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Great Britain's De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito

Photos

  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IX
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk XXV
  • De Havilland Mosquito B Mk XXXV
  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • De Havilland Mosquito T Mk III
  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • De Havilland Mosquito

Design

The de Havilland Mosquito was a private venture that was made primarily of wood that was conceived in 1938.2,3,5,7 The design team included Geoffrey de Havilland, R. E. Bishop, and C. C. Walker.8

The outer skin was made of two plywood skins with spruce blocks between.1 The wing was made out of wood with a fabric cover.1

The bomber and reconnaissance versions had glazed noses.1

The propellers rotated in the same direction which caused the plane to have a swing on take-off.1

Prototype

Officials weren't thrilled by the plane but eventually it's performance sold it.1,5

The first DH.98 / B3 prototype (W.4050) flew on November 25, 1940.1,2,3,4,5,7,8 It was powered by two Merlin 21 engines (1,460 HP each).8 The F prototype flew on May 15, 1941.3,5,7 The PR prototype (WR40504) first flew on June 10, 1941.3,7

In December 1940 the prototype was able to go 255 mph with the single stage supercharged Merlin 21 engines.4 Then on January 16, 1941 the WR4050 was able to fly faster than a Spitfire at 6,000'.4 The prototype then had Merlin 61 engines installed and it was able to go 433 mph at an altitude of 28,500'.4

Production

On December 30, 1940 a contract for 150 Mosquitos (fighters and photo reconnaissance planes) was given.4

Initially an order of 50 Mosquito bombers was given.4,8 De Havilland was instructed that the last 10, from the initial order of 150, should be made into unarmed bombers.4 These were to become the B IV Series I and the first prototype was designated the W4072 and first flew on September 8, 1941.4

  • Bomber (B)
    • de Havilland Mosquito B prototype: 13
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.IV: 3003 First production model.3
      • de Havilland Mosquito B.IV Series 1: 93
        • Conversion from Mk I: 107,8
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.VII: 253
      • Constructed in Canada3
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.IX: 543,8
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.XVI: 5293, ~1,2005
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.XX: 2453
      • Constructed in Canada3
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.25: 4003
      • Constructed in Canada.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.35: 2763
  • Fighter (F)
    • de Havilland Mosquito F prototype: 13
    • de Havilland Mosquito F.II / NF.II: 4673
  • Fighter Bomber (FB)
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.VI: 2,2571, ~2,5005
      • Constructed by de Havilland, Standard Motors, and Airspeed1
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.XVIII: 27 converted FB.VI.1
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.21: 33
      • Constructed in Canada.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.24: 13
      • Constructed in Canada.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.26: 3383
      • Constructed in Canada.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito FB.40: 1783
      • Constructed in Australia.3
  • Night Fighter (NF)
    • de Havilland Mosquito NF.XIII: 2703
    • de Havilland Mosquito NF Mk XV: 57
    • de Havilland Mosquito NF:XIX: 2203
    • de Havilland Mosquito NF.30: 5303
  • Photo Reconnaissance (PR)
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR prototype: 13
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR.I: 103,7
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR Mk VIII: 57
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR.IX: 903
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR.XVI: 4323
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR.32: 53
    • de Havilland Mosquito PR.34: 503
    • de Havilland Mosquito PB.40: 63
      • Constructed in Australia.3
  • Trainer (T)
    • de Havilland Mosquito T.III: 3623
    • de Havilland Mosquito T.22: 43
      • Constructed in Canada.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito T.43: 113
      • Constructed in Australia.3
  • Countries:
    • Australia: 2081
    • Canada: 1,0343, 1,1341
    • Australia and Canada: 1,3425
    • United Kingdom: 6,4391
  • Total: 6,4395, 6,5353, 7,7811,2, 7,7858
    • Manufacturer: de Havilland Aircraft Co. Ltd.5
    • Production: 1941 - 19505

