deHavilland Mosquito

deHavilland Mosquito









The de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito was perhaps the greatest all-round combat aircraft of World War II. The "Mossie" was originally designed as a fast, unarmed, light bomber. When flying tests commenced on 25 November 1940 this "wooden wonder" became the world's fastest operational aircraft with a top speed of almost 400 mph. It also out-manoeuvred most fighters. Altogether 7,781 Mosquitoes were built and 27 different versions were produced as fighter-bombers, photo-reconnaissance, low- and high-level day and night bombers, mine-layers, pathfinders and long-range day and night fighters.

Mosquitoes served in RAAF Nos 456 and 464 Squadrons, which operated RAF-serial numbered fighter and bomber versions. In 1942, the Australian de Havilland factory at Bankstown commenced production of a fighter-bomber Mosquito. The first Australian Mosquito was delivered on 23 July 1943 and accepted by the RAAF on 5 March 1944 with 212 aircraft built at Bankstown (A52-1/212). The RAAF Mosquitoes played a limited, but effective part, in the later years of the Pacific War and service with No 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit, Nos 87 and 94 Squadrons, No 78 Wing, No 1 Aircraft Performance Unit, Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Central Flying School, No 5 Operational Training Unit and Ferry/Survey Flights. Mosquito flying ceased in 1954, and the aircraft still on RAAF strength were sent for disposal, except for a few which were transferred to the RNZAF.

General characteristics

Crew:                                                      2 (pilot, 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)
Max take-off weight:                             25,000 lb (11,350 kg)
Powerplant:                                            2× Rolls-Royce Merlin liquid-cooled V-12, 1,710 hp (1,275 kW) each


Maximum speed:                                    415 mph at 28,000 ft (668 km/h at 8,535 m)
Range:                                                     1,500 miles (2,400 km) with full weapons load
Service ceiling:                                        37,000 ft (11,280 m)
Rate of climb:                                         2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)


Guns:                                                      4 x 20 mm Hispano cannon 
                                                               4 x 0.303in Browning machine guns  
Bombs and Rockets:                              2 x 227kg (500lb) bombs in fuselage
                                                               2 x 227kg (500lb) bombs under wings
                                                               or 8 x RP-3 25lb rockets under the wings

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