The People’s Mosquito Affiliate programme has been set up to build mutually beneficial relationships with interested and related parties across the world. It will act as a means of exchange of information between like-minded organisations. Affiliates will all have one thing in common – to promote aviation and aviation history and a general increase in awareness of the aircraft preservation and restoration movement. The People’s Mosquito project will benefit from the Affiliates spreading the word and passing on news and project updates around the globe, while at the same time, we will be sharing their news, projects and other items of interest with our supporters. We have classified the Affiliates into four categories: Individuals; Museums, Societies & Companies; Squadrons and Blogs & Websites.
The People’s Mosquito is proud to be working with Sussex-based Retrotec Ltd on the UK build and restoration of RL249. Retrotec s recognised as one of the world’s premier aircraft restoration facilities. The company is consistently used by both the Historic Aircraft Collection and Aero Vintage Limited, both pre-eminent collectors of historic aircraft and has been instrumental in supporting and supplying specialised components for restoration projects all over the world. Under the expert guidance of Guy Black, Retrotec has established a reputation for delivering some of the most sympathetic aircraft restorations in the world over the past 30+ years.
Simon W. Atack
Simon William Atack began a lifelong creative obsession for drawing, as soon as he was able to pick up his first instrument; a Biro pen! As soon as he was able to comprehend an aircraft in flight he discovered a passion for drawing and painting them, eventually learning for himself how to fly them. He is one of very few artists who can paint from the direct experience of flying an aircraft solo and with a pilot’s working knowledge.
Today, Simon W Atack paintings and pencil drawings are collected throughout the world, by galleries, museums, armed forces and private individuals. His work has embraced Film and TV drama, illustration for books and editorial features and his name is recognised as one of the world’s foremost military aviation and naval artists.
David describes himself as ‘a Mosquito enthusiast’, but he is much more than that. He is an avid collector of data on the de Havilland Mosquito, and is more than happy to share the fruits of his researches. In the past, he has helped to bring surviving members of the Mosquito Aircrew Association together at functions. The MAA as an organisation, was sadly wound up in 2004.
Andy is another Mosquito enthusiast, and started ‘The Mosquito Page‘ in 1996. The Mosquito Page contains, amongst other things, a list of all of the surviving Mosquitoes, a production list, a list of Mosquito books and magazine/journal articles as well as a forum dedicated to the Mosquito. Andy is more than happy to share his research, and photos, most of them appearing on The Mosquito Page.
Arthur W J G Ord-Hume
Best described as the doyen of British light aviation, Arthur’s accomplishments are almost too numerous to mention; Founder member of the body which is now named the Light Aircraft Association; Designer, Britten-Norman Ltd; MD & Chief Designer, Phoenix Aircraft Ltd, and much more. He is responsible for the designs for the Luton LA4A Minor, Luton LA5A Major, Ord-Hume GY-201 Minicab and the Minor 2000. A prolific author, he is regarded as the authority on light aviation between the wars.
Recognised for a lifetime of work as an aviation historian, Ken’s research on the Royal Canadian Air Force during WW2 led to the publication of his excellent work, Under The Maple Leaf, the extraordinary stories of four Canadian volunteers who chose to fly ‘Under the Maple Leaf’. With his former business, Air Supply Ltd, Ken was a staple of the UK airshow circuit for many years and the most successful provider of air band radios and scanners in the country.
David W. Lee
Following a career with Rolls-Royce, David Lee joined the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and became the Deputy Director. During his tenure, there were many exciting developments on site, including the impressive AirSpace. Acknowledged as an expert in his field, David is a Past Chairman of the Transport Trust, and served on the National Executive of the British Aircraft Preservation Council. He continues to undertake work for IWM Duxford, despite his formal retirement. His most recent published work is ‘Action Stations Revisited: Airfields of the South East‘.
Living in a picturesque Danish village, Robert Peel is both passionate and knowledgeable about the de Havilland Mosquito. His father, the late Wing Commander Richard ‘Bob’ Peel, MiD, RAF, was a navigator with 487 Squadron, and took part in many daring raids, including operations associated with ‘Overlord’. Robert is a direct descendant of the British Prime Minister of the same name. His family website contains many ‘Mosquito pages’ and valuable links for the aviation enthusiast.
