RAF, the Mosquito NF.36 was a post-war development of the highly-successful NF.30. The prototype NF.36 was a converted NF.30, and first flew in May, 1945. It was fitted with fuel-injected, two-stage supercharged Rolls Royce Merlin 113/114 engines, each producing 1,690 hp. This gave the NF.36 a top speed of 404 mph, with a ceiling of 36,000ft.
The primary radar fitted in the NF.36 was the US made centrimetric AI. Mk X, which was installed under a bulbous perspex nose radome. Similar radomes had, during WW2, been painted in camouflage colours, but many of those fitted to NF.36 aircraft were left unpainted (and therefore clear), to improve radar performance. This gave the aircraft a somewhat startling appearance. The armament was four, powerful 20mm Hispano cannon, each with 150 rounds.
There was an ‘equipment gap’ in the post-war RAF. The first generation jet night/all-weather fighters were not being developed as fast as had been hoped, so the NF.36 version of the Mosquito was needed in order to bridge the gap between the wartime NF.30 and the new Gloster Meteor NF. 11 and the de Havilland Vampire NF. 10 jets, which finally arrived with the squadrons in 1951 and ’52.
On completion of the restoration project, RL249 will carry it’s original colour scheme and markings of YP-E of No. 23 Sqn. and will be a testament to not only those who flew the Mosquito during WW2, but also those often unsung heroes of the early Cold War period.
Formed in December 2011, The People’s Mosquito has a simple vision: to restore a de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito to flying condition and return it to the skies. The project began life on Twitter when warbird restorer and aviation fanatic John Lilley tweeted about his longstanding idea of getting a Mosquito flying in the UK again.
Notes to Editors
Artist’s visualization of restored RL249 available for publication.
Project Lead John Lilley is available for interview or comment. He is, however, currently working in China and therefore an interview would be best done via Skype. Please contact Nick Horrox who will arrange this with John if required.
Contact: Nick Horrox, The People’s Mosquito PR – : +44 (0) 7966 482770
Press release in PDF format available here