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A man and a machine.

de Havillandís Wooden Wonder

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Peter Beeney16/07/2013 23:02:05
1587 forum posts
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Last evening I caught a rather short and sweet trailer for a television program on Sunday 21st July evening called The Plane That Saved Britain, Channel 4, 8 o’clock. I knew instinctively what it was going to be, just from the heading, and sure enough, it revealed itself to be the DH.98 Mosquito. It seems that someone thinks this is rather a forgotten story, and I tend to agree with that. Interestingly, within the trail, there was a very swift pan over the nose of a mosquito, and I’m pretty certain it was the ParkZone model version, although I’d say it was intended to look rather larger! I suspect there are not many full size types left suitable for filming.

So, in the same vein, I hope they give a suitable mention to Air Vice Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman, the man that, together with Geoffrey de Havilland, made sure despite all the odds stacked against them that the Mosquito went into production. So much so, indeed, that at that time the plane was known as Freeman’s Folly. He was also instrumental in the Merlin engine development, as used in the Mossie, he was responsible for taking the specification for the Mustang to North American Aviation, too, and then later played a part in changing the Allison engine for a Merlin. I’m not sure who actually named the plane the Mustang for the Brits, but I’ve always liked to think it might have been Wilfrid Freeman.

Like the Mosquito, and a few other people that played key roles during the War, he seems to have been slightly forgotten. Very seldom are there any references to his actions and achievements, at least in the various accounts that I read. But it was ever thus, I guess, history is littered with such stories.
I have had a couple of outings with the ParkZone Mosquito, but to be scale these days it might need some re-working! After it’s conception the full size was considered to be the fastest plane in the air for about eighteen months. Now the competition is a bit better prepared!

I’m thinking that the program might be well worth watching, there is some operational footage available which very candid and to the point… I’ve seen some video that were lent to me by a friend, when Mossies flew low, they flew low! Over the sea they appeared to be be going up and down over the waves…

Edit   -   It would appear as though the text still can’t cope with an apostrophe in the title box!! Apologies for that.


Edited By Peter Beeney on 16/07/2013 23:10:01

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