Our friend Glenn Smith is quite capable of constructing a light aircraft if he has to, or of supplying you with aviation grade fabrication materials. He holds an ‘Australian Recreational Aviation L2 Authority: All welding – All airframe repairs and line maintenance on aircraft engines’. With ‘Smithy’s’ extensive experience, he was a natural to become the exclusive agent in Australia for the Flitzer Sport Planes series of aircraft. Well done, Smithy!
George E. Stewart DFC
George E. Stewart, a Canadian, flew 50 Ops on the Mosquito with No. 23 Squadron between July-November 1944 – all by the time he was 21. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this work, which was mostly day/night intruder operations.
After the war George spent time in China training Chinese Nationalist Air Force pilots on the aircraft in an effort to reduce their frightening loss of pilots to accidents. Both his unsurpassable knowledge of flying the Mosquito and his unquenchable enthusiasm for it will be of the utmost value to The People’s Mosquito as we move forward. Already over the three years he has given invaluable advice to both the Kiwi and US pilots who have flown the recently restored FB.26 KA114, which they have all used to good effect.
Museums, Societies and Companies
Based between Kalamazoo and Portage, Michigan, the Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-motion flight simulators, RealD 3D/4D missions theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities. The Zoo’s mission is to preserve the legacy of flight for present and future generations and to be the number one aviation museum in the world.
The Alberta Aviation Museum showcases Northern Alberta’s rich aviation history and the story of how Edmonton became ‘The Gateway to the North’. The museum offers tailored interactive tours and work experience programs for school and youth groups. Among the collection at Alberta Aviation Museum is a Mosquito B.35 (restored as FB.VI VP189).
The Airfield Research Group (ARGL) was incorporated in 2014 and gained charitable status in the same year with the object ‘To advance the education of the general public by carrying out research into, and maintaining records of, military and civilian airfields and related infrastructure, both current and historic, anywhere in the world’.
The Australian Aviation Museum has a wide range of aircraft and aviation artifacts on display, many aircraft in fact manufactured at Bankstown Airport. Hawker De Havilland built hundreds of aircraft during and after WWII, including Tiger Moths, Mosquito bombers, Drovers and Vampires. Included in the Museum’s collection are a number of rare aircraft, including the world’s only Fawcett 120 (also manufactured at Bankstown), a 1931 Clancy Skybaby, a Luton Major and a Harley Newman Gyrocopter which has never flown!
The Australian War Memorial. Combining a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive, the Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society. The Memorial also holds an extensive collection of archive images relating to wartime Mosquito operations.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of the Garden State’s distinguished, two-century aviation and space heritage. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to view historic aircraft, air and space artifacts, photographs, fine art and an extensive model collection. The Museum’s library has more than 2,500 volumes and hundreds of aviation videotapes.
Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire is a co-operative venture by Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven District Council, West Lindsey District Council and East Lindsey District Council. Together with other bodies they promote no less than eleven venues and attractions with an aviation theme, that lie within the bounds of Lincolnshire, the ‘Bomber County’. These include such gems as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, Scampton Historical Museum and the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.
It is true to say that without the Chain Home and Chain Home Low integrated radar system that protected Great Britain in 1940, there is a good chance that the Battle of Britain would have been lost. Much of the early work on radar was done at Bawdsey Manor. The nearby Bawdsey Transmitter Block was restored by the Bawdsey Radar Trust with the help of HLF and Historic England grant funding in 2015. As a result of the funding, a new interactive visitor experience was opened in late 2017, telling the story of radar’s development.
Bentwaters Cold War Museum is a unique facility in that it doesn’t just display the history of RAF Bentwaters as a USAF Base from WW2 to 1993 when the base closed, but utilizes the former USAF hardened command post, a major piece of Cold War history, to do this. Mosquito RL249 was also, of course, a part of the defence of Great Britain during this tense and dangerous period. As well as excellent displays on RAF Bentwaters and its ‘twin’, RAF Woodbridge, BCMW has a collection of significant jets of the Cold War, including a Fairchild A-10, English Electric Lightning, Hawker Hunter, Gloster Meteor and a SEPECAT Jaguar.
