London Colney aircraft museum lands restoration grant for Mosquito prototype

prototype wings

prototype wings - Credit: Archant

A Lottery grant will enable a local aircraft museum to complete the restoration of a prototype fighter bomber.

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum has received £41,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to complete the restoration of the de Havilland Mosquito Prototype fighter-bomber.

The four-year project ensures the survival of the historic Second World War “wooden wonder” and has been carried out by volunteers at the museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney.

Said marketing director Mike Nevin: “Ensuring the conservation and restoration of the whole range of de Havilland aircraft and preserving the heritage of this Hatfield-based aircraft design and manufacturing company is the central theme of the museum.

“We are therefore grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for its support for our Mosquito project.”

The project has seen the aircraft totally disassembled, attention paid to areas of the wooden fuselage, wings and tail plane, and it is now being reassembled in preparation for the 75th anniversary on November 25 this year of its maiden flight from de Havilland’s Hatfield airfield.

It is one of three Mosquitoes on display at the museum where in 1939 the type was both designed and a number of prototypes built in specially constructed hangars.

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The one at the museum, W4050, was the first one built and the first to take to the sky.

The museum attracts both local, national and international visitors and the HLF support will also help improve the interpretation of the Mosquito project to all age groups.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “The Mosquito aircraft represents a milestone in Britain’s aviation history and is of national significance. Thanks to National Lottery players we’re pleased to support the restoration of this historic ‘wooden wonder’, particularly in this anniversary year, to secure its future and share its incredible story with an even wider audience.”