Wooden Wonder Plane
Revered around the world as the "wooden wonder," the de Havilland Mosquito is as beautiful as it is unique. In 1938, as war in Europe loomed, de Havilland pitched the idea for an all-wooden bomber without armament to the British Air Ministry, thinking that wood would be much easier to come by than other materials during a time of conflict and that the lack of armament would increase speed and bomb load. The proposal was turned down by the Air Ministry, but de Havilland decided to pursue the design as a private venture, and when the Mossie prototype first flew in late 1940, officials were blown away by the aircraft's performance. Thousands went on to be produced, and the aircraft was used in all theaters of World War II in a variety of roles, including bombing and reconnaissance. Today, there are only two of these beauties still flying.