Bicester Heritage has at its heart a vision: to secure a robust and dynamic future for historic motoring and aviation, the businesses that serve them, the people who work in those businesses and the owners and enthusiasts who enjoy these vintage vehicles. The organisation’s vision is about preservation: of the historic WWI and WWII RAF base where it resides; of the knowledge and skills of the specialists based there; of the cars, motorcycles and aircraft stored there.
Since 1998, the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection’s mission is to tell the story of flight and flight testing at Boscombe Down. In 2012, after many years in the HAS on the base, they moved to Old Sarum Airfield to occupy the former Royal Flying Corps-built hangars where the Collection’s current exhibits are on display. Its ethos is for the airframes and cockpits to not be behind a rope and cordon, but for people to get up and inside them and experience aircraft first hand – almost all of them have ground power available for that added touch of realism. Boscombe Down holds special mention in Mosquito history as it was where the majority – if not all – of the RAF’s prototype and modified Mosquitoes were sent to for flight testing (Tsetse, High Ball Mossie and the NF variants) before entering operational service.
Bournemouth Aviation Museum caters for visitors of all ages, but is especially aimed at providing young people with an introduction ‘to the exciting world of aviation’. The collection covers the last 50 years of aviation, and is especially strong in the field of military jet aircraft. Watch out for a series of special events, such as photo shoots and transport days, which are staged each year.
Brenzett Aeronautical Museum Trust, Kent England, houses a unique collection of wartime equipment, remains recovered from aircraft crash sites and memorabilia collected and donated to the Museum since its formation in 1972. Since those early days voluntary members have attempted to improve the range of exhibits to embrace many aspects of the war. Brenzett is an Independent Charitable Trust dedicated to the memory of those living or dead, friend or foe, who served their country during wartime.
Situated close to the centre of Brussels, the Brussels Air Museum is a magnificent reflection on aviation history. Among their superb collection of other fine examples, the museum is home to a restored Mosquito NF.30 – a very close relative of the NF.36.
The Calgary Mosquito Society was formed in 2007 to prevent the overseas sale of the City-owned Mosquito, RS700 and to see that it and Hurricane 5389 were removed from storage and finally restored. After a four year campaign the Society was awarded stewardship over both aircraft to begin the restoration. The organisation’s purpose is to RETAIN, RESTORE, HONOUR and EDUCATE.
The Calgary Recreational & Ultralight Flying Club has a long history as one of Canada’s premier flying clubs. Members fly all manner of ultralight, homebuilt and certified aircraft around Calgary and southern Alberta. The club meets once a month and members fly every chance they get.
The Camden Museum of Aviation. Founded in 1967 at Camden Airport in Sydney Australia by Harold Thomas, since 2008 the CMA Foundation has been maintained by a dedicated team of aircraft restorers, working behind close doors on the museum’s collection. Of interest to The People’s Mosquito is the museum’s Mosquito, FB.VI HR621, currently awaiting restoration – a project we might be able to support.
The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, home to the magnificent flying Avro Lancaster Mk X, C-GVRA, is a great aviation museum located on Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario. The museum sometimes offers flights in a selection of its restored aircraft. The collection ranges from biplanes to supersonic jets, and there are often special historical exhibits. This is one of the finest aviation museums in Canada.
The Collings Foundation is a non-profit, Educational Foundation (501c-3), founded in 1979. The purpose of the Foundation is to preserve and exhibit rare historical artifacts and organise and support “living history” events, that enable people to learn more about their heritage through direct participation. The original focus of the Foundation was transportation-related events such as antique car rallies, hill climbs, carriage and sleigh rides, and a winter ice-cutting festivals. During the mid-eighties, these activities were broadened to include aviation-related events such as air shows, barnstorming, historical reunions, and joint museum displays on a local and nationwide level.
The de Havilland Aeronautical Technical School was formed at Stag Lane, Edgware in 1928. The headquarters moved to Hatfield in 1934, although training continued at Stag Lane. From 1948 the School
was located at Astwick Manor, on the north-eastern border of the airfield. Schools were also run at Chester, Portsmouth, Christchurch, Leavesden and Lostock. After de Havilland was absorbed into Hawker Siddeley Aviation the School was renamed the Hawker Siddeley Aviation (Hatfield) Apprentice Training School. There is a thriving Association of former DHAeTS students from all the Schools, with nearly 600 members world-wide. Anyone (trade, engineering or graduate apprentice) who entered the School up to and including the 1965 intake is eligible and invited cordially to join. The main purpose of the Association is to keep members in touch with each other, and to provide news of interest to members.
