Competition benefits no-one in a zero sum game

©IWM ATP-12230G



Issued: 13th September 2017


This week, as some observers will have noted, saw the launch of a new charitable trust, under the guise of The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust. This new entity aims to restore an airworthy de Havilland Mosquito to the skies over Britain and states it will be made available on static and flying display for the British public.

Familiar words for The People’s Mosquito as the vision and funding model appear to be strikingly similar to our own aims, albeit with the intention of restoring a Mosquito MK.IV rather than an FB.VI

While we welcome the desire to return a de Havilland Mosquito to UK skies and commemorate those who designed, built and flew her, we are naturally concerned that parallel projects risk reducing the chance of that vision becoming a success.

In today’s challenging environment, in which available funds for complex heritage restoration projects are finite, the launch of a separate project has the potential to reduce the likelihood of seeing a DH.98 Mosquito flying in Europe, rather than improve it.

The People’s Mosquito, its board and trustees, remains committed to open dialogue and transparency throughout our project; it’s an obligation to our global community of thousands of supporters and hundreds of active club members that we take very seriously.

It is therefore disheartening that, despite increasing public awareness and a supporter base that grows each day, The People’s Mosquito received no communication from The Mosquito Pathfinder Trust – either informally or formally ­– prior to its recent launch.

We understand that aviation heritage and de Havilland Mosquito enthusiasts across the world desire to see a Mosquito flying again in the UK. It’s the reason behind our very existence and the reason why our committed volunteers have dedicated so much of their free time in recent years to help bring ‘the Mossie’ back into public consciousness.

In that light, our Chairman, John Lilley, has contacted trustees from The Mosquito Pathfinders Trust to agree a way forward. We feel collaboration will be vital to both projects if we are to co-exist, capitalise on any potential efficiencies and provide mutual support.

Further updates will follow in due course, as and when those proposed negotiations progress.


Notes to Editors

John Lilley, Chairman and Managing Director and Bill Ramsey, Director of Operations of The People’s Mosquito, are available for interview/comment.

Please contact Stewart Charman, Communication Director, The People’s Mosquito Ltd.

Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 138 036

14 thoughts on “Competition benefits no-one in a zero sum game

  1. nice if can get two mozzies flying , but I think in real world if both “clubs ” merge . financially money is hard to come by . stand a better chance of getting at least ONE airworthy !! in the end that’s all that matters !!!!! , personally from info I have , more chance of getting an original ( non airworthy moz ) airworthy than a “new ” total rebuild .. money wise . , just my opinion . , who knows .. if merge ..get two mozzies in the air !!!

    1. Hi Geoff,

      In effect, any wood on an original airframe would need to be completely remade to modern CCA standards in order to get it airworthy. Some of the castings could certainly be used, but its the nature of a Mosquito that restoring an existing airframe is just as difficult as building a new one.

      You’re right however. Money is hard to come by. The aviation heritage scene is dominated by high wealth individuals who have been fortunate enough to be in a position to inject hundreds of thousands and in some cases, millions,
      of £s into restoration projects to fuel their passion. However, the resulting aircraft is a prized, privately-owned asset, and rightly so. We wish to do something different: effectively operate RL249 – or G-FBVI as she’ll be known – as a publicly-owned living memorial to the men and women, engineers, technicians and aircrew who shaped the Mosquito story.

      Our vision is to provide unparalleled access to our aircraft to support STEM educational projects, inspire young people, as well as tell the Mossie story. That’s why we’re The People’s Mosquito and we’re relying on crowdfunding in the most traditional sense. It makes it hard to generate the necessary funds, but it’s also incredibly humbling to see at first hand the love members of the public hold for the Mosquito and the faith they show in our project on a daily basis through their donations – a figure that grows day by day.

      A merger could certainly be a possibility, especially if it helps deliver a flying Mosquito, but we would hope to maintain our open access vision and ensure any flying Mosquito is operated on behalf of and directly supported by the Great British Public.

