AircraftEventsPress Release

First Mosquito Flight

At 3.25pm on Monday, March 18 the ex-RNZAF WWII Mosquito NZ2308 lifted off from Ardmore Airport for its first flight in nearly 70 years.

Monday’s flight was the culmination of an epic 15-year restoration started by the late Glyn Powell and finished by Warren Denholm and his team at Avspecs for its new American owners Rod Lewis of Lewis Air Legends and Charles Somers.

Warren has declared the first flight a success and further flying and tweaking is planned over the next few days to ensure the aircraft is ready for its big trip south next Wednesday or Thursday to Wanaka.  The test and airshow display pilot is legendary American Steve Hinton. 

For many Warbirds fans having the chance to see the Mosquito fly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

And that enthusiasm is being shown in demand for tickets to the first Wanaka airshow in six years.  Hot on the heels of selling out Saturday, airshow fans are now snapping up the remaining Sunday GA tickets.  It’s now expected these will also sell out in the next few days. 

There are still plenty of tickets to the practice day on Good Friday when all children are free and the Mosquito and F-16’s are due to perform. 

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager Ed Taylor says demand for this airshow has been exceptional and a lot of that is because of the truly international programme.   

“If you want to be there to witness a Mosquito fly at Wanaka for the first time, experience the thrill of the mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon Jets, the skills of the American Eagles jet display team, see one of the world’s great aerobatic pilots Jurgis Kairys from Lithuania and a stunning pyrotechnics display, then you need to be at Wanaka this Easter,” says Ed. 


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