The D-Day Story has recently re-opened following a £5 million transformation project (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund). The museum tells the story of D-Day in World War Two – from the preparation and build up, to the landings on the beaches in northern France and the Battle of Normandy. This compelling story is told through the perspectives of the people involved, using authentic objects, interactive displays and video. Dynamic displays of the D-Day beaches and iconic landing craft will transport you back to the Battle of Normandy. The displays are interactive to appeal to all age groups.
The Ditsong National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, provides a home for the memory and study of military history and houses some of the rarest military equipment in the world, including the world’s sole surviving Mosquito PR Mk.IX, LR480, currently on display suspended from the exhibition hall. LR480 was built at Hatfield and delivered to Benson on 10th November 1943 before delivery to No. 60 Squadron (SAAF) at Foggia in Italy on 8th June 1944. From there it flew many high altitude photo reconnaissance sorties over the Balkans and Austria.
Dynamic Aviation provides turboprop and jet aircraft solutions for both government and commercial customers worldwide. With more than 140 aircraft operating from 18 locations on three continents, they deliver specially modified aircraft and experienced flight crews to ensure that the mission gets done. In addition, they maintain a superb collection of vintage aircraft including a DC-3 named ‘Miss Virginia’, Travel Air 4000, Stearman PT-17, N.A.T-6G and a Beech E-18. Not only that, but they recently acquired, and ferried back to their base, a magnificent VC-121A Lockheed Constellation – President Eisenhower’s personal aircraft ‘Columbine II’ – which they are fully restoring.
EastWest Aviation, of Castle Donnington, are an aviation consultancy, ‘Large enough to cope, small enough to care’. EastWest can provide fleet management, training, aircraft charter, wet or dry lease and many other services; they also have a wide selection of aircraft for sale. One of their most interesting services is the provision of ‘FlyOps’ software, allowing the timely management of everything from engineering tasks to crew training. Dave Hunter, the CEO and Founder of EastWest Aviation maintains the ‘627 in Retirement’ website.
The WO2 & VLIEGENIERSMUSEUM RIVIERENLAND museum. A collaboration of historical associations drawn from across the municipality of Lingewaal in the Netherlands, the organisation aims to honour and commemorate those Allied airmen and civilians who gave lives or were captured during World War Two. Five allied planes crashed in the area during the war: a Typhoon 1b, Spitifre IX, Mustang III, P-38 F-5E and a 105 Squadron Mosquito B IV. The loss of Mosquito DZ354 on 12 December 1943, brought down by Hptm. M. Meurer of I/NJG 1 flying an He219, claimed the lives of Flying Officer Benjamin Reynolds and Flying Officer Philipps. Both are commemorated at Herwijnen General Cemetary.
The Empire State Aerosciences Museum reveals the history of flight and New York State’s impact on the development of aviation. The museum is located on the Schenectady County Airport, one of the earliest consolidated airports in the country, where Charles Lindbergh landed in 1927. During the 1930s, it was an aircraft manufacturing site and became a military training base during World War II. Aircraft research and development conducted here was so important that the first jet airmail started from this site in 1946. With the establishment of the General Electric Flight Test Facility and the Malta Rocket Test Station toward the end of WWII, it became known as ‘The Little Peenemunde of the US’ because of its rocket and jet research and development. The museum site and buildings are part of this heritage.
The Fighter Factory is the maintenance and restoration facility of the Military Aviation Museum. Recently relocated to a new hangar on Virginia Beach Airport, a team of 15 highly-skilled technicians ensure that the collection is kept in fully serviceable condition. Both World War One and World War Two aircraft are maintained to the highest of standards.
