A52-600 at The RAAF Museum, Point Cook

 
Note that The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia has its own web site detailing the restoration of A52-600 at www.aussiemossie.asn.au.
 

December 2004

A52-600 new-build rear fuselage section to replace the section 
      removed by Mr. Vollaire attached to the rear of the fuselage, December 2004 A52-600 new-build rear fuselage section to replace the section removed by Mr. Vollaire attached to the rear of the fuselage, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 824kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 rear fuselage section and support jig, view from forward port quarter, December 2004 A52-600 rear fuselage section and support jig, view from forward port quarter, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 892kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage with new-build rear fuselage section attached, overall view from the front port quarter, December 2004 A52-600 fuselage with new-build rear fuselage section attached, overall view from the front port quarter, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 899kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage with new-build rear fuselage section attached, view from above and forward on the starboard side of the new fuselage section, December 2004. Note tailplane under restoration in the background A52-600 fuselage with new-build rear fuselage section attached, view from above and forward on the starboard side of the new fuselage section, December 2004. Note tailplane under restoration in the background. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 904kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage, foward half, view from above on the starboard side, December 2004 A52-600 fuselage, foward half, view from above on the starboard side, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 908kb) version of this image, click here.
New-build fuselage section, view from directly behind the fuselage, December 2004 New-build fuselage section, view from directly behind the fuselage, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 846kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 new-build fselage section and support cradle, view from underneath from the rear starboard quarter, December 2004 A52-600 new-build fselage section and support cradle, view from underneath from the rear starboard quarter, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 896kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage and new-build rear section, looking rearwards from wing attachment point on the port side, December 2004 A52-600 fuselage and new-build rear section, looking rearwards from wing attachment point on the port side, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 866kb) version of this image, click here.
The tree principal workers responsible for the new-build rear fuselage section, from L-R; Ron Gretton Brett Clowes and Geoff Matthews, December 2004 The tree principal workers responsible for the new-build rear fuselage section, from L-R; Ron Gretton Brett Clowes and Geoff Matthews, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 864kb) version of this image, click here.
Work continuing on the new-build rear fuselage section, December 2004 Work continuing on the new-build rear fuselage section, December 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (1632x1224, 897kb) version of this image, click here.
 

February 2004

A52-600 fuselage, mockup rear bulkheads, tailfin and rudder, view from rear starboard quarter, February 2004 A52-600 fuselage, mockup rear bulkheads, tailfin and rudder, view from rear starboard quarter, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 479kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage, mockup rear bulkheads, tailfin and rudder, view from rear port quarter, February 2004 A52-600 fuselage, mockup rear bulkheads, tailfin and rudder, view from rear port quarter, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 487kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 tailplane under restoration, starboard side, top surface showing rib construction, February 2004 A52-600 tailplane under restoration, starboard side, top surface showing rib construction, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 281kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 tailplane under restoration, bottom surface showing skinning, February 2004 A52-600 tailplane under restoration, bottom surface showing skinning, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 360kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage, view from the front port quarter, February 2004 A52-600 fuselage, view from the front port quarter, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 392kb) version of this image, click here.
A52-600 fuselage, view from the front starboard quarter, February 2004 A52-600 fuselage, view from the front starboard quarter, February 2004. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2048x1536, 455kb) version of this image, click here.
 

September 2003

A52-600 tailplane construction and one side of the elevators under 
      restoration, September 2003 Tailplane construction and one side of the elevators under restoration. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
A52-600 rear fuselage bulkhead mockups along with fittings, September 2003 Rear fuselage bulkhead mockups along with fittings. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
 

Older photos...

A52-600 on display at RAAF base Richmond during the RAAF 70th Anniversary in 1991 before restoration started A52-600 on display at RAAF base Richmond during the RAAF 70th Anniversary in 1991 before restoration started. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in the special roll-over cage that protects it and makes it easier to work on The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in the special roll-over cage that protects it and makes it easier to work on. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in its roll-over cage, view from the wing mounting area looking forward The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in its roll-over cage, view from the wing mounting area looking forward. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in its roll-over cage, view from the wing mounting area looking rearwards The fuselage of A52-600 mounted in its roll-over cage, view from the wing mounting area looking rearwards. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 rolled over to give a view from underneath the wing mounting The fuselage of A52-600 rolled over to give a view from underneath the wing mounting. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 mounted on its roll-over frame, side view The fuselage of A52-600 mounted on its roll-over frame, side view. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The fuselage of A52-600 mounted on its roll-over frame, view from the rear port quarter The fuselage of A52-600 mounted on its roll-over frame, view from the rear port quarter. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The wings from A52-600 The wings from A52-600. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The engines from A52-600 The engines from A52-600. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The wheels from A52-600 The wheels from A52-600. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
A52-600 arriving at Point Cook A52-600 arriving at Point Cook. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
A52-600 at Wodonga in late 1983 A52-600 at Wodonga in late 1983. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
The recovery of A52-600 in August 1967 The recovery of A52-600 in August 1967. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
A52-600 in September 1945 A52-600 in September 1945. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia.
A52-600 on the 4th of August 1945 at Moratai A52-600 on the 4th of August 1945 at Moratai. Image courtesy of The Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. For a larger (2952x2148, 995kb) version of this image, click here.

