Virtual Tour at the De Havilland Aircraft Museum

The De Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall near St Albans, Hertfordshire.

VE Day and all things World War II are very much in the air at the moment, despite the cancellation of all the communal celebrations that were planned. It is, however, possible to discover more about the period online, and one good way to do this is by visiting the De Havilland Aircraft Museum’s online tour. Aviation Correspondent Guy Thomas finds out more.

The De Havilliand Aircraft Museum is at Salisbury Hall, near St Albans, Hertfordshire. Salisbury Hall has associations with Richard Neville – otherwise known to history as Warwick the Kingmaker, though the current building is from around 1668.

Fast forward from the Wars of the Roses to World War II to find Salisbury Hall once more associated with conflict. In 1949, the De Havilland Aircraft Company chose the Hall as the location in which to design and build the prototype Mosquito combat aircraft. The secluded site was a few miles away from their main aircraft factory at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

It eventually became home to the De Havilland (DH) Aircraft Collection in the 1950s. There are now 34 DH aircraft (including parts of aircraft) and 12 engines for visitors to see at the site. Recent lottery funding has enabled the museum to build an additional hangar which now houses three Mosquitos (including the prototype).

The museum would normally be open at this time of year, but is currently closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, a virtual tour of the collection, including stories of some of the aircraft, is available for you to see here.