An exciting day for KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence as the Wooden Wonder arrived at Kelowna International Airport.
Mike Spalding was the lucky one who got to fly to plane, but for good reason.
Spalding says he is one of about four or five people worldwide qualified to fly the World War II fighter-bomber.
“It feels great, but I wish everyone could experience it,” Spalding said. “It’s an awesome airplane. It’s very different than anything else, and it’s fast.”
KF Aerospace plans to do some upgrades on the de Havilland Mosquito and eventually have it open for public viewing.
Executive Director Paula Quinn said the centre bought the plane for its B.C. connection, as it’s made out of Sitka wood.
“And it’s the only aircraft that we know of, as a Mosquito, that has still the original wood when it was built.”
The Mosquito, a British two-engine, two-seat, mid-wing bomber, landed at YLW just before 11 a.m.
“I think it’s important to have it here to keep the history going,” Quinn stated. “I don’t think people realize how much history we actually do have in the Okanagan and we want to make that connection for people. We want them to see what is actually connected to this region and to the people. We have people here that are 95 years of age that flew and worked on those aircraft. Their nieces, and nephews are here. Everybody is coming to see it.”
Quinn hopes this is the beginning of a new life for the plane, with anticipation it could be flown over public events in the future.