I have my thoughts that this is probably towards the end of their air force career and the aircraft were being inhibited.
I see in the photo of the Mosquito running it's port engine you can just make out the prop on the starboard engine is feathered. Do they feather the props on final shutdown when inhibiting the engine? I'd imagine you'd then get the inhibiting oil through the the feathering system which sounds like a good thing. So either after arrival for long term storage or after engine and system tests during her time in storage prior to going back into storage?
My understanding is that the a/c stored at Woodbourne weren't simply inhibited and then stored "forever" so to speak.
One of our early Ferrymead member's father was a manager at DeHavs from Rongotai and he told us that he used to take a team over to Woodbourne regularly (I don't know what that means in terms of the interval)and haul them out and check out that they were all ok.
So as Baz suggests this might entail engine run-ups and would account for the non-service personnel.
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 2, 2018 8:54:06 GMT 12
If those chaps are from de Havillands perhaps Ron Hildreth might recognise them.
I seem to recall Ray Tocker telling me that there were some stored at Ohakea as well as the ones at Woodbourne and his team used to run them every month and check all their systems in case a replacement was needed on the squadron at short notice.
Does anyone know how many of the 80 Mosquitoes arrived here in camouflage and retained that scheme while in storage?
A few years back I spoke with an English visitor to Ferrymead, Brian Nation ,who was a ferry pilot flying more than one mossie out from the UK in 1947. He was RAF and flew with a RAF navigator, this I know as he sent me copies of newspaper articles relating to his flight in TE905/NZ2332 which ended with an emergency diversion and landing at Nelson due to lack of fuel.
However his description of events around the aircraft being surveyed at the MUs in the UK, tested, and flown out, along with the various photos I've seen would lead me to answer your question as that all of them came out in camo and only the ones actually issued for use here in NZ got silver doped and that scheme was done here.
I stand to be corrected but I'm pretty confident that's the case.
Just as an addition the DeHav manager I mentioned above was Dick Barlow.
The late Noel Brown (who also served as a volunteer at the RNZAF Museum for quite a while, until his eyesight deteriorated to the extent that this was not possible) was for a period in charge of the small DH maintenance "team" at Woodbourne looking after about 50 - 60 Mossies. His recollections of this period align very much with Denys's received recollections. I would also agree with Denys that in all likelihood, ALL the ex-RAF FB VIs arrived in NZ from UK in their original camouflage (including HR339 now at Ferrymead in its unique colour scheme), whilst all the ex-RAAF examples arrived here in overall aluminium dope. The Woodbourne "team" amounted to about three individuals at any one time. Main problems with the stored Mosquitos (that I recall from memory) was that they suffered rusting of the reduction gears, which suggests that not all engines were regularly "run up", and that prolonged periods (up to 5 years) sitting on their undercarriages was thought to weaken the rear fuselage structure, although this may have only been a fear rather than reality. Also the large mainwheel tyres (and wheel bearings?) were thought to have suffered if left in same position for years on end. I think that probably from about 1949 onwards or thereabouts, it was realized that most of these aircraft would never fly again, and therefore only a small proportion were retained in the role of "standby spares" to replace written off aircraft. The balance would thus have remained stationary for several years until all normal flying operations ceased in about April 1952. David D