On November 28, 1950, the very last Mosquito, a night fighter, was built.1

Variants

  • Bomber (B)
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.IV: High speed bomber that was unarmed.2,7 Entered service in May 1942.2
      • de Havilland Mosquito B.IV Series 1: Shorter engine nacelles.3,4 Could carry four 250 lb bombs.4,7
      • de Havilland Mosquito B.IV Series 2: Had longer engine nacelles.3,4,8 Could carry 2,000 lb (4: 500 lb7) of bombs.4 Could carry two 50 gallon wing tanks in addition to the bombs.4
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk V: No manufactured.7 Became the Mosquito B Mk VII.7
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk VII: Canadian version.3,7,8 Based on the B.V (not built).3 Could carry weapons under the wings.3 First flew on September 24, 1942.3 All stayed in Canada.7
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.IX: Bomber.2,3,7 Joined the Bomber Command in 1944.2 Could carry, in a modified bomb bay, a 4,000 lb / 1,814 kg bomb.2,3,4 Carried the bomb all the way to Berlin.2 Oboe (pathfinding radar) was installed.2
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk XVI: Bomber.2,7,8 Could carry a 4,000 lb / 1,814 kg bomb.2,7 Pressurized cabin.2,3,5,7,8 Wing drop tanks.2,7
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk XX: Canadian version that had Canadian or American equipment.3,7,8 First used out of Britain in August 1943.3,7 First raid was against Berlin on November 29, 1943.
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk XXIII: High altitude bomber.7 Never built.7 Was to have Packard Merlin 69 engines.7
    • de Havilland Mosquito B.25: Canadian version.3,7
    • de Havilland Mosquito B Mk 35: Bomber.3,7 Flew for first time in March 1945.3
  • Fighter (F)
  • Fighter Bomber (FB)
  • Night Fighter (NF)
  • Photo Reconnaissance (PR)
  • Trainer (T)
    • de Havilland Mosquito T Mk III: Trainer.2,3,7 Had Rolls-Royce Merlin 21 or 23 engines.3 First flew in January 1942.3 No armament.7 Dual controls added.7
    • de Havilland Mosquito T Mk 22: Canadian version of the T.III trainer.3,7
    • de Havilland Mosquito T Mk 27: Canadian post World War II trainer.3,7
    • de Havilland Mosquito T.29: Canadian post World War II trainer.3 Converted from FB.26s.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito T.43: Australian trainer.3
  • Torpedo Reconnaissance (TR)
    • de Havilland Mosquito TR.33: Post World War II carrier based.3 Had folding wings.3 Powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin 25 engines.3 Used a four bladed propellar.3 Based on FB.VI.3
    • de Havilland Mosquito TR. 37: Post World War II carrier based.3 Had folding wings.3 Powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin 25 engines.3 Used a four bladed propellar.3 Based on FB.VI.3

Usage

Twelve allied nations flew the Mosquito.1

Out of all Royal Air Force (RAF) bombers, the Mosquito had the lowest loss rate.3

The Royal Air Force (RAF) accepted the Mk I photo reconnaissance version in the middle of 1941.2

First Use

The 105 Squadron used Mosquitos to attack Cologne in May 1942 / May 31, 19424,7 in the daytime.3,4 Four Mk IVs flew over the city after the first Thousand Bomber raid to drop their bombs and to photograph the results of the previous raid.4 Two of the Mosquitos were shot down by antiaircraft fire over Cologne.4 The next day, from high altitude, two Mosquitos bombed Cologne.4 Later a single Mosquito, at low altitude, over flew the city to take photos.4 That evening two more Mosquitos were sent and one failed to return.4

10th Anniversary

On the 10th anniversary of the Nazi party coming to power in Germany, Mosquitos bombed Berlin.6

Main Night Fighter

In January 1942 the Mosquito started to replace the Beaufighter night fighters in defense of Britain.3 The Mosquito night fighters ended the war with 600 claimed kills.3

First Mosquito Raid on Berlin

On January 30, 1943, Mosquito B Mk IVs bombed Berlin in the daylight.7

Against the Gestapo

The Mosquito FB.VIs were used in a precision bombing mission against the Gestapo headquarters in Oslo, Norway.1,3,8 Unfortunately the bombs were duds.1

Found the V-1

A Mosquito of the 540 Squadron flew a mission in October 1943 over Peenemünde which lead to the discovery of the V-1.3

Air Craft Carrier Use

On March 25, 1944, a Mosquito became the first twin-engine plane to land on a carrier, the HMS Indefatigable.1

