Operation Crossbow 2021 –
Laying Down the Fuselage Shells

The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito enjoys legendary status. This exemplar of British aeronautical design genius is moulded around its graceful lines, its unmatched performance and unrivalled versatility. Unquestionably, the de Havilland Mosquito’s story deserves to be told.

Working with world-renowned aircraft restoration company Retrotec Ltd, we are writing the Mosquito’s next chapter. Thanks to worldwide public support, the first Mosquito fuselage moulds to be produced in the UK for more than 70 years are nearing completion.

The first Mosquito to be produced in the UK in more than 70 years!

We are now moving forward to the next stage, the fuselage production of the iconic ‘Mossie’.

The collection of more than 22,300 original de Havilland technical drawings are being used to produce computer-aided design drawings and profiles to assist in the upcoming work and the materials are ready to go – all that is needed now is the money to make the next part a reality. 

Our target for this tranche of work is £600,000.

To help us to complete this historic undertaking, we’re offering you the chance
to add your name to the Mosquito story, we call it … Operation Crossbow 2021.

With tailored rewards packages to suit every budget, including exclusive levels of support for those seeking to secure their place in the story of the Mosquito forevermore, Operation Crossbow 2021 is an opportunity that no historic aviation enthusiast should miss. 

Gold Supporter

Your chance to add your stamp on this remarkable piece of British engineering and see history come alive when RL249 takes to the skies.

» An invitation to visit Retrotec and sign your name on the inside of a section of the Mosquito fuselage shell, together with a framed photograph to commemorate the event.

» Entered into a draw with other Gold Supporters for a taxi ride in RL249.

» An exclusive invitation to the maiden flight of RL249.

» Receive a unique Operation Crossbow 2021 pin badge.

» Personalised Operation Crossbow 2021 contributors’ certificate.

Click Here for Terms & Conditions

Silver Supporter

Your chance to add your name to history – inscribed forever on the Operation Crossbow 2021 Roll of Honour.

» Your name added to the Operation Crossbow 2021 Roll of Honour and displayed alongside the aircraft.

» Receive a unique Operation Crossbow 2021 pin badge.

» Personalised Operation Crossbow 2021 contributors’ certificate.

Click Here for Terms & Conditions

Bronze Supporter

Your chance to be part of the story and help return a UK-built de Havilland Mosquito to the skies above Europe.

» Receive a unique Operation Crossbow 2021 pin badge.

» Personalised Operation Crossbow 2021 contributors’ certificate.

Click Here for Terms & Conditions

A Unique Opportunity

These elite packages offer supporters the chance to not only add their name to the story of the de Havilland Mosquito but provide opportunities to see, touch, smell and savour RL249 as the aircraft takes shape during restoration.

Not only will your name be permanently inscribed into one of the fuselage bulkheads but you will be personally invited to join The People’s Mosquito team, Retrotec, and distinguished guests to savour the sight and sound of a Mosquito FB.VI taking to the UK skies once again. 


Memories to last a lifetime. In recognition of your incredible support, you will have the unique opportunity to personally sponsor a section of the fuselage and to see RL249 take shape during her restoration, enjoying unrivalled access to the first UK-build Mosquito in more than 70 years when she takes to the skies once again. 

» An invitation to sign your name on one of the Mosquito fuselage bulkheads, together with a framed photograph to commemorate the event.

» A taxi ride in RL249.

» A giclée print of an exclusive mosquito painting by aviation artist Tim O’Brien, signed by a veteran.

» An additional VIP visit to Retrotec to see RL249 during the restoration.

» A VIP invitation to the maiden flight of RL249.

» An invitation for two to a Supporters’ Gala Dinner event.

For terms & conditions click here


For the real warbird enthusiast, the chance to make a major contribution to returning a De Havilland Mosquito to European skies. You’ll have the chance to see our restoration in person with a VIP invitation to Retrotec. You’ll also be part of an exclusive club, invited to attend the maiden flight of RL249. 

