The Mosquito was a twin-engined aircraft of plywood monocoque construction, designed originally as a fast, unarmed light bomber. This concept was regarded as an aberration by the authorities, but the performance of the Mosquito silenced the critics. At night it operated with impunity over Germany to the end of the war, because the Luftwaffe never had a nightfighter fast enough to intercept it. The Mosquito also served with distinction as fighter-bomber, recconaissance aircraft and nightfighter. It was one of the finest aircraft of WWII, with a versatility only matched by the German Junkers Ju 88. The nightfighter versions remained in production until 1947. The amazingly adaptable design was effective for day and night fighting, day and night bombing, anti-shipping attack, and photo reconnaissance.
The bomber version of the Mosquito could deliver the same bomb-load to distant targets as the four-engined Boeing B-17. Mosquitos were also used as high-speed transports by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) to maintain communication with neutral Sweden and bring back strategic items such as ball-bearings. Passengers, if any, rode in the bomb bay. Because of the glued-and-screwed wooden construction, early Mosquitoes were not suited to the tropics where exposure to high humidity and rain caused the airframe to warp and the glue to dissolve.
|General characteristics Mosquito FB Mk. VI|
|Power plant||Two Rolls-Royce Merlin XXI engines|
|Thrust||1,635 HP||1,220 kW|
|Wingspan||54.2 ft||16.51 m|
|Length||40.9 ft||12.47 m|
|Height||15.25 ft||4.65 m|
|Wingarea||454 sq ft||42.18 sq m|
|Weight||empty||14,300 lb||6,486 kg|
|max.||22,300 lb||10,115 kg|
|Speed||380 mph||611 km/h|
|Ceiling||36,090 ft||11,000 m|
|Range||1,205 mi||1,940 km|
|Armament||4x 20mm cannon, 4x 7.7mm machine gun; 2x 227 kg bomb or 2x 227 lt (or 2x 454 lt) ext. tanks or 8x 27 kg rockets|