United States

The PR Mosquitos were designated the F-8.3

Withdrawn From Service

In 1951 the last of the Mosquitos were replaced with Bomber Command.5

Specifications

  De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito
Type Light bomber1, Reconnaissance bomber6
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce6
2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 21 Piston1
Cylinders Inline1
Cooling Water6
HP 1,230 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 54'1, 54' 2"6
16.51 m1
Length 40' 9"6, 41'1
12.43 m1
Height 15'1, 15' 3"6
4.65 m1
Wing area 454 ft2 1
42.18 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 14,080 lb1
6,400 kg1
Loaded 22,440 lb1
10,200 kg1
Performance  
Speed 400 mph6
Speed at 21,000' /
6,400 m
379 mph1
612 kph1
Service ceiling 34,450'1
10,500 m1
Range 1,860 miles1
3,000 km1
Armament 4: MG6
4: 20 mm6
Bombs 4: 500 lb1
4: 227 kg1
  de Havilland B Mosquito
Type Light bomber3
Crew 23
Dimensions  
Span 54' 2"3
16.51 m3
Length 40' 11"3
12.47 m3
Height 15' 3"3
4.65 m3
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
Type Bomber5,7
Crew 25
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 213,5,7
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 237
Cylinders V 123,5
Cooling Liquid5
HP 1,250 each5, 1,480 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 54' 2"5
Length 40' 9"5
Height 15' 3"5
Weight  
Empty 14,900 lb3
6,759 kg3
Loaded 21,462 lb5, 22,380 lb3
10,151 kg3
Performance  
Speed @ 17,000' 380 mph5
Speed @ 20,000' /
6,096 m
341 mph3
549 kph3
Cruising speed 305 mph3
491 kph3
Service ceiling 27,000'3, 28,800'5
8,230 m3
Range 1,370 miles5, 2,040 miles3
3,283 km3
Armament None7
Bombs 2,000 lb5
4: 250 lb7
Bombs - internal normal load 2,000 lb3
907 kg3
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk V
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 217
Armament  
Bombs 2: 500 lb7
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk VII
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Packard-Merlin 313,7
OR 2: Packard-Merlin 333
HP 31: 1,3003
33: 1,4603
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk IX
Type Photo Reconnaissance7
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 727
Dimensions  
Length 44' 6"7
13.57 m7
Wing area 454 sq ft7
42.2 sq m7
Performance  
Speed 400 mph7
640 kph7
Service ceiling 36,000'7
10,980 m7
Range 1,500 miles7
2,400 km7
Armament  
Bombs - Bomb Bay 4: 500 lb7
Bombs - Under Wing 2: 500 lb7
  de Havilland B.XVI Mosquito
Type Bomber7, Medium Bomber8
Crew 28
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 728
2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 72/733,7
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 76/773,7
Cylinders V 128
HP 72: 1,680 each8
72/73: 1,680 each3
76/77: 1,710 each3
Propeller blades 3 each3
Dimensions  
Span 54' 2"7,8
16.51 m8, 16.52 m7
Length 40' 11"8, 44' 6"7
12.47 m8, 13.57 m7
Height 12' 6"8, 17' 5"7
3.81 m8 5.3 m7
Wing Area 454 sq ft7,8
42.18 sq m8, 42.2 sq m7
Weight  
Empty 14,635 lb8, 15,500 lb3
6,638 kg8, 7,031 kg3
Loaded 23,000 lb8, 25,000 lb7, 25,917 lb3
10,433 kg8, 11,350 kg7, 11,756 kg3
Performance  
Speed at 26,000' / 7,925 m 408 mph8
656 kph8
Speed at 28,000' / 8,534 m 415 mph3
668 kph3
Cruising speed 245 mph8, 250 - 358 mph3
394 kph8, 402 - 576 kph3
Climb 2,800' per minute8
853 m per minute8
Service ceiling 36,000'3, 37,000'8, 40,0005
10,973 m3, 11,280 m8
Range 1,485 miles8
2,389 km8
Range with 2,000 lb / 907 kg bombs 1,795 miles3
2,888 km3
Armament  
Bombs 4,000 lb5
Bombs - Early 3,000 lb4
Bombs - 1944 1: 4,000 lb7
OR 4: 500 lb7
Bombs - internal normal load 4: 500 lb8
2,000 lb3
4: 227 kg8
907 kg3
Bombs - internal maximum load 1: 4,000 lb3
1: 1,814 kg3
Bombs - under wing 2: 500 lb3,8
2: 227 kg3,8
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk XX
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Packard Merlin 317
OR 2: Packard Merlin 337
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk 25
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Packard Merlin 2253,7
HP 1,6403
  de Havilland Mosquito B Mk 35
Type Bomber7
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Merlin 113/1143,7
Armament  
Bombs 1: 4,000 lb7
OR 4: 500 lb7
  de Havilland Mosquito T Mk III
Type Trainer7
Dimensions  
Length 40' 9.5"7
12.43 m7
  de Havilland Mosquito T Mk 27
Type Trainer7
Engine (Type) 2: Packard Merlin 2257

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. Mosquito Bomber / Fighter - Bomber Units 1942 - 45, Martin Bowman, 1998
  5. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  6. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  8. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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