Havilland, Sir Geoffrey de (1882-1965)
One of the most successful of all British aviation pioneers. Before his twentieth birthday he designed a motorcycle and after graduating from the Crystal Palace Engineering School began a short-lived career in the automotive industry. By 1908, he persuaded his grandfather to loan him one thousand pounds from which he could fund the construction of an aeroplane. Along with his assistant Frank Herle, de Havilland built an engine and a bi-plane, which were ready to test by 1909. The success of this machine, in which de Havilland taught himself to fly, brought him to the attention of the British military which bought his plane for four hundred pounds and offered him a job at HM Balloon Factory. He test-flew all of his own designs until 1918.
| ||In September 1920, de Havilland founded his own company and decided to target the commercial market and reject, for the most part, the military one. His factory, first at Stag Lane, Edgeware and later at Hatfield, produced a steady stream of well-designed biplanes for the civil and commercial markets.|
|To conserve vital materials during World War II, de Havilland's company designed the Mosquito fighter bomber, using less important wood for it's structure. The 'Mossie' is considered by some to have been the best all-round aircraft of World War II. Not only was it twice as fast as any other bomber, it was even faster than the fastest British fighter.|
Subjects: Famous Scientists & Engineers
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