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Mosquito B Mk IV

Discussion in 'Allied Bomber Planes' started by Jim, Dec 13, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The B Mk 4 was the first bomber version of the Mosquito to enter squadron service. Built from plywood components produced by a myriad of sub-contractors, twin Merlin engines made the Mosquito one of the fastest bombers of the war, able to out-run many fighters. The Mosquito's biggest contribution to Bomber Command's war effort was when it equipped 8 Group's Light Night Striking Force.

    [​IMG]

    De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV [​IMG]

    • TYPE: Two-seater high speed light bomber
    • ENGINES: Two 1,280 hp Rolls Royce Merlin 12 cylinder liquid-cooled engines
    • DIMENSIONS: Wingspan 54ft 2 in (16.51 m) Length (on ground) 40 ft 11 in (12.47 m) Height (on ground) 15ft 3 in (4.65 m)
    • WEIGHT: Typically 22,380 Ib (10,160 kg) fully loaded
    • ARMAMENT: Internal bomb bay holding 1 x 1,000 Ib (454 kg) and 2x500 Ib (227 kg) bombs. Mosquitoes fitted with the Mod 473 bulged bomb bay could carry a 4,000 Ib (1,816 kg) bomb. No guns were fitted
    • PERFORMANCE: Max speed 341 mph (549 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m). Ceiling 27,000 ft (8,230 m). Range 1,110 miles (1,786 km)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. brianw

    brianw Member

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    There was a television programme a short while back called "The aircraft that saved Britain"; the story of the de-Havilland Mosquito and the project to put one back in the air, unfortunately in America; owned by millionaire Jerry Yagen and now housed at his Military Aviation Museum at Virginia Beach.

    The Mosquito. Bomber, fighter or the first truly multi-role combat aircraft?

    The bomber
    The Mosquito rose to every challenge that was thrown at it; as a lightly armed high speed bomber it was outstanding, earning its place in history during "Operation Jericho" - the attack on Amiens Prison on 18th February 1944 where from an extremely low level they breached the outer wall allowing numerous French Resistance prisoners who were being held by the Gestapo to escape. The raid was led by Group Captain P C Pickard DSO, DFC who was lost to German flak or fighter action during the return flight. He is probably best remembered by the public for his role in the 1941 wartime propaganda film "Target for Tonight" in which he featured as the pilot of 'F for Freddie'—a Wellington bomber of No. 149 Squadron.

    In one example of the daylight precision raids carried out by the Mosquito, on 20 January 1943, the 10th anniversary of the Nazis' seizure of power, a Mosquito attack knocked out the main Berlin broadcasting station while Commander in Chief Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring was speaking, putting his speech off air. Göring was so incensed by the abilities (and jealous too) of the Mosquito that he ordered the formation of two fighter squadrons specifically to counter the threat. They were about as “successful” as his other fighter squadrons while the Mosquito seemingly roamed at will.

    It was capable of high speed “Nuisance raids” dropping the thin cased 4,000 lb Cookie. Post war evaluation of useful bomber damage done showed the Mosquito to have been some 4.95 times as effective as the Lancaster.

    The Pathfinder
    The Mosquito’s second Bomber Command role was in support of the main bomber force as “Pathfinders”, flying ahead of the main stream marking way-points and targets with various coloured flares. Its speed and agility allowed the Mosquito to mark accurately from low levels.

    The fighter
    In its day/night fighter role, with the bomb aimer’s Perspex nose replaced by a solid cowl housing 4 Browning .303 machine guns and the 4 Hispano 20mm canons mounted under the cockpit floor it was indeed a formidable fighter and ground attack aircraft.

    Maritime strike and Anti-submarine
    Some Mosquitoes were modified for RAF Coastal Command and were fitted with, would you believe a 6 pounder deck gun; the 57mm Molins gun which was most effective against German U-Boats caught on the surface.

    The Royal Navy
    The Mosquito was also developed as a torpedo bomber and some were fitted with arrester hooks and flown successfully from aircraft carriers.

    Photographic reconnaissance
    Stripped of all armament it was also unsurpassed as a high speed high level photographic reconnaissance aircraft able to penetrate deep into Germany to bring back intelligence about the effectiveness of previous bombing raids, troop movements and prospective new targets.

    Development
    A small number of Mosquitoes (33 plus one prototype) were modified to carry the “Highball” bouncing bomb, a derivation of the Barnes Wallis “Upkeep” mine used on “Operation Chastise”; the Dams Raid. Those of you with a keen eye for aircraft recognition might have noticed that in at least one sequence in the film of “The Dam Busters” a Mosquito is seen dropping a spherical device (Highball) during the tests of the bomb, when in actual fact all the test drops of the Upkeep mine were conducted from a Wellington. The Highball bomb was never deployed in action.

    The success of the Mosquito in all it variants laid the template for almost all modern combat aircraft; a twin engine high speed versatile multi-role weapons platform.

    More threads about the Mosquito can be found here.
     

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