The Friends of the South African Air Force Museum assists the South African Air Force Museum across its three sites with the restoration, maintenance and display of exhibits and with the upgrade of Museum facilities, raising funds through various ways and means and then provide funds, materials, equipment, expertise, information and publicity for specific projects identified by the Museum. As a former Mosquito operator, the South African Air Force operated the Mosquito during World War Two, with ten examples of the PR MKXVI ferried back to the Union by crews from 60 Squadron after war, although no surviving examples remain.
The Gatwick Aviation Museum has a unique collection of British Aircraft from the “golden age” of British aircraft manufacture. From the end of WWII until the 1970’s British aircraft designers produced some of the most innovative and advanced aircraft of the day. In this collection there are examples from the major manufacturers of this period. Amongst the list are classic names: English Electric, Avro, de Havilland, Hawker, Fairey, Blackburn, Percival.
The Historic Aircraft Collection was formed in 1985 by Guy Black and Angus Spencer-Nairn, initially to restore and operate Spitfire Mk. IX TE566, which was returned to the air in 1992 following a seven year restoration. Today, HAC operates a fleet of five flying aircraft that includes a combat veteran Spitfire Vb (BM597), a Hurricane XII, a Hawker Nimrod II and a Hawker Fury I, as well as their most recent addition, the stunning Airco DH.9 – currently the only airworthy World War One bomber in the world. With several rare and interesting aircraft still undergoing restoration, HAC continues to fulfill its ambition of restoring and operating some very special vintage piston-engined military aircraft.
The Hooton Park Trust (HPT) was formed in 2000 with the aim of overseeing and managing the restoration of the remaining WWI hangars on the former RAF airfield at Hooton Park, Cheshire. Hooton Park airfield played a prominent role in the repair of damaged Mosquitoes during WWII, under the vital work delivered by Martin Hearn Ltd. Operating as 7 Aircraft Assembly Unit, work also included the assembly of various types of US-built aircraft that arrived by ship at the Mersey docks.
The Hucknall Flight Test Museum Community Incorporated Organisation, in affiliation with the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, have inherited the custodianship of a range of artifacts, film material, photographs, and documentation, alongside a range of exhibits which include a number of iconic Rolls-Royce engine examples, which tell the story of true engineering innovation, testing and development. The new Museum is situated in an old Wing Hangar facility on the Hucknall airfield site.
In 2011, Colin Boyd purchased G-FFOX (WV318). a beautifully restored Hunter T.7. This two-seater was originally built as an F.4 single-seat fighter, but was later converted. The aircraft is based at Cotswold Airport, and is finished in the famous all-black scheme of 111 Squadron’s ‘Black Arrows’ display team. If you are a PPL holder and have the inclination, you can be taught to fly this 700 mph jet by a dedicated team of ex-military instructors. You can see this Hunter around the U.K. display circuit throughout the season! More details on the Hunter Flight Academy website.
The International Bomber Command Centre’s iconic Memorial Spire dominates the local landscape while surrounding it are 23 walls containing the laser engraved names of nearly 58,000 men and women, from 48 countries, who laid down their lives in Bomber Command service. The impressive Chadwick Centre features three immersive galleries that help to tell Bomber Command’s story through the eyes of those of those who were there. It is also home to a vast digital archive and research facility, developed in conjunction with the University of Lincoln.
The Indianapolis Aero Club has a membership of aviation enthusiasts and pilots spanning all generations. Primarily, the club meets once a month for dinner and hosts an aviation speaker. Aerobatic performers, WWII flying aces, historians, astronauts and engineers have all presented to the membership, including many notables like Paul Poberezny, Paul Tibbets, Gov. Whitcomb and Dr. David Wolf. The club has also helped sponsor the USAF Thunderbirds or USN Blue Angels at the Indianapolis Air Show in years past, and has taken trips to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio. The Indianapolis Aero Club awards two scholarships each year sending a member of the future generation of aviators (usually aged 14-18) to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL and to Airventure’s Youth Camp the week before EAA Airventure.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a living memorial to the men of RAF Bomber Command, and home to NX611 ‘Just Jane’, a restored Avro Lancaster B Mk VII, in which it is possible to book a ‘taxy trip’. This is the aircraft which featured in a ‘Dr Who’ Christmas Special. The museum is located on the former RAF East Kirkby, and is truly a family-run enterprise. Other aircraft, WW2 vehicles. the original Control Tower and magnificent exhibitions make this a ‘must see’ museum. See the website for details of their ongoing programme of special events.
Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Military Aviation Museum holds one of the largest private collections of WW1 and WW2 era military aircraft in the world. Most of these aircraft are beautifully restored and in flying condition and are flown at one of the semi-annual air shows or other events which take place on site. Personal tours of the collection are available, and there are ‘hangar talks’ each month. The MAM is a truly spectacular museum and event venue and home to Jerry Yagen’s restored Mosquito FB.26 KA114.
The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) opened in 1964. It is New Zealand’s largest transport and technology museum and offers a fun and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages. The museum’s extensive aviation collections includes the only Solent Mark IV Flying Boat left in the world and a rare World War 2 Avro Lancaster. Of special interest to The People’s Mosquito is the beautiful former RNZAF De Havilland Mosquito T Mk 43, NZ2305, manufactured in Australia in 1945.
Berkshire’s dynamic contribution to aviation history is graphically re-captured at The Museum of Berkshire Aviation. Run as a charitable trust, the museum is at the historic site of Woodley Airfield, near Reading, U.K. – once the centre of a thriving aircraft industry. Miles and Handley Page aircraft built at Woodley are being re-constructed and exhibited along with fascinating pictorial records and priceless archives.
The Museum Vliegbasis Deelen, located on Deelen Airfield, was founded in 1989 and remains entirely staffed by volunteers. The former Luftwaffe base, the largest German fighter base in The Netherlands during WW2, was home to Focke Wulf FW-190 and Messerschmitt Bf-110 night fighters. Gun camera footage of 627 Sqn Mosquitoes attacking the airfield can be found here.
The National Service (RAF) Association was founded in 2002 and is open to ALL ex Royal Air Force National Servicemen and Regulars, WAAF and WRAF who served between 1939 and 1963. NS(RAF)A is extremely active, holding an Annual National Parade and Reunion at RAF Cosford; this is the largest parade and gathering of its kind in the United Kingdom. The Association sponsored the National Service Exhibit at the RAF Museum Cosford. Their network of Branches enable members to participate in many social events.
In 1995, Neil McCarthy and other pilots formed a consortium to acquire XM479, a Hunting Percival Jet Provost T.3A which had been on strength of 1FTS at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The aircraft had been retired from the Royal Air Force in 1993, this particular T.3A is one of the lowest timed aircraft of its type, and has now been beautifully restored. The Newcastle Jet Provost Group is fully capable of training pilots in the joys of jet flight up to, and including, aerobatics. Based on Newcastle International Airport, XM479 displays at many airshows around the U.K. throughout the season. Social Membership of the Group is also available, at a very reasonable cost.
Founded in 1972 on the former USAAF home of the 446th BG, the Norfolk and Suffolk aviation Museum at Flixton, Norfolk now has an extensive collection of more than 60 aircraft (including cockpits), and more than 30,000 smaller artefacts The Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum is recognised as East Anglia’s Aviation Heritage Centre. The Museum’s recently completely restoration of a Boeing Stearman PT27 is stunning and the team have now begun work on their latest acquisition, the remains of Auster AOP6/T.10 ex-VX123/G-ARLP.
The North East Aircraft Museum is the North of England’s premier collection of aviation history and the largest aviation collection between Yorkshire and Scotland. We have over thirty aircraft on display in various phases of restoration as well as numerous aero engines and other aviation related material. We also have a number of displays reflecting aviation history across the North East of England.
RAF Digby played a significant role during World War II. The former Sector Operations Room has been the subject of an excellent restoration, and now shows what the situation was at the outbreak of war on September 3rd, 1939. There are also displays of Merlin engines, uniforms and other artifacts. All the work was undertaken by a volunteer team of Service personnel who retrieved parts from many locations around the U.K.
The Robertsbridge Aviation Society collection includes exhibits covering civil and military aviation, past and present. Many of the items on display are of Sussex origin, and come from the sea, (often trawled up by fishermen), as well as digs and objects donated by the public. A number of cockpit sections are in the collection, including English Electric Lightning F3, Sea Vixen, Canberra, Hunter, Meteor T7 and Tiger Moth.
