LR480 at the South African Museum of Military History

 

March 2005

LR480 suspended from the ceiling at the South African Museum 
      of Military History, view from almost directly in front of the aircraft LR480 suspended from the ceiling at the South African Museum of Military History, view from almost directly in front of the aircraft. Image courtesy of Dave Jones. Dave said of LR480: "Unfortunately the aircraft is covered in dust and appears to be suffering badly from the high humidity in the display hangar. The aircraft is very awkward to photograph."
LR480 at the South African Museum of Military History, view from the front port quarter showing the crowded display LR480 at the South African Museum of Military History, view from the front port quarter showing the crowded display. Image courtesy of Dave Jones.
LR480 suspended from the ceiling at the South African Museum 
      of Military History, another, closer view of the aircraft from the front port quarter LR480 suspended from the ceiling at the South African Museum of Military History, another, closer view of the aircraft from the front port quarter. Image courtesy of Dave Jones.
 

Previous Photos

LR480 at the South African Museum of Military History LR480 suspended from the ceiling at the South African Museum of Military History. Image courtesy of Brendon Deere.

 

LR480 History

LR480 was built at Hatfield and delivered to Benson on 10th November 1943. Flown to the Middle East shortly afterwards, it was delivered to No. 60 Squadron (SAAF) at Foggia in Italy on 8th June 1944. While with No. 60 Squadron it completed many unarmed high altitude photo reconnaissance sorties over the Balkans and Austria.

In December 1944 an attempt was made on the speed record from the Middle East to South Africa. Colonel Owen Glynn Davies, with Brigadier Hingeston as his passenger, took off from Cairo on 14th December. Problems refueling at the first stop, Juba, on the Nile, meant that the flightplan had to be modified, with a landing at Kasma planned. Following the landing at Kasma the weather deteriorated rapidly with cumulus exceeding 35,000 feet. Glynn attempted a landing at Que-Que, however the 2,000 foot landing strip could not accommodate the Mosquito which ran off the end of the strip into a shallow trench.

The aircraft was later repaired, gaining new propellors and undercarriage units, flown to South Africa and donated to the South African Museum of Military History at Saxonwold. The aircraft was displayed mounted on stilts in the hangar roof as there was insufficient floor space.

Recent inspections have apparently shown that although LR480 has been kept under cover, the prevalent high temperatures have caused some deterioration to the wooden structure.

Notes: LR480's tailplane is not the original as during the aircraft's repair it was donated to another Mosquito that had damaged its own tailplane.