ABOVE: The People’s Mosquito, aided by Airbus, will oversee the restoration of RL248
Airbus has announced increased support for the ‘People’s Mosquito’ in the form of a three-year sponsorship boost.
The venture – an ambitious project to create the first UK-built de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito in more than 70 years – is the initiative of a registered charity, entirely run and managed by volunteers, with the intention of building RL249 in the UK.
The project builds on a collection of more than 22,300 original de Havilland technical drawings which are being used to produce computer-aided design drawings and profiles to assist in the upcoming work. Fully CAA-accredited partners Retrotec – “capable of not just design, but also the manufacture of aircraft parts and engine components” – has used this wealth of information to produce fuselage moulds from which the next ‘wooden wonder’ will emerge.
Additional financial backing from Airbus “represents a significant step forward in delivering the first de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito to be manufactured in the UK for more than 72 years,” notes a statement from The People’s Mosquito. Recognising the “engineering pedigree” possessed by the original manufacturers and carried forward by Airbus, Managing Director John Lilley added: “The laminated structure of our aircraft was the forerunner of the composite materials used by Airbus today in their aircraft, spacecraft and satellites, so there is great synergy”.
Jeremy Greaves, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Strategy, Airbus UK, added that 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”.
Production of the original wooden wonder was transferred in 1948 to Hawarden, where the last UK-built Mosquito was completed in 1950. Today, the site is home to Airbus’ Broughton factory, where wings for the single-aisle Airbus series are produced. “As the Airbus Broughton 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,” elaborated Jeremy Greaves.
The People’s Mosquito has set an ambitious target to be airworthy as early as 2027, and supporters can learn more about the project and opportunities to get involved here.