/ De Havilland Mosquito

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mypyrex - on 07 Aug 2017
It seems that some long lost engineering drawings for the DH Mosquito were, in the nick of time, saved from oblivion and may prove helpful in getting another of these aircraft flying again.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/06/discovery-lost-ww2-mosquito-plans-will-allow-wooden-wonde...

Ever since, as a kid, I used to make Airfix model I have loved and admired the "Mossie". It has to be one of the most beautiful aeroplanes ever built; with such clean lines and so technically advanced for the era in which it was built.
More-On - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Fantastic news.

Happy memories of recreating 633 Squadron as a kid with my model mossie...
colinakmc - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
That's a nice bit of news, my dad flew in Coastal Command Mozzies for a while. They made the navigator sit facing backwards in the bowels of the plane; the resulting air sickness eventually got him grounded and assigned to meteorology instead.

Why meteorology? Obviously, because he'd been an engineering student before joining up in response to the Clydebank blitz.
teh_mark on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Wonderful. Along with the DC-3, one of the aircraft I'd most like to experience flying. Neither will happen of course (although the DC-3 is still in active service some 80 years on), but I can always dream. It is a truly fantastic aircraft, with a rich operational history.
Trangia on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Incredible machine, being made of timber it had a very small radar reflection, it's aerodynamic shape and two Rolls Royce Merlin engines made it so fast that that it out performed most German fighters, it had an amazing bomb load of 4,000 lbs similar to the much larger B17 Flying Fortress used by the US Army Air Force. and about a third of the bomb load of the the RAF's "Heavies" like the Stirling, Halifax and Lancaster. Yet it only had a crew of 2 against the Fortresses 10, and the 7 man crews of the RAF heavy bombers.

There is a school of thought that if aircraft production had gone into even greater mass production of Mosquitos rather than the massive but much slower 4 engined heavies, with the exception of delivering the very heavy bombs like the Tall Boy, and Grand Slam, large formations of Mosquitos would have been just as effective as the heavy bombers, but because of it's outstanding performance losses of aircraft would have been considerably less than those incurred. Furthermore each one shot down would have meant the loss of just two crewmen against the 7 or 10 of the RAF and USAF in every aircraft. So Bomber Command's appalling loss of 50 % of it's aircrew - 55,000 men killed would have been drastically reduced.

Another amazing development was the Tsetse Mosquito which was capable of carrying a 57mm quick firing 6 pounder gun which could fire at the rate of 55 rounds a minute, together with it's standard 4 cannon. These were devastating against U Boats caught on the surface by Coastal Command Mosquitos.
DerwentDiluted - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Yes the Tsetse really was the apex predator, a formidable beast. I saw an interview with a pilot who said that the solid shot AP shell tended to bounce around a U boat hull before exiting and was a 1 hit 1 kill weapon.
Dr.S at work - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:
From wiki
In one example of the daylight precision raids carried out by the Mosquito, on 30 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 the air.[103] Göring himself had strong views about the Mosquito, lecturing a group of German aircraft manufacturers in 1943 that:

In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I'm going to buy a British radio set – then at least I'll own something that has always worked.[104]
radddogg - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Is it right to celebrate something that brought death to so many innocents?
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Tom V - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:
Yes.

I also celebrate the Colt .45, the automobile, the jet engine, the internet and the mobile phone.
Post edited at 00:17
Trangia on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:

> Is it right to celebrate something that brought death to so many innocents?

Yes, because it was brilliant technology and engineering.

It was a tool spawned by war, extremely efficient at what it was designed to do, but war is waged by human beings, not machines.


mypyrex - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:

> Is it right to celebrate something that brought death to so many innocents?

