de Havilland Mosquito Bomber Plane
De Havilland designed and built the D.H.98 as a fast daylight bomber later called the Mosquito in response to Air Ministry specification B.1/40, it was an ideal war time design as it used moulded plywood and balsawood in place of metal in its airframe, a great advantage in a war where extreme metal shortages were becoming a major concern.
The prototype D.H.98 De Havilland Mosquito was first flown on the 25th of November 1940 by Geoffrey De Havilland, Jnr. Although the Mosquito had been designed as a bomber the Air Ministry thought it showed potential as a fighter and consequently changed it's initial order to also include a fighter variant further delaying delivery of the first production aircraft.
The first operational Mosquito sortie was made on the 20th September 1941, when a lone aircraft made a reconnaissance flight over occupied France. The most famous operation utilising the Mosquito was the attack on the German Gestapo headquarters in Oslo, Norway, the intention of the attack was to destroy German records of members of underground resistance organizations.
A night fighter version of the Mosquito fitted with A.I Mk IV airborne radar, began to replace Bristol Blenheim in 1942. Mosquito night fighters scored their first "probable" of the 29th of may 1942. By the end of 1945 Mosquito night-fighters had shot down approximately 600 enemy aircraft over the British Isles as well as over 600 V1 flying bombs in the last years of the war.
The De Havilland Mosquito gained several nicknames related directly to it's construction including the "The Timber Terror" and the "Wooden Wonder", indeed even Hermann Göring was well aware of the De Havilland Mosquito and it's wooden construction, he is reputed to have said in January 1943:
"It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a high speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that?"
Twenty-seven different versions of the Mosquito saw service during WW2, some of the aircraft were made under licence in Canada and Australia, 6,710 Mosquito's were made during WW2 and over a thousand more after the war by the time the last Mosquito rolled off the production line in late 1950.
It is of note that the last Mosquito combat mission occurred during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the aircraft being operated by the Israeli Air Force.
De Havilland Mosquito Mk. XVI Armament:
- Four 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannon
- Four .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns
- 4,000 lb (1 800 kg) of bombs or eight 60 lb (27 kg) of unguided rocket projectiles
RAF De-Havilland Mosquito B.XVI's Bombers
De Havilland Mosquito Mk. XVI Specifications:
- Crew: Pilot and bomb-aimer/navigator
- Length: 44 ft 6 in (13.57 m)
- Wingspan: 54 ft 2 in (16.52 m)
- Height: 17 ft 5 in (5.3 m)
- Wing area: 454 ft² (42.18 m²)
- Empty weight: 14,300 lb (6,490 kg) Loaded weight: 18,100 lb (8,210 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 25,000 lb (11,350 kg)
- Engines: Twin 1,710 hp (1,275 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 76/77
- Maximum speed: 415 mph at 28,000 ft (688 km/h at 8,535 m)
- Range: 1,500 miles (2,400 km) fully loaded
- Service ceiling: 37,000 ft (11,280 m)
The Wooden Wonder and
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