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These Mosquitos stand in the very place where the first prototypes were built in great secrecy by de Haviland at the beginning of the Second World War. The site is Salisbury Hall, an estate and farm some 18 miles from the centre of London and six or seven from what was the de Havilland factory at Hatfield in Hetfordshire.
The site is now the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, established in 1959 and run by a dedicated team of volunteers who also do all the restoration themselves.
The first completed Mosquito was dismantled and taken by lory to the Hatfield aerodrome where it was successfully flown for the first time by de Havilland himself, or so I was told by Ralph Steiner who showed a group of us around the centre. Almost more remarkable was that the next few prototypes were flown out of a grassy field near where they were built and again test flown by de Havilland. Just one of the stories about this remarkable aircraft. A lot more can be found on the Internet and it is well worth starting here:
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.