I find your comment somewhat strange. To what Trangia has said in reply I can only add that we are celebrating something that, in all probability - because of its technological advancement, perhaps helped to shorten the war and considerably reduced the deaths of innocents(in particular in this country - think Heinkels, Messerschmidts)
Toerag - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

The small twin engined fighter-bombers like mosquitos, whirlwinds, Beaufighters, B-P Defiants & Lightnings were great machines - the stories of anti-shipping raids and skip-bombing through stately home front doors are fantastic.
radddogg - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Tom V:

We're gonna need a bigger boat! I've got a big one here!!!
5
atrendall - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:

Yes; it was a genius bit of engineering and more importantly helped quicken the end of the war and Nazi domination of Europe so what's not to like? Helping end the war with precision raids etc probably saved lives that carpet bombing would have produced and definitely saved lives by helping to shorten the war.
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radddogg - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> I find your comment somewhat strange.

Good as I was playing Devil's advocate, I'm surprised no-one else brought it up before knowing this place. I actually think its great news and look forward to seeing the plane in the air in the future

2
Darren Jackson - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Apparently, the Nazis took to seeding clouds with DEET in an effort to counter it.
1
Rigid Raider - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

A few years ago a business acquaintance lent me about a dozen bundles of beautiful engineering blueprints on sized linen that he and a friend had salvaged from the drawing office of Foster, Yates & Thom, a Blackburn steam engine manufacturer. The drawing office was being demolished and thousands of bundles of historic drawing were going on a bonfire when he got a call and went and salvaged a car boot full. I kept about 20 drawings, many of them of a pumping engine that was built for a gold mine at New Modderfontein in South Africa. They are absolutely beautiful; I gave one to my brother, an automotive engineer in Detroit and he has it framed and hanging on his office wall.
jethro kiernan - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

I managed to salvage some lovely linen plans and land boundry maps from a skip that included some of the old quarry workings around North Wales
mypyrex - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to thread:
I was talking to my brother in law , who live not far from Broughton, today and told him about this item.

Given that he is 81and would have some memory of WWII I was a little surprised when he asked "What's a De Havilland Mosquito?"
Never mind, I don't really know, or care, who David Beckham is ;o)
Post edited at 16:52
1
Trangia on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

> I was talking to my brother in law , who live not far from Broughton, today and told him about this item.

> Given that he is 81and would have some memory of WWII I was a little surprised when he asked "What's a De Havilland Mosquito?"

LOL !!
Tom V - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:

I don't do dislikes so I'm not one of the twenty who took your irony (if that's what you call it) at face value and disliked it.
You seem pleased with yourself at deluding me so congratulate yourself another twentyfold.
2
Toerag - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> I managed to salvage some lovely linen plans and land boundry maps from a skip that included some of the old quarry workings around North Wales

Please put them online somewhere for others to enjoy!
John Stainforth - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

"Timber" might give the wrong impression of the fuselage which was a pure monocoque made of a 1/4" balsa sandwiched between two layers of 1/16" ply!
Skyfall - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

One of the most beautiful aircraft of all time. And then there's the sound.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_-AsgYvF2o
Timmd on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to radddogg:
> Good as I was playing Devil's advocate, I'm surprised no-one else brought it up before knowing this place. I actually think its great news and look forward to seeing the plane in the air in the future

It's a valid point of view, even if you were playing Devil's advocate. I remember as a young teenager being surprised at another person in my help group for people with stammers not liking war films when they were mentioned, but I can see why now I'm older, with the associations that war has. I think just about all of DeHavilland' aircraft were beautiful, & that the Mosquito is up there as one of their nicer aircraft. The Comet racer is a nice aeroplane too.
Post edited at 01:11
neilh - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to John Stainforth:

I suspect from a manufacturing point of view that the mosquito was horrendous to assemble.anybody know?
Trangia on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to neilh:

> I suspect from a manufacturing point of view that the mosquito was horrendous to assemble.anybody know?

My understanding is that being made of wood it was relatively easy for large and small furniture manufacturing firms (and as Goering said piano manufacturers) throughout Britain to adapt their production lines to manufacturing all the component parts which were then transported by road to De Havilland's for final assembly.

