RogerBW's Blog

de Havilland Museum 25 October 2015

To the de Havilland museum, on the last weekend before it closed for the winter. Many images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

We started with the engines:

a Gyron Junior,

its big brother the Gyron,

the Spectre rocket engine (for the SR.53),

the Gnome turboshaft,

the Ghost turbojet (first gas turbine in airline service),

the Goblin (somewhat cut away),

the Gipsy Twelve,

the Gipsy III (an inverted version of the II),

the Gipsy Queen 30 (post-war design),

and finally the Super Sprite, a self-contained peroxide/kerosene rocket engine for JATO use. (The long thin tanks are nitrogen bottles for pressure, as it did without a fuel pump.)

On to the Comet Mk 4 (just a forward fuselage section with cockpit). Various memorabilia, and a good view into the pointy end. Note weather radar on the lower left console, comprehensive gauges for the flight engineer, and the radio operator's panel with more engine instrumentation too. And the breaker panel labels!

Nameless engine in the main hangar, probably an original Gipsy. (More likely to be a Gipsy Minor; see comments.)

Mosquito TA634.

Various bits of wreckage.

Molins 6-pdr gun below Mosquito TA122.

More of TA122: .303 nose guns, 20mm cannon in belly taking up front half of bomb bay.

Wing section.

Mosquito prototype, under active restoration.

Squadron badges.

Scale model, showing the advantage of the nose guns: lots of space for ammunition storage.

Test unit for the Sea Vixen's bombing radar. We assume that the red switches insert synthetic targets.

Dragon Rapide under restoration. I love these planes, and not just because I've been up in one.

Trident cockpit including flight engineer's station: clearly a significant advance over the Comet. (For a start it's a three-person cockpit.)

Trident first-class cabin.

Trident cargo bay and model.

Concrete form for Hornet fuselage sections.

Sea Vixen, one of the many D.H. aircraft that I find very beautiful.

Firestreak and Red Top missiles.

A squadron emblem lacking in subtlety, but it gets the message across.

Many models in the prototype hangar.

A Merlin, probably beyond restoration.

Horsa glider, one of very few survivors.

Inside the Horsa.

C.24 autogiro.

Handy reading, from an era when pilot still meant something else.

Tiger Moth, this one adapted for crop spraying with a tank where the front seat was and a disperser below.

An odd brass or copper commemorative knife, not otherwise labelled.

Airspeed 31 fighter project. One of their stranger designs; in theory the pilot could raise or lower his seat to see over or under the wing.

Airspeed 26, an early lifting-body design. This is purely speculative.

DH53 Hummingbird, designed for the Lympne Light Aircraft Trials in 1923. And the airship hook gear with which it was later fitted.

More models, largely of the "mad German" variety.

Queen Bee, adaptation of a Tiger Moth for use as a target drone.

Dove, outside.

Cockpit of a different Dove.

Comet Mk I, with original windows.

Mosquito Memorial, with engine parts.

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:12pm on 25 October 2015

    I've also flown in a Dragon Rapide (at Duxford) and like you I think they're great aircraft. The pinnacle of wooden biplane technology. Attempts to go further with biplane design eg. the DH.86 Express proved that basically you couldn't.

  2. Posted by John Dallman at 05:42pm on 25 October 2015

    The "probably an original Gipsy" engine isn't that, because it's an inverted engine, and the Gypsy I was upright, with the cylinders at the top.

    I think it's the museum's Gypsy Minor, which they list on their website, because it's a fairly small 4-cylinder engine, which matches, and we didn't see a Gypsy Minor anywhere else.

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