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DE HAVILLAND MOSQUITO

The design of the Mosquito was developed by de Havilland using their experience with high speed aircraft, such as the DH.88 Comet and composite wooden manufacturing techniques on aircraft such as the DH.91 Albatross airliner.

The Mosquito was designed as a fighter-bomber with twin Rolls Royce Merlin Mk 23 or 25 engines fitted with three-bladed hydromatic propellors. The fuselage was built as a two-piece monocoque from Balsawood sandwiched between Canadian Birch sheets.

The split of the fuselage was along the vertical centre line with seven bulkheads made from plywood and spruce blocks were added for strength.

The two halves of the monocoque were glued and screwed together and shaped by band clamps whilst the Casein resin glued dried (later to be replaced by Aerolite synthetic adhesive).

Once the fuselague was completed it was tightly covered with cotton fabric called Madapolam and then a silver dope applied prior to the camouflage finish.

The wings were manufcatured as a one-piece structure being made up from two main spars, spruce and plywood ribs, stringers and covered with plywood shhets. The wings were then covered with Madapolam and doped the same as the fuselage.

A large section of the fuselage was cutout to accomodate the wings allowing it to be lowered on to them being secured and braced in position. The lower panels were then replaced by the bomb bay doors.

The Ailerons were metal framed and skinned but the flaps were wooden and hydraulically controlled. The engine mounts were manufactured from metal as were the undercarriage and components.

The tail was an all wooden construction with the control surfaces i.e. the rudder and elevators were framed with Aluminium and covered with fabric.

The Mosquito used up to nine fuel tanks, two outer wing tanks, two inner wing tanks, two central fuselage tanks and drop tanks. The central fuselage and inner wing fuel tanks were pressurised to avoid fuel vapourisation at high altitude

Mosquito Bombay and Fuel Tanks (Panhard)
Mosquito Bombay and Fuel Tanks - Wikipedia

The main undercarriage is housed in the nacelles behind each engine and is raised and lowered hydraulically. The tail-wheel was also retractable.

The Mosquito had a low stall speed of 121 mph in normal flight and was reduced to 100mph with undercarriage and flaps lowered. Warning in the form of buffeting would be given approx 12 mph prior to the stall. Should the Mosquito stall it was not severe and as long as the control column was not pulled back the nose would drop and recovery would be relatively easy.

During WWII the Mosquito operated in various roles such as medium bomber, reconnaissance, tactical strike, anti-submarine, shipping attack and night fighter.

The Mosquito was also used as a 'pathfinder' aircraft marking targets for the main night-time bombing raid. Despite an initial high loss rate, the Mosquito ended the war with the lowest loss rate of any RAF bomber service aircraft.

Specifications: -
Crew:2
Length:40ft 10.75in (12.47m)
Wingspan:54ft 2in(16.51m)
Height:15ft 3in (4.65m)
Empty Weight:14,300lb (6486kg)
Max. Weight:22,300lb (10115kg)
Engines (x2):Rolls Royce Merlin 113/114
producing 3380 hp.
Max. Speed:362 mph (583 km/h)
Range:1650 miles (2655 km)
Armament: -
Machine Guns:4 x 0.303" Browning
Cannon:4 x 20mm Hispano Mk II
Bombs:Various
Mosquito Variants: -

Photo-reconnaissance
PR.MkI, PR.Mk IV, PR Mk.VIII, PR Mk.IX, PR Mk.XVI, PR Mk.32, PR Mk.34 and PR Mk.34A.

Bombers
B Mk.IV Series 1, B Mk.IV, B Mk.V, B Mk.VII, B Mk.IX, B Mk.XVI, B Mk.XX and B.35.

Fighters
F Mk.II and F Mk.XV.

Night Fighters
NF Mk.II, NF Mk.XII, NF Mk.VIII, NF Mk.XV, NF Mk.XVII, NF Mk.XIX, NF Mk.30, NF Mk.36 and NF Mk.38.

Fighter-bombers
FB Mk.IV, FB Mk.XVIII, FB Mk.26 and FB Mk.40.
Trainer
T Mk.III 2-seat dual control.

Torpedo-Bombers
Sea Mosquito TR Mk.33 and TR Mk.37.
DE HAVILLAND MOSQUITO
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©Dave Key De Havilland Mosquito (Old Warden 1994)

Mosquito T Mk.III, serial number RR299, registered G-ASKH was built as an unarmed dual control trainer in 1945.

It is photograhped above during an air show at the Shuttleworth airshow, Old Warden, in 1994.

Unfortunately, the aircraft was involved in a fatal crash during a display at Barton Airfiled, Manchester on the 21st of July 1996.
Photographs © Nigel Key, Click thumbnail to enlarge.
Mosquito (Duxford IWM 2008) Mosquito (Duxford IWM 2008) Mosquito (Duxford IWM 2008)
Duxford IWM 2008
Duxford IWM 2008
Duxford IWM 2008
Mosquito (Old Warden 1994) Mosquito (Duxford 1992) Mosquito (Duxford 1992)
Old Warden 1994
Duxford 1992
Duxford 1992


Related Links: -

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (www.militaryplanes.co.uk)

RAF B.B.M.F. (Official Battle of Britain Memorial Site)

de Havilland Museum (www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk)

The Mosquito Page (www.mossie.org)

A.A.I.B. Accident Report (www.aaib.gov.uk)

Airshow Calendar (www.militaryairshows.co.uk)

UK Airshow Photographs (www.militaryairshows.co.uk)




Mosquito T3 displaying at North Weald, 1996 about 1 month before its fatal crash at Barton Airfield.