The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia Incorporated

ABN - 68 831  327  047

A52-600 Restoration


By Ron Gillis

Text Box: There has been a busy time this first half of the year with restoration activities on the Mosquito, as you read through the following list of items I think you will agree:

- Work has continued de-skinning the outer layers of timber ply, spruce and balsa to remove the old failed glue, on the Mossie fuselage upper surface by the Wednesday team.  The structural skin strengthening adjacent to the LHS (port) wing fixing bearer has been reinstalled. 

- Internally, the LHS (port) wing fixing bearer has also been reinstalled by gluing and screwing to the new strengthened skin zone.

- The cockpit rear pressure bulkhead has been rebuilt and is currently being reinstalled into the fuselage along with the small bulkhead at the rear of the dinghy hatch opening. 

- The RHS and LHS U/C door closing frames (fenders) were repaired for damage and corrosion, then sent to the paint shop for priming and painting.  They have returned painted silver, ready for fitting to the undercarriage.

- The missing lower mounting brackets that hold the fenders in place on the main undercarriage leg have been found by Terry the super sleuth.  Two of the four brackets were damaged, so Terry and Pat carried out significant repairs on them, before priming and painting.  The pair of fenders were then installed by Terry and Pat on the LHS undercarriage assembly which is on public display.

- Measurements have been taken to construct a steel mounting frame to display the fuselage / tail / tail wheel structure belonging to the EX RAF ‘Highball’ Mosquito aircraft.  Preservation work will then be carried out on the components.

- Repairs are completed on reconstructing the missing top 1/3 of the top radio antenna mast, which had been cut off at the time of the aircraft’s disposal by the RAAF.

- Similarly, repairs are under way to reconstruct the missing 1/3 lower end of the trailing antenna, which had also been cut off to allow access to a hard point to support the fuselage.

- As the material that the original antenna is made of is no longer available, the missing lower half of the antenna is being constructed out of two pieces of ash timber cut to the required length as shown on the drawings and carefully shaped and sanded to the correct profile.  The antenna wire drum and long length of antenna wire are both missing and to complete this component, we will have to source these items in the near future.  Great job again by Ron Gretton’s team of Gypsy Moth restorers.  Post-script: Mr Gary Walsh the Museum’s keeper of all things extraordinary, may have an antenna drum somewhere in storage just for this purpose.  Time will tell. 

- Restoration of the pilot’s seat is continuing.  The seat and its components have been bead blasted to remove rust and corrosion.  Individual components are being removed and disassembled to start restoration on them.

- Work by Peter and Eddie finding, cataloguing and assessing restoration of both main undercarriage assembly’s components is continuing.  The Technical Curator David Jones is currently organising for the missing bolts to be sourced and / or will be manufactured and then we will be tasked in the future to assemble the 2nd (starboard) undercarriage. 

- Ongoing cataloguing of the contents of the Mosquito storage racking by David and the MAAA team and clean up / reconfiguring by Don and Bob of our major computer parts data inventory.
Recently, Pat and Ron Gretton have been working on rebuilding cut and or damaged fuel tank straps.  End fittings have been removed from the old straps, bead blasted and ready for re-installing on to new fabricated straps, prior to priming and painting.  Looking like another top job, chaps.  Well done.

On Sunday 21 August 2017, myself, Bob and Eddie had a fruitful discussion with the Technical Curator, David Jones regarding future work on the Mosquito’s tail elevators and the rudder assembly.  He indicated that there was no budget for any of this work, however if we put together ‘work packs’ of both components, he will go outside for quotes.  From there, how the work will be funded will be up for discussion.

After our discussion with Dave Jones today, I have listed below the current ‘Projects’ in order of the Technical Management’s priority:

Main U/C Port assembly – Install all missing bolts as required. Disassemble from support frame.  Repair components that are showing signs of corrosion, reprime and paint. Re-assemble in retracted state and mount on special storage pallet.  Wrap in plastic pallet wrap.
Main U/C Stbd assembly – Assemble on existing support frame. Install all missing bolts as required. Disassemble from support frame.  Repair components that are showing signs of corrosion, reprime and paint. Re-assemble in retracted state and mount on special storage pallet.  Wrap in plastic pallet wrap.  Place both UC pallets in storage.
Pilot’s seat restoration.
MAAA computer data information updating and ease of use by restorers.
RAF High Ball mosquito tail wheel/cone and tail plane assembly – construct display stand and carryout conservation work on it.
A/C tail wheel assembly – check for corrosion (Magnesium?).  Repair if necessary and protect.  Restore and install best example of tail wheel hub and tyre on to tail wheel leg.  Cover whole unit in plastic protection.  Do restoration paperwork for item.  Place into storage?
Rudder assembly – find all components and related drawings.  Research maintenance manuals to determine if control components need to be installed before fabric covering of rudder.  Complete the sheet metal skinning of the rudder horn balance tip.  Depending on the findings of the research install the control components.  Fabric cover the rudder skeleton frame.
Tail elevators - find all components and related drawings including nuts and bolts to create a ‘pack’.  Establish what components will be used and what components need to be manufactured.  Dave Jones to then get quotes on cost to do the restoration work. No RAAF Museum budget available, so who will foot the bill – MAAA?
Ongoing identifying, tagging and bagging of the Mosquito parts.
Helping the Wednesday timber crew as required.

The items highlighted in RED are the only priority projects directed to the MAAA by the Museum’s Technical Management.  These are not strictly in this priority order and I see some of these as being actioned at the same time depending on manpower!

Apologies, if I haven’t mentioned someone -  everyone’s efforts are always appreciated no matter how large or small.

“Safe Working”, and thanks for your continued effort.