Aeroplane September 2017

(Brent) #1


HE fuselage of de
Havilland Mosquito TT
TJ118 went on display in
the Victoria and Albert
Museum in Kensington,
London as part of the new
Plywood: Material of the
Modern World exhibition on
15 July. Owned by the London
Colney-based de Havilland
Aircraft Museum (DHAM), the
fuselage has been salted away
for many years at DHAM’s
storage site in Tilbury, Essex.
The exhibition features
many important pieces by
architects Alvar Aalto, Marcel
Breuer and legendary
American furniture designers
Charles and Ray Eames, who
experimented with plywood
during the Second World War.
They developed a method for
moulding complex curved
forms that was used to make
plywood parts for various

aircraft including the Vultee
BT-13 trainer.
The DHAM also has the
nose of TJ118 in storage. It
was removed from the
fuselage during 1963 and
sectioned for use in cockpit
interior scenes during shooting
of the well-loved war fi lm 633
Squadron. It went on to serve
the same purpose later that
decade during the making of
the less well-regarded
Mosquito Squadron. It is
hoped that one day the
remains of TJ118 can form the
basis of a full static rebuild,
possibly to PRXVI standard.
The aircraft was actually
ordered as a PRXVI in May

THE world’s only airworthy
example of the Douglas
B-26K Counter Invader,
64-17679 Special Kay, fl ew
for the fi rst time following a
seven-year restoration
undertaken by the A-
Legacy Foundation at
Meacham Airport, Fort

Worth, Texas, on 8 July. Steve
Swift was at the controls.
By late July preparations
were under way to paint the
machine in the markings of
the 609th Special Operations
Squadron. This US Air Force
unit fl ew night attack missions
from Nakhon Phanom in

Thailand during the secret
war over Laos, disrupting
North Vietnamese supply
lines to South Vietnam on the
Ho Chí Minh trail.
The airframe originally
came off the Douglas
production line in March
1945 as an A-26B, 44-34198.

The USAF selected it for
modifi cation to B-26K
standard in 1964. It was the
last of 39 Counter Invaders to
be built by the On Mark
Engineering company at Van
Nuys Airport, Los Angeles,
and was restored to the USAF
inventory in April 1965.

Mosquito fuselage breaks

cover at V&A

1944, but emerged from the
Hatfi eld production line as a
B35, being part of a batch
delivered between July-
November 1945 and going
straight into storage with No
27 Maintenance Unit at

Shawbury. During July 1953
TJ118 was fl own to Sywell,
Northamptonshire, for
conversion into a TT35 target
tug by Brooklands Aviation.
The last examples were retired
from use with No 3 Civilian
Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit
at Exeter in May 1963.
The Plywood: Material of the
Modern World exhibition runs
at the V&A until Sunday 12
November 2017.

Owned by the de Havilland Aircraft Museum,
the fuselage of TJ118 has been salted away for
many years at the DHAM store in Tilbury

The world’s only fl ying Douglas B-26K gets airborne in the hands of Steve Swift at Meacham Field, Fort Worth on 8 July. JOSEPH FISCHER


The dramatically suspended
fuselage of Mosquito TT
TJ118 at the Victoria and
Albert Museum on 15 July.

News September 2017

06-15_AM_NEWS_Sept17_cc C.indd 12 31/07/2017 14:

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