As the de Havilland Mosquito inches toward completion, it gets bigger and bigger.
First the wings, then the twin engines, control surfaces, tail planes, and landing gear — the major sections of the bulky fighter bomber are now nearly fully assembled. It’s over 17 feet high and the cockpit is well out of reach to us groundlings.
Though maybe not important to the average visitor, parking this monster takes a little planning and preparation. We are used to fighter-sized planes and machines like the Bf 109 and Spitfire, which fit into the pre-planned display spaces quite nicely. Something like the P-47 Thunderbolt — a little longer and slightly wider — takes a bit more jostling to get into a space.
The sizable B-25 has been all but vanished from Hangar B because it’s too tall. It nearly always lives in the high-roofed confines of Hangar A. On the flip side, the Soviet era Il-2, built to haul a healthy compliment of bombs, “prefers” the larger parking spots created in Hangar B. When in Hangar A, the burley attack plane tends to overhang the 35-foot display spaces — sometimes in three directions all at the same time!
The Mosquito is 6 feet wider and 6 ½ feet longer than its Russian friend — second only to the six-man B-25 in size in the Flying Heritage Collection. Trying to find room with our ever-growing collection is going to be a challenge. But, if you are going to have problems, this is a good problem to have…
Cory Graff is the military aviation curator at Flying Heritage Collection.