De Havilland’s Race to Australia and the Birth of the Mosquito

de Havilland Mosquito IVOne of Geoffrey de Havilland’s most important pre-war aircraft designs was the revolutionary DH88 Comet, a twin-engined racing monoplane that won the prestigious MacRobertson England to Australia air race in 1934. It was also the basis of the design for the ‘wooden wonder’, the RAF’s iconic Second World War bomber, the de Havilland Mosquito. Continue reading “De Havilland’s Race to Australia and the Birth of the Mosquito”

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How Olivia de Havilland changed Hollywood

Despite Olivia de Havilland’s outstanding success at the box office, her studio, Warner Brothers, arbitrarily decided in 1943 to add six months to her contract to cover time that she had spent on suspension.

Olivia decided to fight the decision and even though Bette Davis had failed to have a similar extension overturned in the courts in the 1930s, she successfully sued the studio in 1943, with the support the Screen Actors Guild.

The case put a limit of seven years on a performer’s contract and became known as the ‘de Havilland decision’. Her success with the case won her great praise from her fellow actors, however, Warner Brothers decided never to put her in one of their films again. Continue reading “How Olivia de Havilland changed Hollywood”

Geoffrey de Havilland and the Race to Australia

By far Geoffrey de Havilland’s most important pre-war aircraft design concept was the DH88 Comet twin-engined racing monoplane, not only because this machine won the 1934 MacRobertson England to Australia air race but also because it was the inspiration for the Mosquito. Continue reading “Geoffrey de Havilland and the Race to Australia”