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D.H. Mosquito

de Havilland Mosquito, Old Warden 1994 - pic by Dave Key
de Havilland Mosquito, Old Warden 1994 ©Dave Key

ROLE
Fighter / Bomber / Reconnaissance / Strike aircraft.

FIRST FLIGHT
25 November 1940.

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 propellers. 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.

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

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 vaporisation at high altitude.

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.

PRODUCTION
The De Havilland Mosquito was produced from 1940 to 1950, with 7,781 built.

ENGINES
2 x Rolls Royce Merlin 113/114, producing 3380 hp.

Press play to hear the Mosquito


ARMAMENT
4 x 20mm cannon
4 x Browning 0.303 machine guns
4,000 lb (1,814 kg) Bomb Bay capacity
1,000 lb (454 kg) Bomb/Rocket underwing capacity

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 aircraft in service.

Crew - 2
Length - 40ft 10in (12.44m)
Wingspan - 54ft 2in(16.51m)
Height - 15ft 3in (4.65m)
Empty Weight - 14,300lb (6,486kg)
Max. Weight - 20,000lb (9,072kg)
Max. Speed - 370 mph (595 km/h)
Range - 1,770 miles (2,848 km)


PHOTOGRAPHS

de Havilland Mosquito, Imperial War Museum 2008 - pic by Nigel Key de Havilland Mosquito, Imperial War Museum 2008 - pic by Nigel Key de Havilland Mosquito KA114, Wings over Wairarapa 2013 - wikipedia
IWM 2008 IWM 2008 Wings over Wairarapa 2013
de Havilland Mosquito, Cosford 1995 - pic by Dave Key de Havilland Mosquito, Imperial War Museum 2008 - pic by Nigel Key de Havilland Mosquito, Imperial War Museum 2008 - pic by Nigel Key
Cosford 1995 IWM 2008 IWM 2008
de Havilland Mosquito, Old Warden 1994 - pic by Dave Key de Havilland Mosquito, Old Warden 1994 - pic by Dave Key de Havilland Mosquito, Old Warden 1994 - pic by Dave Key
Old Warden 1994 Old Warden 1994 Old Warden 1994


Photos copyright of ©Nigel Key




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