Apparently the only fly in the ointment was to Mosquitos shipped out to the War in the Far East where they suffered from the heat and humidity causing the glue to become unstuck and parts of the wooden airframe to warp.
toad - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex: a mosquito thread, and no mention of this? A Sunday afternoon staple.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWXQUhBsUVM
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neilh - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Trangia:

Having used plywood as a base on a machine as a prototype. I can imagine it was a fitters nightmare to get it right, especially for an aircraft.
Rigid Raider - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

It must be tricky to land then brake a plane like that without tipping it forwards onto its nose - completely different from braking a modern jetliner with a nose wheel.
Pedro50 on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to toad:

> a mosquito thread, and no mention of this? A Sunday afternoon staple.


Yes I was going to comment on this. The 633 squadron raid on the Norwegian heavy water plant was a pivotal strategic attack probably more significant than the Dam Busters raid since it prevented the Germans acquiring an atomic bomb.
mypyrex - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Rigid Raider:

> It must be tricky to land then brake a plane like that without tipping it forwards onto its nose - completely different from braking a modern jetliner with a nose wheel.

Any tail wheel aircraft calls for more precision during landing than those with a nose wheel configuration. This is mainly due to the fact that to achieve a perfect three point landing the touchdown speed needs to be little more than the stalling speed. When landing a tail wheel aircraft I was always taught NOT to apply any braking without having full back pressure on the stick with a low forward speed.
John Stainforth - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to neilh:

Yes and no. In the London area, there was a large number of excellent carpenters (who had been working in furniture factories etc) who could be trained very quickly to do a excellent job. Half a dozen could build a fuselage in a week. The wings required very careful jigging. The Mosquitos that were built elsewhere, most notably in Australia, fared less well and there were several crashes as a result of poor workmanship or cutting corners.

There are several books on the construction of the Mosquito with numerous photos.
neilh - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to John Stainforth:

In other words it was not the right plane for churning out in large numbers quickly with an unskilled workforce.

Something the yanks were very good at doing.

Personally I think it was a beautiful plane but the design for mass assembly was not there. .
Pedro50 on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to neilh:

> In other words it was not the right plane for churning out in large numbers quickly with an unskilled workforce.

> Something the yanks were very good at doing.

> Personally I think it was a beautiful plane but the design for mass assembly was not there. .

We managed to build 7781 of them though!
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to neilh:
> In other words it was not the right plane for churning out in large numbers quickly with an unskilled workforce.

> Something the yanks were very good at doing.

> Personally I think it was a beautiful plane but the design for mass assembly was not there. .

Surely the main point was that there was a huge number of skilful carpenters in England, particularly in the London area, who had so far been able to contribute little to the war effort, and could now put their skills to use making these wooden aircraft in addition to conventionally constructed metal machines?
Post edited at 14:15
Dave Garnett - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to neilh:
> I suspect from a manufacturing point of view that the mosquito was horrendous to assemble.anybody know?

If you go to the plywood exhibition at the V&A (more interesting than it sounds!) currently you can see a film of the plywood being moulded and fitted in the manufacture of Mosquitoes and gliders.
Post edited at 14:55
More-On - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to toad:

I believe the second post in the thread did
More-On - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I did in passing, but you've summed it up better
toad - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to More-On:
Ah. But without the full yadadadadada daaa daaaa
More-On - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to toad:

Good point - humming it to myself doesn't really count...
Greenbanks - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to John Stainforth:

For those in or around Greater London (or, indeed, passing through...) a lovely way to spend a couple of hours is at the De Havilland Museum, at London Colney, just off the M25. Its run by real enthusiasts, and is a little gem of a place

http://www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk

Cheers
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Tricky Dicky - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Greenbanks:

The V&A has an exhibition on plywood at the moment and has some fuselage sections from mosquitos as exhibits, see https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/inside-the-plywood-material-of-the-modern-world-exhibition
andyjohnson0 - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

My dad did his national service in the RAF as an airframe mechanic, and worked on Mosquitos in Malaya (as it was then) during the Malayan Emergency. The airframes were made of wood, He's told me a few times that they were beautiful machines, particularly in flight.
Jim C - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Toerag:

> Please put them online somewhere for others to enjoy!

Or find a professional archive that will digitise then store/ preserve them for posterity. I did this with some 16mm film that I was looking for ( and found) during the demolition of a very old factory that made munitions for both wars. ( I got a digitised copy of course)

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