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de Havilland Mosquito in Detail

n by Martin Waligorski

The graceful Mosquito was truly a maid-of-all-work, a versatile machine that was one of the first in it's day that could really be called a multi-role aircraft. Mosquito is one of the few British designs that achieved almost legendary fame during the war, winning the hearts of it's crews and high respect of it's enemies. That the aircraft in itself is definitely one of the most elegant designs ever made certainly contributed to this fame.

Yet it took Geoffrey de Havilland a lot of persuasion to convince the Air Ministry officials, who quite frankly informed him in 1938 that nobody could design an aircraft that could be so fast and could fly so high plus carry a 1000lb of bombs to Berlin and back. And that without having any form of protective armament! That the Mosquito prototype finally emerged in 1940, can be attributed mostly to the shortage of light alloys in wartime Britain, which suddenly made a project of a bomber made entirely of wood see more attractive.

The rest, as they say, is history.

The photographs show the Mosquito B Mk. 35 as displayed at the Royal Air Force museum in Hendon, London. This was the last bomber version of the Mosquito to be built. Mk. 35 was basically an improved version of the popular B. Mk. XVI, featuring Rolls-Royce Merlin 113-114 engines, but otherwise quite similar to it's predecessor. The prototype Mk. 35 made it's first flight on 12 March 1945. Production totalled 276 before the last on left the production line in 1946.

The variant served after the war with no. 14, 69, 98 and 180 squadrons serving as part of the occupation forces in Germany, and nos. 109 and 139 squadrons on the British isles. The type was used also for operational training of the bomber schools. The last Mosquitoes were exchanged for Canberras in 1953.

De Havilland Mosquito B Mk. 35

General view of the aircraft, standing in a dark and somewhat crowded corner of RAF Museum's Bomber Hall. Hard to find any good spot for photography!

Photo: Martin Waligorski


The starboard engine panels have been removed, exposing all internal structure from the spinner to the firewall. The engine, as stated before, is a Merlin 113, mounted on a welded steel frame.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


These are the cowling panels laying on the ground. The middle panel shows the asymmetrical profile of the air intake fairing.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


All bomber versions of the Mosquito featured a glazed nose, featuring a bomb sight behind an optically flat panel.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


The bomb bay of this variant was bulged, like on the Mk. XVI, allowing even a 4000lb bomb to be carried. Brown objects visible inside are fuselage fuel tanks.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


The canopy had been equipped with an astrodome above bombardier/navigator's seat at the starboard side.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


The undercarriage unit was a simple affair, built around rubber rather than hydraulic shock absorbers. The curved mudguard plate behind the wheel can be seen in this view.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


Another view of the main undercarriage unit reveals even more elements of the structure.

Threaded tyres as one shown were common for all marks of the Mosquito.

An interesting detail is that the undercarriage doors have bulged fairings on the inside, with quite a tick profile. Easy to model, if you use those crude injection-moulded doors - just file the edges down and would look like the real thing!

Photo: Martin Waligorski


Vertical tail, like all other wooden components of the airframe, shows no joints or panel lines whatsoever.

The emblem shown belongs to No. 98 Squadron, stationed at Celle, Germany during the late 40's.

Photo: Martin Waligorski


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