The Royal Air Force Airfield Construction Branch is possibly one of the least-known branches of the Service, yet without the ACB, there would be few airfields and RAF establishments as we know them. Training personnel in power distribution, plant operation, and many more trades, the Branch operated from 1941 to 1966 when it was disbanded, and its function taken over by the Royal Engineers. The RAFACB web site is extremely interesting and covers (with many photographs) an aspect of RAF life that is often overlooked.
Work on what was to become RAF Coltishall began in 1939, and by the time of the Battle of Britain, it had become a vital airfield whose Hurricanes defended East Anglia. Famous names such as Douglas Bader flew from there, and post-war, Wing Commander R.R. Stanford Tuck was Station Commander. 23 Squadron, equipped with the Mosquito NF.36 moved to Coltishall, and it is here that RL249 crashed. ‘The Home of the Jaguar’ might now have closed, but its spirit, and the traditions it established, lives on in the form of the Spirit of Coltishall Association a vibrant organisation that sees to it that the essence of Coltishall is still with us.
The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum at Manston is a unique site, which not only displays up close two of the most legendary and iconic war planes themselves but also a whole host of period objects and artefacts which help bring to life the story of the people at this most important time of our history, as well as the deeds of the heroic pilots in the air and their support crews. The actual Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft that form the centrepieces to the Museum’s fine collection, are the real thing, restored fighters that actually took part in WWII.
If you have ever dreamed of flying a Spifire, you will know that for the vast majority it is just a pipe dream. Even the normal PC-based flight simulators, with joystick controls, just don’t match the experience. But now you can have the very experience that you seek. Spitsim Flight Controls have reproduced a Sptifire cockpit by making exact copies of real Spitfire Mk IX components. The result has been declared as “The nearest thing to flying a real Spitfire I have ever experienced” by a former Squadron Leader of the BBMF. This is total immersion warbird simulation at its best.
The Suffolk Aviation Heritage Group exists to promote a wider understanding within the general public of Suffolk’s vast aviation related history and to encourage, where practicable, continued preservation of its associated heritage. the Suffolk Aviation Heritage Museum was established in 2008 on the site of a former military communications centre near Ipswich. Together with informative displays and special exhibitions, visitors are able to explore previously unrecorded aspects of aviation history.
Sywell Aviation Museum (SAM) is a voluntary, non-profit-making organisation which aims to preserve the history of Sywell Aerodrome and Northamptonshire’s rich aviation heritage from the early days of aviation to the Second World War and beyond. SAM began life in 1998 and the Museum building was opened in 2001 by the legendary aviator Alex Henshaw MBE. The Museum originally consisted of three Nissen huts, dismantled at the now-closed RAF Bentwaters and erected on site at Sywell. The buildings themselves are artefacts having been used as bomb fusing sheds at Bentwaters by the USAAF during WWII.
TIGHAR (pronounced “tiger”) is the acronym for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting responsible aviation archaeology and historic preservation. TIGHAR maintains no collection of its own, nor does it engage in the restoration or buying and selling of artifacts. The foundation devotes its resources to the saving of endangered historic aircraft wherever they may be found, and to the education of the international public in the need to preserve the relics of the history of flight.
Although you must apply in advance to tour Wattisham Airfield Museum, (see website), it is a truly fascinating place. Wattisham Station Heritage, which has operated the Museum since 1991 has gathered artifacts, uniforms and memorabilia telling the story of RAF Wattisham from 1939 to the present day. These are housed in the original Station Chapel, built by the USAAF in 1943. A separate collection of aircraft (under restoration) is housed in a HAS – a Hardened Aircraft Shelter, which is itself a significant historic relic. If you are an aviation enthusiast, it is well worth booking a tour.
One of the most distinguished Royal Air Force squadrons, with a history stretching over 92 years (including its time as an RFC unit), XXV (Fighter) Squadron flew FE2 and DH4 aircraft during World War One, and was a dedicated nightfighter unit during the Battle of Britain with Blenheims and Beaufighters. Starting its association with the Mosquito in 1942, it flew NF.II, FB.VI, NF.XVII, NF.30 and the NF.36. The Mosquito NF.36 was flown postwar, from September 1946 to August 1951, from RAF West Malling. When disbandment came in 2008, 25 Sqn was flying the Tornado F3.
