Newsletter 28
Autumn 2010
Updated on 30Oct2010
Published by the Hawker Association
for the Members.
Contents Hawker Association

Book Reviews
DH Heritage Centre
Experimental Department
Hawker Formations
Hunter News
New Technologies
Programme For 2010
PWS 'George' Bulman
Sea Harrier News
Sir Sydney And I
Sopwith News
Two-Seat Fury
Wartime Memories

    Blue skies and sunshine favoured the fifteen Members who visited what used to be called the Mosquito Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall near Hatfield. We were greeted with coffee and biscuits by Ralph Steiner, the Centre Operations Director who had opened the museum specially for us. He gave an introductory talk in the Members' Club Room and Library before taking us round the exhibits.
    The Mosquito prototype, Ralph said, was designed and built in eleven months on this site in converted farm buildings of which one remains. The museum is staffed entirely by volunteers and now attracts 6,500 visitors per annum. Besides housing the collection of de Havilland aircraft, engines, missiles, memorabilia and other artefacts, maintenance and restoration work is carried out on the exhibits and premises. Funds are being raised for a new 1.6m hangar to protect the aircraft currently outside. Proudly, Ralph reminded us that the de Havilland Company not only built aircraft but also piston engines, jet engines, rocket motors, propellers, guided missiles and ballistic missiles.
De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre

    The Comet was the world's first jet airliner and its engine, the DH Ghost, the first jet engine in the world to be certificated for civil air transport use. The Halford H-1 Goblin powered America's first jet fighter prototype, the Lockheed XP-80 Shooting Star, as well as the first Gloster Meteor to fly, Britain's first jet fighter prototype.
    The first stop of our tour was in the Halford Hall, named after DH's famous engine designer, which houses examples of Gipsy piston engines (III, Major I, Major 8, Six, Minor and Queen 30), Goblin, Ghost, Gyron and Gyron Junior turbojets, a Gnome turbo shaft and Super Sprite and Spectre rocket motors. There is a P.1121 display by the Gyron, the prototype's intended power plant. There is also a very well presented photographic history of the de Havilland Company.
    In the Workshop we talked with the volunteers working on the complete restoration of DH 89A Rapide, G-AKDW to flight-worthy condition. The airframe has been completely stripped down with all parts refurbished or remanufactured as necessary.
    The Main Hangar houses many famous de Havilland types including: a single-seat crop duster Tiger Moth, a Swiss Vampire FB6, a Mosquito FBMk6, a Mosquito BMk35, a radio controlled Queen Bee based on the Tiger Moth, a Hornet Moth, a Humming Bird, a Chipmunk TMk10 and components of a Sea Venom.
    Aircraft parked outside included a Heron, Vampire T11, a Swiss Venom FBMk1, a Dove Mk6, a Dove Mk8, the first production DH125 and a Sea Vixen FAW2. Also outside were an ex Air France Comet 1A fuselage, a BAe(DH)146 fuselage, a Trident 2 forward fuselage and a Comet nose section and cockpit.
    Hangar E houses the 'star of the show', the prototype Mosquito (W4050/EO234), currently under restoration but essentially complete. This is the only surviving WW2 twin engined prototype. Alongside were a DH Cierva C24 autogyro and the fuselage of an Airspeed - a de Havilland company - Horsa troop carrying glider; Horsas of Arnhem fame, were built on the site. Amongst the side exhibits, of which there are a great many throughout the museum, was a 57mm 6 lb Molins-feed field gun as fitted to the anti-shipping 'Tsetse' Mosquito. The Memorabilia Display, housed separately, contains scale models of just about every de Havilland type.
    Our visit concluded with a visit to the well stocked Aeroshop where we thanked Ralph for showing us his excellently stocked and presented museum. Your Editor would unreservedly recommend Members who didn't come on this visit to do so independently; you won't be disappointed. It is open from March to October. For opening times see .www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk or 'phone 01727 822051.