On 12 May, The People’s Mosquito announced a three-year sponsorship boost from aerospace manufacturer Airbus. The East Goscote, Leicestershire-based People’s Mosquito project is dedicated to the construction of an airworthy de Havilland Mosquito that will operate in the UK. Fuselage moulds have been constructed by Retrotec in a specially equipped workshop in Sussex. Support from the aerospace giant represents a significant step forward in creating the first Mosquito to be manufactured in the UK for more than 72 years.
The People’s Mosquito’s managing director John Lilley says, “Naturally, we’re excited and proud to be able to announce this additional support from Airbus. Such a high-profile industry name provides a significant boost to our efforts to deliver an airworthy Mosquito FBVI to UK and European skies by 2027.”
On 21 May, Ian Homer from TPM added, “We will shortly be starting fuselage construction, so hope to have the fuselage sections off the moulds by this time next year. We have made all the internal bulkheads and have assembled a lot of other equipment, including the control column, most of the main cockpit panel, the crew access door and undercarriage parts.”
Jeremy Greaves, vice-president of corporate affairs and strategy for Airbus UK says, “Airbus is honoured to partner with The People’s Mosquito to tell the incredible tale of an aircraft that pioneered new approaches to composite design, becoming an unlikely predecessor of today’s commercial fleet. The Mosquito’s wooden natural composite structure — born from wartime necessity — provided the world of early-1940s aviation with a fast, strong and light airframe that continues to inspire the steps we take in designing and manufacturing composite wings here in the UK. As the Airbus Broughton (Flintshire, North Wales) factory drives the future of wing innovation, it is bolstered by a legacy owed to the 96 Mosquitos built there by talented designers and manufacturers at the cutting edge of technology more than three quarters of a century ago. We are proud to collaborate with The People’s Mosquito in telling this story.”
Production of the Mosquito was transferred in 1948 to Hawarden, now Airbus’s Broughton plant, where the last Mosquito to be built in the UK was rolled out of the DH factory in November 1950. Broughton has another important link to the Mosquito. When the prototype, W4050, had finished its flying career — and survived at several temporary storage locations — it was saved from the scrapyard by being secretly stored in the Broughton site before going back to London Colney, Hertfordshire, where it had originally been built, in 1959 for preservation in what is now known as the de Havilland Aircraft Museum.
Lilley concludes, “We hope to see other major commercial sponsors join us over the coming months, adding to the incredible support we are seeing from the general public. If your business is interested in following in Airbus’s footsteps and supporting British heritage aviation and the engineering skills which underpin it, then we would be delighted to explore opportunities for collaboration. Please contact The People’s Mosquito team by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.”