de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

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SKB
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de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

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Introduction
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder" and "The Timber Terror". The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace. A single passenger could be carried in the aircraft's bomb bay, which was adapted for the purpose.

When production of the Mosquito began in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Entering widespread service in 1942, the Mosquito was a high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft, continuing in this role throughout the war. From mid-1942 to mid-1943, Mosquito bombers flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe. From late 1943, Mosquito bombers were formed into the Light Night Strike Force and used as pathfinders for RAF Bomber Command's heavy-bomber raids. They were also used as "nuisance" bombers, often dropping Blockbuster bombs - 4,000 lb (1,812 kg) "cookies" - in high-altitude, high-speed raids that German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept.

As a night fighter from mid-1942, the Mosquito intercepted Luftwaffe raids on the United Kingdom, notably defeating Operation Steinbock in 1944. Starting in July 1942, Mosquito night-fighter units raided Luftwaffe airfields. As part of 100 Group, it was a night fighter and intruder supporting RAF Bomber Command's heavy bombers and reduced bomber losses during 1944 and 1945. As a fighter-bomber in the Second Tactical Air Force, the Mosquito took part in "special raids", such as the attack on Amiens Prison in early 1944, and in precision attacks against Gestapo or German intelligence and security forces. Second Tactical Air Force Mosquito supported the British Army during the 1944 Normandy Campaign. From 1943, Mosquitos with RAF Coastal Command strike squadrons attacked Kriegsmarine U-boats (particularly in 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, where significant numbers were sunk or damaged) and intercepting transport ship concentrations.

The Mosquito flew with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other air forces in the European, Mediterranean and Italian theatres. The Mosquito was also operated by the RAF in the South East Asian theatre, and by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) based in the Halmaheras and Borneo during the Pacific War.

During the 1950s, the RAF ultimately replaced the Mosquito with the jet-powered English Electric Canberra.

Name: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito
Roles:
Light bomber
Fighter-bomber
Night fighter
Maritime strike aircraft
photo-reconnaissance aircraft
First flight: 25 November 1940
Introduction: 15 November 1941
Current Status: Retired
Primary users:
Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Produced: 1940–1950
Number built: 7,781

DH.98 Mosquito B Mk XVI (The definitive bomber version)
Crew: 2, pilot, bombardier/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 (11,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 76/77 (left/right) liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,710 hp (1,280 kW) each
Maximum speed: 361 kn (415 mph (668 km/h)) at 28,000 ft (8,500 m)
Range: 1,300 nmi (1,500 mi (2,400 km)) with full weapons load
Service ceiling: 37,000 ft (11,000 m)
Rate of climb: 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
Wing loading: 39.9 lb/ft2 (195 kg/m2)
Power/mass: 0.189 hp/lb (311 W/kg)
Armament: Bombs: 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg)
Avionics: GEE radio-navigation

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

OK, the Mosquito looks lovely. I'll happily concede that.

But if you want a proper, grown up, twin-engined, hard hitting, multi-role war winner, then get yourself one of these:

Image

... more like it.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by RetroSicotte »

Mosquito...hands down, I believe, the greatest aircraft the RAF has ever possessed for a given role. (ie - All of them!)

Few planes have approached its holy trinity of affordability, simplicity and quality.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

I agree - some may remember Mosquito photos from 1956 (heh-heh, don't mean that you read the day's paper) over Suez.
- didn't the (photo-recce) Canberra do its last service duties in the 1st Gulf War (a similar, lengthty lifespan; Sunderlands serving in Korean War... all wonderful aircraft)
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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by whitelancer »

The Beufort was the Hurricane to the Mosquitos Spitfire

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by GastonGlocker »

Great footage on the 6 pounder. That looks to be a similar setup to the B25 with 75mm cannon for anti-shipping in the Pacific, though probably more agile/faster and the cannon a better rate of fire. Love the Mosquito

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by arfah »

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Tony Williams »

GastonGlocker wrote:Great footage on the 6 pounder. That looks to be a similar setup to the B25 with 75mm cannon for anti-shipping in the Pacific, though probably more agile/faster and the cannon a better rate of fire. Love the Mosquito
The 75mm M4 gun in the B-25G was manually-loaded (it was basically a Sherman tank gun) with a crewman shoving each round in by hand. The 57mm Molins gun of the Mosquito FB Mk XVIII was fully automated, all the pilot had to do was press the firing button. It could fire one round per second from a 22-round magazine.

