The Plane That Saved Britain

The Plane That Saved Britain
Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

The greatest British plane of the Second World War? That must be the Spitfire, surely. Wrong. Former Royal Marine and pilot Arthur Williams insists it was the Mosquito, a plywood and canvas “wonderplane” that flew so fast it didn’t need guns: the enemy couldn’t catch it.

The Mosquito’s brilliant design launched a new kind of warfare – high-speed, low-level bombing in daylight (previously, only one per cent of bombs had hit their target) – and turned the tide of the war.

In a terrific programme, Williams meets the men who built and flew it: one 93-year-old recalls the “very erotic feeling” the plane produced. After the war, most Mosquitoes rotted away and their role was forgotten. Now an American billionaire has restored one of the originals to airworthiness and the scenes where Williams fulfils a lifelong dream and gets to take the controls are strangely moving.

About this programme

Paralympics presenter, former Royal Marines commando and pilot Arthur Williams presents this love letter to the Second World War aeroplane he believes history has unjustly forgotten. While the names Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane have passed into legend, the De Havilland Mosquito languishes in relative obscurity. But for Arthur, the `Wooden Wonder' is the plane that saved Britain. Here he meets the men who flew it, tells its extraordinary story and travels to Virginia Beach in the US to see if he can take to the skies in the world's only remaining flying Mosquito.

Cast and crew

Cast

Presenter
Arthur Williams

Crew

Director
Rob Coldstream
Executive Producer
Alistair Pegg
Categories
Documentary