» An invitation to sign your name on your bulkhead 3 of the Mosquito fuselage, together with a framed photograph to commemorate the event.

» Entered into a draw with other Diamond Supporters for one of 4 taxi rides in RL249.

» A giclée print of an exclusive mosquito painting by aviation artist Tim O’Brien, signed by a veteran.

» An additional VIP visit to Retrotec to see RL249 during the restoration.

» A VIP invitation to the maiden flight of RL249.

» An invitation for two to a Supporters’ Gala Dinner Event.

For terms & conditions click here

Can’t Quite Afford a Package at the Moment?

Regular Donors Scheme

We are pleased to provide you with a flexible option for you to contribute to the success of bringing a UK Mossie to our skies!

It’s quite simple. You can choose to pay a regular instalment of your choosing towards your intended reward package value for the current campaign the charity is running. If the campaign finishes before you complete your payments then your total is carried forward to the next campaign.

Jump over to our Donations page and set up a recurring donation by ticking the “Make this donation every month” box…

This allows us to automatically collect Gift Aid where appropriate and to keep track of your donations. Additional donations outside of the regular donations are always welcome, just let us know that you want to add it to your total.

Please email us at sponsor@peoplesmosquito.org.uk so that we are fully aware of your intentions and of course if you have any questions.

For the terms and conditions, please click here


“Airbus is a strong believer in preserving wider aviation heritage and we are proud to be supporting The People’s Mosquito in this endeavour. For us the Mosquito is more than a beautiful and iconic aircraft, Airbus has a direct relationship to it as more than 90 were built at our Broughton factory in Flintshire. That passion and dedication is reflected today in our skilled workforce whose talents are focused on building wings for the Airbus commercial aircraft fleet.”

– Jeremy Greaves, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Strategy, Airbus UK.

Corporate Support

We are keen to explore corporate sponsorship, both within and outside of the aviation industry.

To receive a free copy of our Investor Prospectus and an opportunity to discuss the ways in which we could work together, please complete this contact form.

    “Any attempt to restore, particularly to flying status, a Mosquito would be a real gift to our heritage”

    – Capt Eric “Winkle” Brown RN,
    Patron-in-Memoriam of The People’s Mosquito.

    A Word on the Mosquito From Those Who Know

    Flt Lt Colin Bell

    608 Squadron
    LNSF 8 Group Pathfinder Force

    “My first impression: What a sleek and beautiful aircraft. If it looks good, it will fly good – and it did.

    My abiding memory of the Mosquito was of a superbly efficient and responsive warplane. It was a joy to fly.

    Was I grateful for being in a Mosquito? All the time. It could outfly any propeller-driven enemy night fighter.

    The Mosquito saved my skin many times, never so much as when I was being chased by an enemy jet fighter. The Mosquito’s speed and manoeuvrability were superb and resulted in the enemy abandoning the pursuit.

    What would it mean to me to have a Mossie flying again over the U.K? A great deal indeed. Seeing a Mosquito at future air displays would allow a younger generation to see for themselves what an outstanding and impressive aircraft it is.”

    Flt Lt Des Curtis DFC

    618 Squadron

    “Unquestionably, the de Havilland Mosquito was the finest multi-role aircraft in the world in the 1940s. Sadly, the tragic loss of RR299 on 21 July 1996 at Barton deprived the generations in Britain since then of the opportunity to enjoy seeing a Mosquito at the air displays. In the minds of many, the RAF in World War II is defined by the Spitfire, Hurricane and the Lancaster.

    The public deserves to know more of this aircraft, and The People’s Mosquito project is the most practical way of achieving this. I hope to live long enough to see an overfly, and to hear again the unique sound of the twin Merlin engines, of this wonderful plane. Top of my bucket list.”

    W/O John Beeching

    169 Squadron and 627 Squadron, 100 Group

    “My first association with the Mosquito was at Cranfield, where, after flying Beaufighters, we converted to the Mosquito. I was treated to a whole 35 minutes dual and that was it!

