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The Plane That Saved Britain

Sun Jul 21, 8-9pm, C4

Former Royal Marine Commando and pilot Arthur Williams is an enthusiastic presenter for this documentary about the Mosquito, the aircraft he believes saved Britain in World War II. After presenting the Paralympics on C4, this is clearly his chance to indulge in his pet subject. Williams can barely contain his glee as he marvels over a Mosquito and interviews veterans who recall its power, including an ex-pilot who joins him for a test flight and a spot of reminiscing. ‘If it’d been any other aeroplane, I wouldn’t have been here,’ says one with conviction.

You can imagine Williams’s delight when he gets to fly in a Mosquito thanks to an American man who’s restored one, although it’s not an experience without trepidation. Archive footage is plentiful, both of the Mosquito in action and being constructed (part of its secret was being made of plywood, apparently). Aviation fans will enjoy and, even if Spitfire enthusiasts may contest some of Williams’s points, they’re sure to find it interesting.


Peter Nugent

Without a doubt, the Mosquito was a brilliant aircraft, but it was, in my opinion, the Hurricane that saved Britain during the Battle of Britain. This was a head to head encounter with the enemy and if our lines had been breached' then Britain would have been doomed. The Hurricane shot down more than it's glamourous companion, the Spitfire. Furthermore, it could take one hell of a battering and still come home. By the way a Plane is something one uses to work with wood! It's either an Aircraft or an Aeroplane, but never a Plane!