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  • de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito Multirole Heavy Fighter / Fighter-Bomber

    The classic British de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito night fighter found few challengers during World War 2.

     Updated: 5/17/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Discussions of war-winning World War 2 aircraft regularly seem to leave out one of the most famous and successful of the conflict - Geoffrey de Havilland's twin-seat, twin-engined DH.98 "Mosquito". The type was a true "multirole" performer in that in was used as a fighter, fighter-bomber, reconnaissance mount, night fighter, anti-ship platform, patrol, intruder and interceptor against the best the Reich could offer - very few Axis aircraft could even catch it. The aircraft was designed from the outset as a multirole weapon and served throughout most of World War 2 and into the Cold War years before finally being retired. Her crews enjoyed her basic creature comforts (heated cockpit), fighter-like performance, handling, and speed and inherent offensive capabilities (cannon, machine gun, bombs, torpedoes and rockets), making her a star in the history's greatest air war. The DH.98 earned the nickname of "Wooden Wonder" in reference to its heavy use of wood throughout her design.

    Mosquito Development

    Origins of the DH.98 was owed to development of all-wood de Havilland racing planes appearing in the mid-1930s as the designation of DH.88 "Comet". The extensive use of a wood (plywood/balsa) with stressed skin approach proved them somewhat of a revolutionary departure from the metal-skinned airframes beginning to take hold in military inventories around the globe. The Comet went on to claim the London-Melbourne Centenary Races and de Havilland then moved to produce an airliner-minded design utilizing the same wood approach, this giving rise to seven examples of the beautifully streamlined DH.91 Albatross first flying in 1937. Despite his wooden designs being consistently rejected by the British Air Ministry, de Havilland persisted when authorities sought a new medium bomber design through Specification P.13/36. However, once again, a modified form of the Albatross was rejected by the Air Council due to the focus falling on metal-skinned designs.

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    de Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk 30 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1942
    Type: Multirole Heavy Fighter / Fighter-Bomber
    National Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer(s): de Havilland - United Kingdom
    Production Total: 7,781

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 44.52 feet (13.57 meters)
    Width: 54.13 feet (16.50 meters)
    Height: 12.50 feet (3.81 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 13,417 lb (6,086 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 21,627 lb (9,810 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 76 V-12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 1,710 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 407 mph (655 kph; 354 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,299 miles (2,091 km)
    Service Ceiling: 38,025 feet (11,590 meters; 7.20 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,850 feet-per-minute (869 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    4 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns in nose
    4 x 20mm Hispano cannons mounted under the nose

    OPTIONAL (Model Dependent):
    Between 500lbs and 4,000lbs of internal stores in bomb bay (reconnaissance equipment, specialized mission equipment, leaflets, munitions, extra fuel, etc...).
    1 x 57mm autocannon in nose (in place of 4 x cannons).
    4 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns in underfuselage gunpack.
    2 x 250lb / 500lb bombs underwing
    8 x High-Explosive, Armor-Piercing rockets underwing.
    1 x Torpedo externally held under the fuselage

    Global Operators / Customers

    Australia; Belgium; Burma; Canada; China; Czechoslovakia; Dominican Republic; France; Israel; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; South Africa; Soviet Union; Sweden; Turkey; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States; Yugoslavia

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    NF.Mk II - Nightfighter version of which 466 were produced; Fitted with 4 x 7.7mm machine guns in nose and 4 x 20mm cannon in floor-mount under-fuselage position.

    NF.Mk XII - Nightfighter version of which 97 were produced; Basically NF.Mk II versions fitted with Mk VIII AI radar; 4 x machine guns removed.

    NF.Mk XIII - Similar to NF.Mk XII but completely rebuilt (not modified NF.Mk II's).

    NF.Mk XVII - Modified Mk II's fitted with American-made Centimetric Mk X AI radar system; enlarged nose assembly.

    NF.Mk XIX - Derivative of NF.Mk XVII but produced as new production models (not based on existing Mk II models; increased take-off weight; fitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin 25 engines capable of 1,635hp; 220 produced.

    NF.Mk XV - High-Altitude Nightfighter Variant; increased wingspan; 4 x 7.7mm machine guns in place of cannons; Rolls-Royce Merlin 76/77 engines capable of 1,710hp; this variant never flown in combat.

    NF.Mk 30 - Last wartime nightfighter fitted with various Merlin powerplants; regarded as the best of the Mosquito series.

    NF.Mk 36 - Post-war Mosquito model fitted with American Mk 10 AI radar system; All-weather fighter version; Exported to Yugoslavia.

    NF.Mk 38 - Final Mosquito production model in 1950.

    PR.Mk IV - Photo-Reconnaissance model fitted with four cameras.

    PR.Mk VIII - Photo-Reconnaissance model fitted with two-stage powerplants.

    PR.Mk IX - Photo-Reconnaissance model with increased fuel capacity.

    PR.Mk XVI - Photo-Reconnaissance model with pressurized cockpit cabin.

    PR.Mk 32 - Photo-Reconnaissance model based on NF.Mk XV nightfighter.

    PR.Mk 34 - Photo-Reconnaissance model with extra fuel storage in under-fuselage bulge.

    PR.Mk 40 - Photo-Reconnaissance model developed by Australia from the FB.Mk 40 model.

    PR.Mk 41 - Photo-Reconnaissance model developed by Australia from the PR.Mk 40 model, complete with two-stage powerplants.

    FB.Mk VI - Fighter-Bomber Model with provisioning for underwing bombs and air-to-surface rockets.

    FB.Mk XVIII - Anti-ship conversion model.

    FB.Mk VI - Fitted with 57mm cannon and rockets.

    FB.Mk 21 - Canadian-produced version of the FB.Mk VI model.

    FB.Mk 26 - Canadian-produced version of the FB.Mk 21 model but with Packard-built Merlin powerplants.

    NF.Mk 30 - Canadian-produced version of the high-altitude Mosquito with two-stage Merlin engines.

    TR.Mk 33 - Naval torpedo fighter

    FB.Mk 40 - Australian-produced FB.Mk VI.

    T.Mk III - Trainer Conversion Model

    T.Mk 22 - Canadian-produced trainer conversion model based on the T.Mk III.

    T.Mk 27 - Trainer Conversion Model based on the T.Mk 22 with Packard engines.

    T.Mk 29 - Trainer Conversion Model based on the FB.Mk 26.

    T.Mk 43 - Australian-produced trainer conversion model based on the T.Mk III.

    B.Mk IV - Base Bomber Variant

    B.Mk VII - Base Bomber Variant produced by Canada with underwing hardpoints.

    B.Mk XVI - High-Altitude Bomber Model with provision for single 4,000lb bomb.

    B.Mk XVI - Base Bomber Version of the B.Mk IX with pressurized cockpit cabin.

    B.Mk 20 - Long-range high-altitude bomber

    B.Mk 25 - Long-range high-altitude bomber based on B.Mk 35 model.

    "Sea Mosquito" - Royal Navy fighter / bomber based on the DH.Mk IV model.

    Super Mosquito - Several projects covering improved Mosquito design forms; none advanced.

    Jet Mosquito - Briefly entertained jet conversion project of the DH.98; 2 x de Havilland Halford H-1 turbojet engines for propulsion.