 

NS631/A52-600 History

NS631, a PR.XVI, was built at Hatfield in the summer of 1944 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The RAAF had long sought some Mosquitoes to photograph Japanese held territories in the northwest area of the Pacific, the task being performed up to that time by Buffaloes and P-38s. NS631 was the first of a batch of 12 aircraft allocated to the RAAF to make up a shortfall in Australian production of the PR.XVI Mosquito.

Following test and delivery flights, NS631 was dismantled for shipment. Arriving in Australia on board the SS Port Fairey, No.2 Aircraft Depot received the aircraft on the 13th of December 1944, and was allocated its RAAF serial number A52-600. Following assembly and test flights, A52-600 was declared fit for service and passed to No.87 (Photo Reconnaissance) Squadron on 1st March 1945.

A52-600's first flight with the squadron was an air test on the 10th of March, with the first operational sortie on 23rd March to Timor. A52-600 was to go on to complete in excess of 20 sorties while in wartime service.

With the disbanding of 87 Squadron following the cessation of hostilities, A52-600 was ferried to RAAF Station Canberra on the 3rd of July 1946 to help equip the Survey Flight (later Survey Squadron). At Canberra, A52-600's PRU blue was replaced with an aluminium dope scheme and it was given the code letters SU-A. From 23rd September 1946 to 10th December 1946, 19 survey flights were made, all aiding in the aerial mapping of Australia.

Early in 1947, the aircraft was declared unserviceable with the reasons given being: There were unaccountable changes in longitudinal trim in flight, a loss of control below 150 knots, the aircraft was slow in climbing and swung badly to port when landing. Corrective action was taken, however it was reported on the 24th of February that the aircraft still swung on landing and was almost uncontrollable at less than 150 knots. By the 1st of April, further corrective action had been taken, but by this stage, the Survey Squadron had only 5 PR.XVIs left, which were all soon replaced by Australian built PR.41s.

On the 16th of July 1947, A52-600 was allocated to the Air and Ground Radio School at Ballarat, Victoria, for instructional purposes. The ferry flight to Ballarat completed A52-600s flying life, during which it had flown 321 hours and 50 minutes. A52-600 became Instructional Airframe No.4 with the AGRS, passing from there to the local Air Training Corps Squadron. A52-600 was listed for disposal from the RAAF on the 25th of November 1954.

A52-600 was purchased by Mr. E. Vollaire, a Mildura orchardist, who intended to use the aircraft as a wind machine mounted on a turntable, its idling engines blowing air through the fruit trees in order to avoid frost damage on cold nights. Due to difficulties in transporting the aircraft, Mr. Vollaire cut off the wings either side of the fuselage and severed the tail section by cutting through the rear fuselage. The plan to use A52-600 as a wind machine was not proceeded with and the airframe was left dismantled amongst the fruit trees, the fuselage being used as a play house by his children.

In December 1966, Pearce Dunn of The Warbirds Aviation Museum discovered A52-600 and acquired it from Mr. Vollaire, moving it the following August to the museum in Mildura where it was stored under cover. Only a small amount of work on the fin and tailplane occurred and following many years of storage, in 1983, plans were made to export A52-600 to Sweden. The Mosquito Trust (formed to bid, unsuccessfully, for the ex-Strathallen Mosquito, RS712) however placed a holding deposit on A52-600 preventing it leaving the country and in early September 1983, A52-600 was purchased outright from Pearce Dunn by a syndicate formed by Alan Lane, Geoff Milne and Vin Thomas and moved to Wodonga in NSW.

In 1987 the A52-600 was exchanged with the RAAF and spent a short time in storage at Laverton prior to being transported to RAAF Richmond for restoration. Some restoration work had been undertaken before the Caribou and Historical Aircraft Section at Richmond was disbanded, upon which A52-600 was relocated to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook.

A52-600 is the only surviving PR.XVI and the only Australian operated Mosquito, of any variant, that has a combat record.