    I went on to fly 57 different Mosquitoes of various types, from FB.VIs to Mk.XIX night fighters and then on to the B.Mk.IV and the B.Mk.XVI big-bellied PFF aircraft. As I never even scratched one, this tells you that they were not a hard aircraft to fly, especially after the Beau, which was a handful.

    In the Beaufighter, the navigator sat some way back and was a disembodied voice complaining of the cold most of the time, while in the Mosquito, he sat alongside in a much warmer environment and could see what was going on out front. All very matey.

    I was only 21 then and the horror of the whole war sort of went over our heads. Our main worry was whether the Royal Oak was going to run out of beer.”

    To Fly, To Educate, To Remember

    A registered charity, The People’s Mosquito exists to return the de Havilland Mosquito to UK skies. A diverse team of professionals from a wide range of commercial backgrounds, the charity is entirely run and managed by volunteers – united in our love of the Wooden Wonder.

    In 2018, The People’s Mosquito took the bold step to build RL249 in the UK, the de Havilland Mosquito’s spiritual home.

    That decision was made possible thanks to our collection of more than 22,330 original de Havilland Mosquito drawings. Records stretch from the development of the Mosquito prototype W4050, in 1940, through to late-life modifications made in 1996. It represents the largest collection of original de Havilland Mosquito-related technical data anywhere in the world.

    With a support base that now spans the globe, but is naturally focused on the UK, the charity is working towards a five-year restoration of RL249 with our partners, Retrotec.

    Our Patron

    Our patron, Arthur Williams, is a BAFTA-winning British television presenter, professional Paralympic cyclist and former Royal Marine. He uses a wheelchair as a result of a car accident.

    Arthur has become synonymous with the story of Mosquito restoration and its vital war-winning role, ever since his documentary The Plane that Saved Britain, first aired. Since then, his career as a broadcaster and presenter has reached new heights, with the Channel 4 series Flying to the Ends of the Earth and Flying Around Britain.

    “I’m passionate about seeing a British Mossie grace our skies once again.” said Arthur, “The effect that aeroplane had on me as a boy watching it display was awe-inspiring. We have to allow our future generations to enjoy the same privilege.

    Craftsmanship, Authenticity and Unparalleled Quality

    Retrotec has an almost unrivalled reputation within the historic aviation world. The company’s collective dedication to the highest standards of authenticity and craftsmanship in their restorations is recognised across the globe. They set a benchmark standard for the whole historic aviation community.

    Under the expert guidance of Guy Black, Retrotec has established a reputation for delivering some of the most authentic aircraft restorations in the world over the past 30+ years. The business, which is fully accredited by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, offers services including design, parts manufacture and reconstruction of complete aircraft, all delivered by highly experienced engineers.

    The East Sussex-based company has already delivered several iconic restorations to UK skies while the team’s experience of working with wooden airframes is second to none.

    Retrotec has full UK Civil Aviation Authority accreditation, with A8-20 approval underpinned by CAA A8-21 (Manufacturing and Design) and A8-25 (Maintenance) accreditation. As a result, it is capable of not just design, but also the manufacture of aircraft parts and engine components.

    This unmatched expertise has been instrumental in returning several stunning restorations to the air, including two Hawker Furys, a 1935 Hawker Nimrod II and most recently, two AirCo DH9 WW1 bombers – one of which, E8894, is now the only original World War One bomber flying in the world. In addition, Guy Black and his team have delivered several outstanding static restorations, which can now be viewed at museums across the world.

    Today, moving the de Havilland story on by 22 years from 1918 to 1940, Retrotec is working with The People’s Mosquito to return Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland’s seminal masterpiece to UK skies once again.

    By harnessing The People’s Mosquito’s vast collection of technical data, Retrotec has used original de Havilland lofting drawings to form the classic Mosquito fuselage moulds. Approximately £90,000 has been invested in the construction of the two moulds to date. Now, we need your help to complete this historic work and allow us to move onto the construction of RL249’s airframe!

