The De Havilland Mosquito

July 28 2017

THE SPEED and agility of the De Havilland Mosquito aircraft made it one of the fastest and most versatile of the Second World War, and now local author and former pilot David Ogilvy OBE has written a book to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable plane.

THE SPEED and agility of the De Havilland Mosquito aircraft made it one of the fastest and most versatile of the Second World War, and now local author and former pilot David Ogilvy OBE has written a book to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable plane.

David, 88, from Westbury Fields in Westbury-on-Trym, was one of the last surviving pilots to have flown Mosquitos operationally, and when he was approached by publishers Amberley to write the inside story of the secret development he found it impossible to refuse.

“The Mosquito was a very special aeroplane to me,” says David, who has devoted his life to the aviation industry. “There have been books written before, but none by an actual Mosquito pilot so I thought I’d better crack on with it while I still could!”

The Mosquito was one of the first multi-role aircraft and was used for reconnaissance as well as a fighter, fighter-bomber, night fighter and interceptor. David was one of the later Mosquito pilots, taking to the controls of the squadron plane after the war had finished, flying missions deep into Russian airspace.

“I was very worried that I would be shot down as a spy!” laughs David.

Despite being made largely of ply and balsa wood, the Mosquito was surprisingly strong.

“The skin was almost like a ply and balsa wood sandwich,” says David. “It was very strong and certainly proved to be very successful. It was powered by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.”

With six years in the RAF under his belt, flying Tiger Moth and Meteors as well as Mosquitos, David went on to become a pilot trainer and Chief Instructor of the Air Schools Group, going on to become the general manager of the Shuttleworth Collection and founding member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots’ Association. 

This book comes along as preparations are being made to bring a working Mosquito back to Britain from New Zealand, and although David isn’t actively involved in the project he says that the team involved are certain to be looking to him for advice as none of them has actually flown a Mosquito.

“I am a very fortunate fellow,” adds David. “I couldn’t have asked for more from my career, just from being in the right place at the right time I got to surround myself with all these wonderful aircraft.

“I may have only had six years in the RAF but it was long enough to give me the experience I needed to get out and do the things I wanted to do – for some reason I always seemed to be much younger than anyone around me!  I am a very lucky chap.”

The De Havilland Mosquito: Throught the Eyes of a Pilot, by David Ogilvy, is published by Amberley Publishing (£14.99). It is also available in Kindle, Kobo, and iBook formats.