A flying visit for RAF veteran is dream come true
PUBLISHED: 14:02 06 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:23 09 October 2019
A wish came true for an RAF veteran when he went on a surprise trip to visit the Second World War aircraft his father designed.
Richard Bishop - a 74-year-old resident at Knebworth Care Home who was born in Harpenden - was given the opportunity to visit de Havilland Aircraft Museum to see the Mosquito Aircraft used in the Second World War.
Richard's father, Ronald Eric Bishop, was the chief designer of the plane, and it was Richard's wish to see his father's creation up close.
Ronald Eric Bishop was the chief designer of de Havilland Aircraft Factory, and his design team was moved from the Hatfield factory to Salisbury Hall, London Colney, 80 years ago this month to work in secret on the Mosquito project.
He also designed the de Havilland DH106 Comet, the world's first commercial passenger jet airliner, again designed and built in Hatfield, which had its 70th anniversary earlier this year.
Former RAF acting pilot officer Richard began his career as a flying instructor at Luton Flying Club, before starting an apprenticeship in aeronautical engineering at de Havilland Aircraft Company.
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During his time with the RAF he travelled to more than 120 countries before becoming an airline pilot basied in Abu Dhabi.
He also went on to work as a test pilot for British Aerospace and as a simulator instructor at Hatfield Aerodrome.
Having visited the de Havilland Aircraft Museum throughout his life, the Care UK team members at Knebworth decided to arrange a special visit to surprise Richard.
He had not visited the museum since moving to the home, and the team wanted to give him the chance to see the vintage plane his father designed once again.
Richard said: "It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to return to the museum and see the Mosquito again. I was thrilled to speak with the chief curator, Alistair Hodgson, about the future of the museum and enjoyed telling him about my family's connection to the RAF.
"It was a really memorable day."
Vera Moreira-Henocq, home manager at Knebworth, added: "Everyone at Knebworth knows how important Richard's time in the RAF was to him and how proud he is of his father's role in the Second World War.
"After he submitted his wish to our 'wishing tree', we were thrilled to be able to make his dream come true."
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