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Visit to the de Havilland Aircraft Museum

Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (1882 – 1965) was an English aviation pioneer and aerospace engineer. The aircraft company he founded produced the Mosquito, which has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built and his Comet was the first jet airliner to go into production.

Born in High Wycombe, Bucks, de Havilland initially pursued a career in automotive engineering, but his real interest lay in aero engines: prior to WW1, he designed, built and test flew aircraft at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, and flew his first aircraft in 1910, this becoming the first aircraft to be bought by the British Government. In 1920, de Havilland formed the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, where the Moth series of racing aircraft (Tiger Moth, Gypsy Moth) was based. A new factory was built in 1934 at Hatfield. Here, the Mosquito range of bomber aircraft was built. They moved into the jet age with a series of fighters, the Vampire, Venom and Sea Vixen, and pioneered jet powered passenger aircraft with the Comet, Trident, and the UK’s most successful passenger jet, the 146.

The Mosquito was designed at Salisbury Hall, built in 1668 (Nell Gwynne lived in a cottage close to the Hall). A hangar was erected on the grounds of the Hall where the first Mosquito prototype was constructed using wood. After the war, the Hall declined into a derelict condition, but in 1955, it was restored and the Mosquito prototype was exhibited in a new hangar behind the Hall. In 1959, the hangar formed the central exhibit of the de Havilland Aircraft Museum – the first aviation museum in Britain. Since then, the museum has acquired more land and several new hangars have been erected to exhibit a large range of de Havilland aircraft.

To register and for more details, please contact [email protected] First come first served – only 25 places available!