When smiles take flight

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The day was perfect… a little cloud, a superb sunrise and clear, cold air. My eldest son and I were heading for a little village near Maidenhead where, in 1928 when the de Havilland family had bought nearly two hundred acres of grassland to house their Flying School. In 1938, with the outbreak of war, the site was commandeered by the government to house the Air Transport Auxiliary and it stayed in possession on the RAF until 1982 when it became Europe’s largest grass airfield.

It was still de Havilland, though, that had brought us to the airfield… in the shape of one of their most iconic aircraft, the Tiger Moth. Originally built with training in mind, by the outbreak of the war the RAF owned five hundred Tiger Moths and most fighter pilots learned their flying skills in these of deceptively sturdy little biplanes built mainly of plywood covered…

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