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de Havilland Aircraft Museum - Salisbury Hall, Hertfordshire, 16th August 2018

de Havilland Aircraft Museum 2018 generated by VisualLightBox.com de Havilland Aircraft Museum 2018 generated by VisualLightBox.com
01 de Havilland DH98 Mosquito B35 TA634 deHavilland Museum 2018 02 Molins 6 pounder gun Tsetse Mosquito MKXVIII  deHavilland Museum 2018 03 de Havilland DH98 Mosquito FBVI TA122 deHavilland Museum 2018 04 de Havilland DH98 Mosquito prototype W4050 deHavilland Museum 2018 05 de Havilland DH98 Mosquito prototype W4050 deHavilland Museum 2018 06 Mosquito prototype FBVI and B35 deHavilland Museum 2018 07 DHC1 Chipmunk T10 WP790 deHavilland Museum 2018 08 deHavilland DH104 Dove MK8 G-AREA deHavilland Museum 2018 09 DH106 Comet 4 cockpit deHavilland Museum 2018 10 de Havilland DH114 Heron MK2D G-AOTI deHavilland Museum 2018 11 de Havilland DH114 Heron MK2D G-AOTI deHavilland Museum 2018 12 de Havilland DH114 Heron MK2D G-AOTI deHavilland Museum 2018 lightbox gallery scriptby VisualLightBox.com v6.1

Comment - This is one museum that Iíve known about for years but never really got around the idea in my head that it was just a couple of Mosquitos in a hangar with not much else. However, as my two sonsí interest in all things aviation bloomed, this kick started the need to review all the museums nearby and I actually discovered two things! This was quite an extensive museum on all things de Havilland and it was less than an hours drive from our house!

And so one very wet morning, with the promise of several hours gap in the rain on the weather app, we headed round the M25 and made the trip to what turned out to be a very enjoyable and well put together museum. It is also one that is constantly evolving and continues to do so with the 21st Century Project delivering a new National Heritage Lottery Funded hangar due to be fully kitted out and ready for visitors in February 2020.

The showpieces are of course the three Mosquito airframes, the museum having the original prototype W4050, FB.VI TA122 and B.35 TA634 on display. Being able to see these airframes up close and personal, well lit and surrounded by lots of informative displays, was an exciting moment for an ardent aviation enthusiast! This was made all the more interesting by seeing an old Flypast magazine article that Iíd owned many years before which described the Molins 6 pounder (or 57mm in todayís money) anti-tank gun which had been developed for use as an anti-submarine tool fitted to the Mosquito MkXVIII, otherwise nicknamed the Tsetse Mosquito. Next to the article was an actual Molins gun itself and it was great to actually see one in its entirety after reading about them so many years ago. The Mosquito MkXVIII first equipped 248 Squadron of Coastal Command based initially in the south west and operating over the Bay of Biscay. I had discovered this while researching RAF Predannack, now used as a training satellite for RNAS Culdrose on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, from where the MkVIIIs flew some of their first missions in the Second World War. This was close to my heart as our family summer holidays were spent in Cornwall and I had first seen Predannack while walking along the cliffs near Mullion where, in the distance, a selection of old airframes could be seen which I later discovered were airframes relegated to Predannackís fire training section. I was later lucky enough to get onto the airfield itself courtesy of the Royal Navy and took pictures of these airframes while Gazelles from 705 Squadron flew circuits above my head! Possibly another book project!

Back to the museum and to say that we spent an enjoyable afternoon looking around all the exhibits which covered all things de Havilland. Being able to sit inside several airframes and cockpits was welcome and we enjoyed it so much that we returned for a second visit this summer (this report being written in November 2019!), pics from that visit being in the queue for posting to aviationphoto.co.uk in the near(ish!) future.

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