Inside the de Havilland Aircraft Museum

James Peene makes a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Mosquito and home of the UK’s first aviation museum

Just off junction 22 of the M25 by London Colney in Hertfordshire, there sits an almost hidden gem. Down a narrow lane, past a couple of houses and farm buildings and still, within earshot of articulated lorries and modern traffic thundering past, you’ll find the first aviation museum to open its doors in the UK waiting to be discovered.

De Havilland Aircraft Museum Mosquito
DH.98 W4050 is the only World War Two-era prototype to have survived. It made its maiden flight on November 25, 1940, with Geoffrey de Havilland at the controls

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum opened its doors to the public on May 15, 1959, and while everyone no doubt knows that Hatfield was the home to the famous de Havilland factory, the site that the museum occupies is no less noteworthy a part of the company’s history.

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