Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Mods - am I OK posting this?
As many of you will be aware, the 14th November 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of my birth, an anniversary I certainly didn’t expect to reach, earlier in the year. The year 2020 also happens to be the 100th anniversary of De Havilland, a British company which revolutionised aviation in the 1920’s and 30’s and whose aircraft played a pivotal role in World War 2. People have been asking me what I would like for my birthday. My answer is that I would like to raise public awareness of De Havilland’s contribution to our history – and to raise donations to support the De Havilland Aircraft Museum, Britain’s oldest aviation museum, which is currently facing an extremely uncertain future. Although the museum remains open, visitor numbers are significantly down - a large percentage of visitors came from overseas, which of course has been decimated due to the coronavirus restrictions.

On 25th November 1940, the original prototype of the Mosquito, the unarmed wooden bomber, made its maiden flight from Hatfield. It had been built and designed at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, the site of the De Havilland Aircraft Museum today. At 20 mph faster even than the Spitfire, the Mosquito was so quick that nothing came near it. That very prototype still stands proudly in the centre of the museum. Along with many other De Havilland exhibits, the museum also houses the only surviving Comet Mk.1 – the world’s first jet airliner.

Having served in the RAF throughout WW2 (including qualifying as a pilot on Harvards and a Flight Engineer on Lancasters), I became a volunteer steward with the museum after my wife, Kath, passed away in 2015. I think the name De Havilland has been largely lost in the UK but is still treasured in countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It was only when I became a Museum Volunteer that I really discovered the innovative nature of De Havilland and its impact on our history.

As an independent museum and registered charity, it is totally dependent on public donations. The museum is almost entirely staffed through volunteers who act as guides and educators for visitors of all ages, besides restoring the historic aircraft and other exhibits. There is also a small number of permanent staff who provide critical skills and direction and several of these staff are now at risk of losing their jobs. This would be devastating for the future of the museum. Some generous donations have already been made but there is a long way to go.

I do hope you will consider contributing as a way of celebrating my 100th birthday with me, to preserve the de Havilland Heritage for future generations. I hope also that you might share my message with friends who may be happy to do the same. Thanking you, with warmest wishes,

Yours Ronald Green

As a former member and weekend volunteer, I know just how important this place is. Just a shame it doesn't have a runway. :(