With a clear day and the promise of another month of lockdown restrictions from Thursday we decided to do some sightseeing today. Our destination was the De Havilland Museum near St Albans, the oldest aviation museum in Britain.
Set in the grounds of Salisbury Hall, the team who were designing the Mosquito aircraft, led by Geoffrey De Havilland, relocated here in 1939. When you consider the design principles behind the Mosquito it seems a very unlikely prospect – a body made from plywood and balsa wood, powered by two Rolls Royce Merlin Engines. Ultimately, the structure was more than strong enough and its lightweight constructions (plus the power from those Merlins) made it incredibly fast and capable of flying at high altitudes. Most people will know about the Spitfire’s contribution to World War II, but arguably the Mosquito is worthy of just as much praise, as it was used as a fighter, bomber and photoreconnaissance plane.
Today the prototype of the Mosquito is once again housed at its birthplace, along with other examples of the aircraft and many other De Havilland designs too. I took just my hired Fujifilm X100V with me and it proved a great tool for photographing in dark hangars.
1 November 2020