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The People’s Mosquito Advances!

8 April 2020

To Fly To Educate To Remember — The People’s Mosquito — graphic art by Nick Horrox for The People’s Mosquito

08 April 2020: The People’s Mosquito launches fundraising campaign to complete fuselage moulds

As work continues on returning a de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito to UK skies for the first time in a quarter of a century, The People’s Mosquito is offering supporters the opportunity to add their name to the story of the Wooden Wonder.

Through the charity’s restoration partners, Sussex-based Retrotec Ltd., rapid progress has been made towards the completion of the first de Havilland Mosquito fuselage moulds to be built in the UK for more than 70 years.

With the exciting launch of this fundraising initiative, The People’s Mosquito is offering five levels of exclusive rewards for supporters, ranging in value from as little as £25 up to £5,000. Each level of support offers its own unique rewards package, including from as little as £100 the opportunity to add your name – or that of a loved one – permanently to the mould itself. In doing so, supporters can physically add their name to the story of one of the most famous and versatile aircraft to emerge from the dark days of World War Two.

For those warbird and Mosquito enthusiasts able to do so, higher reward levels, starting at Gold Level and £500, offer backers the chance to enjoy a visit to Retrotec’s facility and witness history coming alive as Mosquito FB.VI RL249 takes shape.

Elite Diamond and Platinum packages will see donors receive a VIP invitation to Retrotec to tour the facility, meet the team and personally sign their own mould infill, as work draws to its completion. And that’s not all. Diamond or Platinum backers will have the opportunity to join The People’s Mosquito and invited guests to witness the first public flight of a de Havilland Mosquito in the UK for well over 25 years, as well as receive a guided tour around the aircraft. Subject to all necessary and relevant permits, permissions and insurances to enable the carriage of fare-paying passengers, Platinum supporters will also gain priority access to a flight in The People’s Mosquito.

“As the country faces is toughest battle since the end of World War Two, efforts to return a Mossie to UK skies continue to gather pace, backed by British industry and public donations from all over the world,” said John Lilley, Managing Director of The People’s Mosquito. “During times of adversity, incredible stories often emerge – the Mosquito being one such example from our history. We’re incredibly excited to be writing the next chapter in that story. The drive towards returning RL249 to flight serves as a reminder, if one was needed, of what we can achieve when we come together.”

The aim of the campaign is to fully fund the completion of all 22 infills that constitute the pair of 11m-long fuselage moulds. The campaign target is to reach £250,000 by the end of summer 2020. Each complete mould will be used as the former over which the Mosquito’s unique composite wooden construction, featuring Canadian spruce, birch and balsa wood, is bound, glued and cured. The result is the lightweight, extremely strong airframe that underpinned the Mosquito’s famed war-winning performance.

The campaign, named Operation Jericho 2020 in honour of the famous February 1944 raid on Amiens prison, in which extremely low level flying of Mosquitoes breached the jailhouse walls to free French resistance fighters, aims to break down the final funding barrier for completion of the moulds.

You can support the campaign at www.peoplesmosquito.org.uk/campaigns.

Notes to editors/broadcasters

The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito remains one of the most influential aircraft ever designed and an exemplar of British engineering. It played a pivotal role in the Allied war effort from 1941-1945, and continued to serve with the Royal Air Force until the mid-1950s, well into the jet age. At the height of World War Two, the Mosquito was the world’s fastest production aircraft; it was the world’s first true multi-role aircraft and helped to pioneer the use of composite construction techniques, now ubiquitous in today’s aviation industry. Its ground-breaking construction also included the first use of radio frequency heating (similar to a microwave oven) in the construction of the aircraft.

About the People’s Mosquito Ltd

The People’s Mosquito is a registered UK charity and full member of Aviation Heritage UK, whose aim is to inform and educate the public and future generations on the Mosquito and its place in history. Its motto is ‘To fly, to educate, to remember’ as it works towards restoring and returning this important aircraft to the sky.

The charity is publicly backed by Airbus UK – an international reference in the aerospace sector, whose own heritage history includes manufacture of the Mosquito between 1948-1950. More than 80 de Havilland Mosquitoes, including the last ever ‘Mossie’ to roll off the production line, were completed at Broughton, now home to Airbus UK.

Collaborating with East Sussex-based restoration company Retrotec Ltd., the charity is working towards restoring a Mosquito lost on a training flight from RAF Coltishall, Norfolk in 1949. In doing so, the project will deliver the first UK-built Mosquito in more than 70 years: the last UK-built example rolled off the line at Chester on 15 November 1950.

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