      In the meantime thanks for your invaluable support.
      Best wishes
      The TPM Team

      1. HHello
        I’m a retired RAF officer,and in my workshop I have a used Mosqito Tail wheel- would you have a use for it?
        Regards. BIll Tootell – Weston on the Green BIcester Oxon
        01869351152. 16/03/2018

        1. Good evening William,

          Many thanks for reaching out The People’s Mosquito. We would indeed be interested in making use of the tail wheel. Assume it would be OK to give you a call over the coming days to discuss further?

          Thanks in advance,
          The TPM Team

  2. As someone who trained with HSA at the de Havilland site and recent member of TPM, I’m dismayed that a competing initiative should be launched. Just want to see 1 mosquito flying!!!

    1. totally agree , just get one mozzie in air , all that matters , if can get 2 great . ( this limited area …is to small for completion – ) … unity + co- operation is best way forward

  3. Sorry to hear there’s any bad feeling around! What a pity. I can’t help feeling there’s room for both – in most situations there’s nothing like a bit of competition – I for one would happily back both groups to the same extent. To see TWO Mossies back in the air would be WONDERFUL!! (Safety in numbers!) And AT THE SAME TIME – WOW. So let’s try and co-exist and give both groups our wholehearted support, with no bad feelings between them and GET ON WITH THE JOB. A IV and a VI – yay, WHAT A PAIR THAT WOULD MAKE IN OUR SKIES – GO GUYS, GO…

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Believe us when we say, we would like nothing more to fly our FB.VI alongside MPT’s B.IV in the near future – what a sight that would make! That’s why we’ve immediately contacted the new project to open discussions on how we can collaborate and cooperate – and really add value to one another – in order to make this dream a reality. There is certainly no ill feeling – frustration yes, but no ill feeling. The People’s Mosquito has carefully nurtured and developed an unprecedented network of contacts around the world: affiliates, suppliers, collectors, operators and aviation enthusiasts – all of whom are aware of and support our project. We have both a detailed budget and engineering plan, approved by the UK CAA, in place. We’ve been actively engaging with the great British public face-to-face at UK airshows for at least two years. It would therefore have made sense for anyone wishing to restore a de Havilland Mosquito to airworthy condition, and which wishes to mirror our vision, to get in touch at the outset to see how we can support one another and learn any lessons that we’ve learnt along the way. That didn’t happen, so we’ve taken the initiative to try to make that happen. We’ll keep everyone updated on that front.

      We’re delighted to hear that you’re able and willing to support both and rest assured, we’ll continue to do everything we can to help deliver an airworthy Mossie (or even better, two) to the UK airshow circuit. In the meantime, we appreciate that not everyone is in a position to provide backing to more than one restoration project – hence our (quite understandable) concerns.

      The TPM Team.

  4. I put the exact same views on both Facebook pages yesterday as we can’t afford to contribute to both.

    1. Hi Neil,

      Thanks for getting in touch with the project. We quite understand (and share) your concerns and we certainly appreciate your support to date.

      As stated earlier, we’re working hard to try to ensure that The People’s Mosquito and Mosquito Pathfinder Trust can benefit from one another’s existence, rather than risk competing. Until we hear further from MPT however, we’re focused on cracking on with our own plans with a number of exciting developments and opportunities to get involved coming up in the next few weeks.

      The TPM Team.

  5. Unity is the keyword, There is room for all but any competition would be very silly. I am surprised that the M.P.T. didn’t contact us, it’s a poor job.
    Division and ego building is unhealthy and stops natural evolution.
    Ultimately it’s egos that start wars !

    1. Hi Rob,

      As history shows us, sometimes the strongest and most fruitful relationships don’t get off to the best of starts – let’s hope we can work together to rectify that!

      As you know, The People’s Mosquito was born out of a passion to honour the everyday men and women who designed, built and operated the aircraft. Perhaps more than any previous aircraft in history, the Mosquito brought the British people (and workers in Canada and Australia) together, tapping into a skilled and geographically diverse workforce that had been overlooked. We wish to honour that heritage and incredible story by captivating the hearts and imaginations of today’s British public to bring the story back to life. We can’t do that without unity and a shared vision.

      Thanks for your continued support!
      The TPM Team.

      1. Wise words, with a well measured dash of optimism, splendid; I think it’s looking good, sometimes the ‘hard work’ makes for an even better end result !

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