Old Mosquito adds to buzz as airshow set for take off

By amie.hickland@age.co.nz, Amie Hickland


Vintage aviators say it's a sound known to make grown men cry.

The rare De Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber, a two-seater Spitfire and a P40 Kittyhawk were at Masterton's Hood Aerodrome yesterday ahead of the biennial Wings over Wairarapa event which kicks off today.

A crowd gathered yesterday to watch the trio of planes take off to fly circuits around Wellington. People from the capital city have traditionally been big supporters of the airshow.

Event manager Liz Pollock said the Mosquito was the star of the show. "The Mosquito is unique because it's the only one in the world. The noise of the Merlin engine has been known to make grown men cry."

The Mosquito was reconstructed by Avspecs in Auckland. Airshow director Tom William said they spent months negotiating with American owner Jerry Yagen to bring the aircraft to Masterton.

Hugh Cunningham, of Brisbane, contacted Avspecs about the plane last month. He sponsored the plane to bring it to Masterton and was offered the spare seat on the flight from Auckland.

He said it was an amazing experience. "It's a beautiful machine. There's something about it," he said.

Ms Pollock said the 70 other aircraft at the show were impressive in their own way, and organisers were looking forward to the event. "We're certainly on track for it to be the biggest Wings over Wairarapa show that we've ever had."

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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