    What Was Operation Crossbow?

    From 1944 onwards, Germany started to use its vengeance weapons, the V-1 flying bomb and later, the V-2 rocket against targets in Britain and Europe.

    Operation Crossbow was the code name for the Anglo-American operations against these German long-range reprisal weapons. It included strategic operations against research and development of the weapons, their manufacture and transportation, as well as attacks on their launch sites and fighter interception of the V1s in flight.

    The Mosquito aircraft played a crucial role in the operations that commenced in May 1943, under the codename Bodyline, with photo-reconnaissance Mossies one of the key assets supporting the allies intelligence gathering of the new German terror weapons.

    The photo-reconnaissance ops gathered vital intelligence on the progress of the German long-range weapon development. Then on the 15th of November 1943, a larger operation was set up under the name Crossbow. Post-war, Crossbow operations became known as “Operation Crossbow” particularly following the 1965 film of the same name.

    Crossbow operations continued up to the end of hostilities in Europe in May 1945. During this time the multi-role Mosquito played her part in supporting intelligence gathering, strategic bombing, interception and low-level strikes against the German V1 and V2 sites.

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    Contact Us

    We’d love to have an opportunity to discuss the project with you. Please fill out the contact form below and we’ll get back to you.

      Terms and Conditions – the Dreaded Small Print

      i) Excess Funds
      » Any donations received beyond those needed to complete the fuselage shells will be channelled into funding the next stage of the aircraft build programme.

      ii) Visit to Retrotec’s Facility
      » The named individual, plus a guest, will be invited to attend Retrotec’s facility on a specified date.
      » Every effort will be made to provide alternate dates should the offered date be unsuitable.
      » In the event of a cancellation due to production commitments or other events outside of our control, alternate dates will be offered.
      » Retrotec’s facility is a working factory. Visitors will be required to follow the site’s safety rules at all times.
      » Any special needs pertaining to the visit must be notified in advance. Every effort will be made to facilitate these requirements but this may not always be possible.

      iii) Regular Donations
      » The accumulated total of the donations received to a campaign by the same donor, as defined by their name & address, will be used to determine the level of supporter package received by the donor.
      » The package received will be that with the closest value below the total of donations to date. For example, a sum of £40 received earns a £30 Bronze package, a sum of £125 received earns a £120 Silver Package. Package values are Bronze £30, Silver £120, Gold £500, Diamond £2,000 and Platinum £8,000.
      » The donor may elect to “cash-in” their donations for the reward package achieved at that time and start accumulating a new donations total.
      » As each campaign finishes, a donor may elect to carry their total donations across to the next campaign at their discretion.
      » The People’s Mosquito Ltd. reserves the right to amend and update these terms and conditions at any time.

      iv) Invitation for 2 to a Supporters’ Gala Dinner
      » A three-course dinner including a bottle of wine for 2 people at a suitable aviation-themed location, on a date to be confirmed.
      » Travel and hotel accommodation is not included.
      » The dinner is subject to a minimum viable number of participants.
      » Participants must be 18 years or over.
      » A dress code will apply.
      » Additional tickets may be purchased through The People’s Mosquito.

      v) Taxi Ride in Mosquito RL249
      » The applicant has an option for a taxi ride in Mosquito RL249 once completed to an airworthy state.
      » Taxi rides are subject to The People’s Mosquito obtaining all necessary and relevant permits, permissions and insurances to enable the carriage of fare-paying passengers.
      » Any taxi ride would be subject to the individual signing a consent form in accordance with CAA Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent form (SSAC).  

      vi) VIP Invitation to the Maiden Public Flight
      » The date and time of the maiden, public flight to be confirmed
      » The date and/or time of the flight may be subject to change at short notice due to, for example, technical issues or weather.
      » Individuals are required to comply with all relevant venue safety rules in force at the time.
      » Travel and hotel accommodation are not included.