May 2 - FPS New Zealand has successfully moved the only operational De Havilland Mosquito bomber aircraft from New Zealand to Virginia, USA.
The aircraft - one of 80 originally ordered by the Royal New Zealand Air Force for service during WW II - has been fully restored by AVspecs in an eight-year project.
The bomber was partially dismantled and shipped in a custom-built ocean container. FPS commissioned an ocean box measuring 18.2 m x 13.2 m with a protective metal bubble to accommodate the longest components.
The container was shipped to Philadelphia, USA but the unit was too large to be transferred by feeder vessel to Norfolk. Instead, FPS arranged the overland trucking of the container to Virginia Beach, over 450 km away. Due to the size of the cargo and restrictions on the route, FPS had to secure out-of-gauge permits.
FPS initially explored chartering an AN-124 freighter but the cost was prohibitive. The option of transporting the aircraft as deck cargo was considered too risky, as it would have exposed the aircraft to the elements.
The bomber was safely delivered to its new home at the Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach airport.
FPS New Zealand is a member of the FPS Group of independent forwarders.