De Havilland Mosquito

Mosquito B Mk 25

DND archives

“Mossie” was the nickname for one of the most remarkable combat aircraft of the Second World War: the de Haviland Mosquito. The original all-wood design was intended as a light bomber but quickly proved highly versatile with reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, night fighter, and intruder variants being developed. In all, de Havilland built 1,134 Mosquitos before the war’s end, of which 44 were on strength with the RCAF from June 1, 1943, to September 28, 1951. This is a Mosquito B Mk 25 in flight on January 25, 1943. PHOTO: DND Archives, PL-14571

Overview

Overview

The De Havilland Mosquito was called either the “Wooden Wonder” or the “Termite’s Dream” because of its unusual plywood construction. Although its construction did provide drawbacks in tropical climates, the aircraft proved to be outstandingly successful in the European theatre and in Canada. Its wooden construction made it one of the first stealthy aircraft in an era of radar. It was probably one of the most versatile aircraft of the Second World War, being used in fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, anti-shipping and even transport roles. Bomber and reconnaissance variants carried no defensive armament, relying instead on their high speed for protection. Six Canadian squadrons flew Mosquitos in a variety of tasks and roles. 400 Squadron flew the aircraft on photographic reconnaissance missions. Four RCAF night fighter squadrons (406, 409, 410 and 418) flew Mosquitos on night fighter and intruder operations. During the V-1 pilotless missile blitz attacks of 1944, 409 Squadron Mosquitos destroyed 10 missiles and 418 Squadron shot down 82 V-1s. 404 Squadron was also equipped with Mosquitos, employing them on coastal anti-shipping and submarine strikes. A total of 7,781 Mosquitos were built, including 1,032 at the De Havilland plant in Toronto.

Model number D.H. 98
Marks Mk II, Mk XII, FB Mk VI, FB Mk  21, FB Mk  26, FB Mk  XXX, B Mk VII, B Mk XX, B Mk 25, NF Mk II, NF Mk  XIII, PR Mk  VIC, PR Mk  XVI, T Mk  27
Role Bomber, reconnaissance, night fighter, coastal strike
Taken on strength 1943
Struck off strength 1951
Number 444
Service RCAF

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical specifications

Technical specifications (Mark II)

Manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Co.
Crew / passengers Crew of two
Powerplant Two 1,230 hp Rolls Royce Merlin 21 engines
Maximum speed 380 mph (612 km/h)
Cruising speed 300 mph (483 km/h)
Service ceiling 36,000 ft (10,973 m)
Range 1,860 mi (2,990 km)
Empty weight 14,100 lbs (6,396 kg)
Gross weight  17,500 lbs (7,938 kg)
Span 52 ft 2 in (16.5 m)
Length 40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)
Height 15 ft 3 in (4.66 m)
Armament For Mark II: none but provisions for up four 500-lb (227-kg) bombs and in later marks up to 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg). For night fighter variants: armament consisted of four 20-mm Hispano cannon and four .303-in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

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