It was third time lucky for Mossie.
A Second World War-era de Havilland Mosquito touched down in Kelowna Thursday, after two previously scheduled flights had to be scrubbed due to mechanical issues and weather.
The Mosquito will be a cornerstone of the new exhibit at the soon-to-open KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence.
Paula Quinn, the executive director of the centre, was elated to see the piece of history make its arrival.
“It’s a huge day for Barry LaPointe, KF Aerospace and for the centre, and for Kelowna and the community,” she said.
The man who brought the 80-year-old aircraft in for a perfect landing was Mike Spalding, the chief pilot from the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where they also have a Mosquito.
He says it’s very rare for a museum to get one of these planes that can actually still fly. It’s one of only four in the world.
What’s unique about Mossie is she still has much of her original frame of B.C. Sitka spruce.
“It’s the only one that we know of that is original wood, still in the aircraft, which is amazing,” explains Quinn.
“We want to preserve that and keep it for the centre so people can keep coming back and seeing her. Plus see her in the air and flying.”
Quinn adds that the Centre for Excellence is about 95 per cent completed, and there will be a few more big announcements before the doors open later this year.
The KF Aerospace team is also restoring a Hawker Tempest II to join the collection.
Shaped like the fuselage and wings of an aircraft, the 60,000 sq. ft. building will feature two dedicated hangars, with historical exhibits of vintage aircraft and memorabilia, connecting to an airfield viewing gallery and conference facilities.