1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA32817: de Havilland Mosquito serial W4050 Prototype, Boscombe Down 1943. Limited Edition of 1,200 Pieces.
Length 6.75 inches Wingspan 9 inches
The de Havilland Mosquito was known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews and was also known as “The Wooden Wonder” or “The Timber Terror” as the bulk of the aircraft was made of laminated plywood.
Designed in a private venture as a high-altitude, high-speed unarmed bomber, the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was first flown at Hatfield on November 25th, 1940. The prototype, W4050, was used for three years as a flying test bed at Boscombe Down for different versions of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine which powered thousands of the Royal Air Force fighters and bombers. W4050 became the fastest Mosquito of the near-8,000 built, reaching 439mph in level flight.
The deHavilland Aircraft Museum, near London, England is an extraordinary aviation museum. Not only does it celebrate one of the most storied and important aircraft manufacturers in the world, but is home to not one, but three DH.98 Mosquitos, including the prototype W4050. Currently nestled in a hangar on the estate at Salisbury Hall, whose manor house dates back to the mid-1600 and was, for a time, the home of Winston Churchill’s mother, the aircraft is actually on display at its birthplace. deHavilland established the Mosquito’s design team at the residence in 1939; building W4050 and a small number of additional airframes in some of the outbuildings. The aircraft was, of course, transported the short five mile journey by road to deHavilland’s main site in Hatfield for the test flights. And the rest, as they say, is history. The “wooden wonder” went on to become one of the most vital and versatile aircraft deployed by any nation in the entirety of World War II, produced under license on three different continents.
Salisbury Hall sadly fell into disrepair when deHavilland left the premises soon after the war. However a new owner, Major Walter Goldsmith, took on the task of rebuilding the place in the late 50s. Discovering that the house had a connection to deHavillands, Goldsmith called Bill Baird, then the head of PR at deHavillands to find out more. He was amazed to find that Baird had hidden the prototype Mosquito away in a far corner of the factory grounds in Hatfield, and that it was available to a good home. It was none-too-soon either, as Baird had been ordered to burn W4050 on a number of occasions, although prescient of her enormous historical value, he had always found a way to keep her safe. When Goldsmith called him from Salisbury Hall though, he soon found a willing accomplice to give the national treasure a permanent home, and what better location than her birthplace? And therein lie the roots of what has become the deHavilland Aircraft Museum.
The Mosquito was one of the most successful aircraft of the Second World War. Only the Ju 88 could anywhere near rival its versatility. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the all-wood Mosquito was as fast as a fighter and could carry the payload of a medium bomber. During its lifetime, the Mosquito was used in varying roles including: low to medium altitude daytime tactical bomber, high altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike and photo reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used as the basis for a single-seat heavy fighter, the de Havilland Hornet. The aircraft served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and many other air forces during the Second World War and postwar. It carried radar systems and cannons, and there was even a carrier landing version.