The nearest most of us get to the essence of De Havilland is the Tiger Moth. My luck shone on one occasion; in the ’70s I was doing a little aerial survey work out of Strathallan (Auchteradar) in Scotland and as luck would have it, I was hanging around waiting for the weather to clear. Standing three square on the grass exactly as you see above a Mosquito. It was Kermit Weeks’ latest acquisition in to have a long range fuel system fitted whilst in transit on its way to its new home in the USA. I climb aboard and breathed in the atmosphere for an hour, what opportunity and what a steed. It may even have been the same day that the photograph above was taken as the weather was similar – we needed fairly clear skies.
Back to reality, the Tiger is of course that much more accessible, still fairly widely available if becoming less so as the years roll by. On a recent trip my colleague up front let slip that he had one tucked away on the family ‘strip. After a few minutes he had me hooked with his tales of dope, fabric and Gypsy Major engineering challenges – all liberally sauced with colourful renditions of the joy to be had inserted inside large formations of Tigers sweeping across southern England. Out came his laptop and onto the ScanDisk Cruzer went a bunch of photos, a sample of which I post here for your delight. I am still waiting for some text to attach from Duncan, it will turn up soon I am sure.
Read on and tell me you don’t also say, ahhhh – De Havilland!