Interestingly, the overall length and width of the 75mm and 57mm rounds were very similar. It wouldn't have been difficult to convert the Molins to fire the 75mm ammo.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Tony, recoil might have been too much for the wood/ balsa frame to take? Assuming the larger round is not pared down for its muzzle velocity
- that is exactly what the Americans were experimenting with, modifying the 105 mm howitzer on the AC-130 to take a mortar round, to prolong airframe life as those gunships are surprisingly expensive
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by whitelancer »

arfah wrote: whitelancer wrote:
The Beufort was the Hurricane to the Mosquitos Spitfire

Beaufort? Beaufighter, surely
Oops! My mistake. The Beaufort was the Torpedo Bomber from which the Beaufighter was developed. That's what happens when you rely on memory. :oops:

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Tony Williams »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Tony, recoil might have been too much for the wood/ balsa frame to take? Assuming the larger round is not pared down for its muzzle velocity
Well, the MV of the 75mm was a lot lower at around 2,000 fps compared with 2,900 fps for the 57mm. On the other hand, the 75mm's shell weighed around twice as much so yes, the recoil would have been heavier. Fitting a muzzle brake would have been an option - the 57mm Molins didn't have one.
- that is exactly what the Americans were experimenting with, modifying the 105 mm howitzer on the AC-130 to take a mortar round, to prolong airframe life as those gunships are surprisingly expensive
They seem to be still keeping the 105mm in the new version of the AC-130 - initial plans were to leave it out (the plane now carries small guided munitions as well as a 30mm cannon) but there was a change of heart.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

The 75mm fitted to the B-25 was a heavily modified and lightened version of the Sherman 75, to the extent it was a new gun. Things do come full circle though as the same gun was later fitted to the M-24 Chaffee light tank. I wonder if we will ever see a heavy gun (35-40mm) fitted to anything but a Gunship. Could a podded CTA 40 be developed for ground attack/anti-ship duties. Daft idea but even compared to the CVR-7 rockets we used to use the ammo would be cheep. Maybe make it stealthy so it could be carried by the F-35 which could "creep" up on targets. My medication must be kicking in!.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

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(Forces TV) 7th August 2018
A versatile and incredibly capable aircraft, the two-seater wooden Mosquito was popularised by the movie ‘633 Squadron’ as a high-speed light bomber, although it performed many roles. It was so fast that the B Mark XVI version was even quicker than the Mark I Spitfire.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

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(Imperial War Museums) 8th September 2021
When Sir Geoffrey de Havilland first pitched his idea for a two-seater bomber made of wood with no armament, few people were willing to accept his design. But the de Havilland Mosquito went on to become one of the most successful and popular aircraft of the Second World War. The defence of this bomber would be its speed. Mosquitos were among the first multi-role combat aircraft: they could be turned to anything and excelled at everything they did. They were popular with pilots and were adapted into numerous different roles to great success. In this video, our Duxford expert Graham Rodgers tells us how this little wooden bomber came into action, and we hear from some of those who experienced its power first-hand.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

The Mosquito in the image was owned by my friends dad he paid £125 for it he brought a Anson on the same day for £1000 both where flow Brawdy before going to the Skyfame museum this aircraft was used in 633 sqn and is the one used for famous valley runs
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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by GarethDavies1 »

Greatest warplane of WW2!!
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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Digger22 »

Yep, best plane ever. FB6 with 4 cannon, four machine guns, two 500lb bombs and 8 rockets.
The ultimate WW2 beast.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

As a side Peter Thomas who owned the Mosquito at Duxford also owned a second Mosquito which is now at the USAFM Dayton. He also owned the Beaufighter at RAF Hendon before it was stolen from him by the RAF

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Digger22 wrote: 01 May 2022, 16:57 Yep, best plane ever. FB6 with 4 cannon(...)
Who wants 4 cannon when some of them had ONE in low-recoil 75 mm ; to sink some E-boats, as well as anything else that might turn up
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Are you meaning the 57mm fitted to a number of Mosquitoes? I wasn't aware of a 75mm on this platform though it was on a number of versions of the B-25 Mitchell, together with eight to ten forward firing .50 cal M3 Brownings.

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Re: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Indeed, the two figures reversed:
"the Mosquito FB Mk XVIII anti-shipping strike aircraft, armed with a primary 57-mm Molins gun in the nose. A modified Mosquito FB Mk VI in this way equipped had its first flight on 25 August 1943, after which 27 manufacturing planes were produced and joined service with No, 248 Squadron at Banff in January 1944.
Detachments were despatched south for patrols over the English Channel and on 25 March a Mosquito FB Mk XVIII pilot attacked and reported to have sunk a German U-boat off the French coast."
- used quite a bit on much inferior craft to hunt for the German E-boats, too
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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