Ben Outhouse of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia is an airplane nut, pure and simple. Forget that he's only an 11 years old Grade 5 student, or that he's never been to an airshow - he knows his airplanes and he has the passion. "We play a driving game called the 'Airplane Game'," explains his father, Kevin. "One person picks a plane and the other has to guess what it is, based on the answers to a series of questions." So when it came time to pick a subject for his mandatory Heritage Fair project this budding aviation enthusiast knew he wanted to talk about airplanes. But which one?

Thinking back to a television program on the Military Channel called Top Ten Bombers, Ben instantly remembered the Mosquito (which finished fourth on the list as the highest non-American bomber). "They spoke about how fast and versatile it was. It really sounded like a plane he would like to fly... and it was made of wood!" Kevin says. "I thought great... A British designed, predominately British built plane... how can we put a Canadian perspective on that?" But after his father told him Mosquitoes were also made in Canada, young Ben added everything up and concluded it would be a great subject.

Young Ben Outhouse of Nova Scotia, has created a 4 minute video about the Mosquito for his school project on Canadian history. (Kevin Outhouse)

Sadly, many of today's students believe Wikipedia contains all they'll ever need to know, but Ben took his project in another direction. He contacted's Andy Dawson who immediately put him in touch with the CMS. Not only did Richard de Boer answer all of Ben's questions but he supplied him with all sorts of facts and photographs.

"Ben and I always knew that the highlight of his project would be to interview a Mosquito crew member. We tried a few leads but the passage of so many years made it impossible for us to find a living crew member." Thankfully, Richard put them in contact with F/L George Stewart, a Mosquito pilot with over 1,000 hours on type. When asked if he'd mind answering some questions from an 11 year old, George said, "absolutely... I was 11 once... 79 years ago!"

"George must have spent hours emailing us answers to Ben's questions and pictures of himself. He has a fantastic memory. He would quote dates to go with the pictures I found on the internet like it was yesterday. The thing that really struck Ben, and I, was the daring and skill of the crews. As awesome as the Mosquito is (was) it was the crews that carried out all the daring raids. George told Ben about his job as a night intruder. He said that even at night it was easy to tell the difference between water and land. So they used a map and compass to find their target. If it was an enemy airfield they would circle for about one hour waiting for the enemy night fighters to return after attacking the Allied bombers as they were low on fuel and ammunition. This is then when the Mosquito would sting... when the landing lights and runway lights came on. George would then race back to England."

"We steered him to a couple of films and books about Canadian Mosquitoes and continued our dialogue when I was in Victoria awaiting the first flight of the Mosquito out there," explained Richard. "After sending them a link to Victoria Air Maintenance Ben got in touch with them directly and got permission to use photos posted on their site, which culminated in a home page endorsement from VAM and a link to Ben's video on the very day that the Mosquito first flew! His enthusiasm is genuine, infectious and inspiring."

If you doubted Ben's enthusiasm, he made his first airplane ride to visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and see the world's only surviving original Canadian-built Mosquito. The flight was on a Q400, "I told Ben that this was like the Great, Great Grandson of the Mosquito," joked Kevin. "We sat beside the engines and Ben had the window seat. He could see the props spin and as we were at 24,000ft it seemed to him like what the Mosquito crews would have seen."

Ben even visited the last, original Canadian-built Mosquito, in Ottawa. You can see the joy on Ben's face.
(Kevin Outhouse)

Thanks to some pre-visit coordination, Ben and Kevin were given a private tour of the Mosquito. "He was amazed by how large the Mosquito was in person... much larger that he imagined." says Kevin, and he "...really liked the Lancaster as it was huge." Ben even impressed the guide with his knowledge when he identified the museum's Messerschmitt Me163B Komet rocket plane and Heinkel HE 162A Volksjager jet plane - all thanks to youtube.

"On our return home, when we crossed the Bay of Fundy, we flew over CFB Greenwood where there were over 100 Mosquitoes stationed during WW2. It must have been like what those crews would have seen 70 years ago."

We all agree that Ben has done a fantastic job of telling the Mosquito's history in less than four minutes. As George Stewart wrote, "Congratulations on producing such an informative video lasting only 4 minutes! You did a fine job, even to include answers to those questions in the profile. You deserve a lot of credit, at your age to come up with something, so beautifully expressed. On behalf of all of us Mosquito aircrews, Ben thanks for doing a great historical encapsulation of our wonderful Mosquito!!!"

As Kevin says, "Ben has already won!"

Voting for Ben's video runs until July 11, 2014 and 50% of the final mark will come from public voting on Facebook, Twitter, or the big, yellow VOTE button to the right of Ben's video.

To watch Ben's video, simply visit The Canada's History for Kids website.

EDUCATE has always been one of the four pillars of the CMS, but it's easy to think this is limited to displays in museums or speeches to dozens of attentive listeners. But it can mean much more, and we've shown that a one-on-one interaction with people has always had the strongest impact. Young Ben helps us remember what it used to be like when we were younger; the passion we had as we racing our "Spitfire" bicycles around the neighbourhood, built model airplanes, or watched in awe at our favourite airshow performers.

Like Richard said, "It's part of our mandate... and we get to learn something ourselves and have some fun while doing it."