81 Squadron was formed as a training unit of the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Disbanded at the end of World War One, when reformed it spent the vast majority of its existence as an RAF squadron away from the U.K. During World War Two it flew Hurricanes in Russia, and Spitfires in Italy and the Far East. Perhaps it is best known for a unique feat. 81 Squadron launched the last RAF operational sortie of a Spitfire (a Mk XIX, on 1 Apr, 1954), and also the last Mosquito sortie (a Mk. 34a, on 15 December, 1955) both during the Malayan Emergency. The Squadron Association exists ‘to further the unique bonds of fellowship and friendship found on the squadron’.
From 1943 to 1945, 100 Group, Royal Air Force battled the German nightfighter force both directly and indirectly. Jamming and other countermeasures of both the Luftwaffe radar and radio networks was undertaken using Halifax, Stirling, Wellington, B-17 and Liberator aircraft, whilst long-range nightfighters – mostly Mosquitoes – attacked their opposite numbers. 100 Group Association is open to all who served in 100 Group, and regular newsletters and Reunions keep their unique spirit alive. 29 Squadron, equipped with the Mosquito, was a wartime member of 100 Group.
151 Squadron played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain, operating Hurricanes, a type it continued to operate until January 1942. In April 42, the unit converted to the de Havilland Mosquito Mk.II. In honour of his father, G.D Kelsey DFC, who served as navigator on 151(F) Squadron, Mick Kelsey has created a Diary History of 151(F) Squadron, packed full of month-by-month reports of the squadron’s Mosquito operations throughout the second half of the war. The site serves as a tribute to all those who have served with the squadron in the past.
307 Squadron Project has been formed more than 70 years after the South-West of England was protected by the Polish night-fighter squadron. It is a non-profit British-Polish organisation that has been established to promote the role and carry out further research on the Polish 307 Squadron (part of the RAF) known as the ‘Lwow Eagle Owls’ The project was founded by Michael Parrott, Marcin Piórkowski and Andrzej Michalski who run the project in their spare time.The project is a also an extremely positive link between our two nations.
627 Squadron In Retirement. Although a very short-lived squadron in Royal Air Force terms (November 1943 – October 1945), 627 Squadron took part in many daring, low-level operations, precision marking high-value targets for the Lancasters of No. 5 Group, Royal Air Force. During its operational life, 627 was exclusively equipped with the de Havilland Mosquito. Indeed, our promotional video on our home page (4 mins long, and filmed in August 1944) features 627 Squadron in action. Despite their short existence, the Squadron Association, 627 Squadron In Retirement, is a very active one.
633 (West Swindon) Squadron Air Training Corp. A relatively new ATC Squadron (less than 15 years old) and was created to support the demand in aviation interested youths within the Swindon area. The Squadron was assigned the number 633 and selected the Mosquito as its Squadron emblem; its motto broadly translates to “Freedom to fly”. A common theme within the organisation and the Squadron itself is that all the Cadets, ranging from 12 to 20 years of age, and staff have an interest in aviation be that a desire to fly or become involved in aviation from an engineering perspective.
The 656 Squadron Association was formed at the end of World War II and was re-formed in 1987 by the single-minded determination and hard work of Cecil Clark (Nobby), one of the original RAF ground crew from Burma days. To this day it continues to serve the current and former members of the squadron, and preserve the history and heritage of this unique unit. We currently have almost 400 members, a mix of both serving and retired, representing many ranks and trades in the Army and the RAF, and including several original Burma veterans.
Blogs and Websites
Started in 1996, The Mosquito Page contains, amongst other things, a list of all of the surviving Mosquitoes, a production list, a list of Mosquito books and magazine/journal articles as well as a forum dedicated to the Mosquito.
Travel for Aircraft – On the ground, in the hangar, at the museum — firstname.lastname@example.org — aviation’s history wherever it is, how to get there and what it looks like.
The idea behind ‘Jets Of The Cold War‘ is to present information, images, links, resources etc. relating to aircraft from the Cold War era. Aircraft featured are from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Features and articles written by guest experts are always welcome.