Some of the late aircraft collector John Smiths New Zealand treasures revealed including the Mossie

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We do like to take ownership of all the good stuff from NZ like Split Enz and Russel Crowe amongst others buuuut no they are all NZ and will probably stay in NZ.They will be properly preserved I think and put on display.

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Oooops corrected, One hopes they retain the original finish on them, that alone is a rarity in itself.

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I hope they stay as they are , just do enough to preserve them and make them safe.

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Dispersal of the collection is well underway:
- the two Harvards have been transported to Ardmore Airport, Auckland, with NZ1068 to be restored to airworthy by Nick Sheehan
- the P-40E has gone to Omaka and is to fly with Mike Nicholls and John Saunders
- the P-51D is for sale
- the Vampire parts cache is for sale as a lot
- The Mosquito, P-40N and Tiger Moth ZK-BQB will be conserved and placed on public display at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Both P-40s have been at Omaka since early this year.

I never had the chance to met John and a selfish part of me is upset about that - and not being able to see the collection in situ - but the way things have been dispersed has been great to see, particularly the Mosquito and Gloria Lyons going to the OAHC. My big hope is that the Mustang also stays here - currently this is the sole ex-RNZAF Mustang in this country.

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As trumper and TonyT say (15 July), it would be good to keep the static exhibits with their original, even if faded, colours. Not many, for example, Mosquitos around with that!

Laurence

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Laurence, there are various postings on Facebook that suggest that the Mossie will be given a sympathetic repaint owing to the very poor condition of the existing paint. I suspect that once it is dismantled that some extra work will be needed to secure its long term preservation, but as it will be in the hands of the Mosquito Experts, I am certain it will be done right.

 

Bruce

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Thanks Bruce. Good to know.

Laurence

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"Laurence, there are various postings on Facebook that suggest that the Mossie will be given a sympathetic repaint owing to the very poor condition of the existing paint. I suspect that once it is dismantled that some extra work will be needed to secure its long term preservation, but as it will be in the hands of the Mosquito Experts, I am certain it will be done right.

Bruce"

 

Let us hope they are not flying that Sympathetic repaint restorer in from Eygpt, well know for his P-40 workmanship.

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Don't go down that road Tony! It was traumatic enough at the time.

Laurence

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Wonderful news: P-51D NZ2423 is joining Brendon Deere's Biggin Hill collection at RNZAF Ohakea, where it will be restored to fly: https://www.facebook.com/groups/119982544710555/permalink/4191872334188202/

For those not on Facebook:

Joining our collection at Biggin Hill will be ex RNZAF P51D Mustang NZ2423. This aircraft has been part of the historic collection of the late John Smith at Mapua near Nelson for the last sixty years. The aircraft is a complete time capsule but like the other RNZAF Mustangs sold surplus from Woodbourne in 1958, it had its wings cut off just outboard of the main undercarriage for transport to the buyer in Nelson (these are with the aircraft). Once the aircraft is at Ohakea, we will begin the process of planning its return to airworthy.

NZ2423 was based at Ohakea for its entire operational life, serving with No.2 Territorial Air Force and also 42 Squadron. It conducted the last ever RNZAF flight of the Mustang when it was flown to Woodbourne for disposal in 1958. It was built at North American‘s Dallas factory in 1945 and was part of an order of 160 Mustangs purchased by the RNZAF to replace the Corsairs. With the end of the war, the order was cancelled apart from the 30 already on the way.

We were pleased to host John's brother George and the Smith family at Ohakea recently so they could see the new home for the aircraft their family had looked after for so long and to pass the baton to our Biggin Hill team. Thanks to Base Commander, Group Captain Shaun Sexton for welcoming them onto Base Ohakea.

Special thanks to John Saunders, Mike Nichols and Bill Reid who have put so much effort into cataloguing John Smiths treasure collection and collating all the Mustang items which will be coming to Biggin Hill as well.

For the uninformed, Brendon also operates Spitfire IX PV270 (in the colours of his uncle Al's EN568), Harvard NZ1037 and Grumman Avenger BuNo91110 from his hangars at RNZAF Ohakea.