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Subject: Mosquito plane rss

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Pat Maguire
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Just finished watching a BBC program called 'The genius of design blueprints for war'. This plane could carry the same bomb load and fly the same distance and fly nearly twice as fast as the B17.

This begs the question why didn't the allies especially the American take this plane and to use a common expression spam it to death.

I sure it would have saved more lives flying this plane than the B17.


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Chris Geggus
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- 2 man crew

- Forward firing guns only

- Made of wood

- Range required long-range fuel tanks and thus reduced payload

- It was British!


The Wooden Wonder was indeed a fantastic plane. Only you Yanks know why it wasn't given the respect it was due.
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Andreas Krüger
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The B17 could carry 5800 kg of bombs, the Mosquito 1815 kg (German Wikipedia).

I guess at the time when the decisions were made, a plane full of guns seemed to be a really good idea.
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Chris Geggus
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Payload totals are subjective. In a direct comparison the Mosquito could not carry anywhere near as much as the B-17, but dependent upon type of ordinace, range of target and mission role, some comparisons could be made. The Mosquito was a superb plane and able to handle many roles. However, long range bombing missions were not it's primary function.

What the Mosquito did, it did very well. Worth a study.
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Liam
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Moved from General Gaming to Wargames General

I think this is a better fit and may get better responses here. LeRoy feel free to move this again if there is a better home. Thanks
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Malcolm Sleight
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One of its roles was in sub hunting. Some were equipped with a 6pdr a/t in the nose instead of machine guns. They would then hunt German subs in the Atlantic/Irish Sea areas.
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Alfred Wallace
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Gringo123 wrote:
Just finished watching a BBC program called 'The genius of design blueprints for war'. This plane could carry the same bomb load and fly the same distance and fly nearly twice as fast as the B17.


Briefly: Not all at the same time, and you have to nerf the B-17 to get a bomb load down to the Mosquito's max 4000 lb iron bomb. It was an extraordinarily good plane for many, many purposes--reconnaissance, "special operations," night fighting--but it's not replacing the long-range bombers.
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jumbit
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There was a concept in the thirties called the "destroyer" airplane. Today we'd call it a "heavy fighter". It was an airplane with two engines (to go faster to catch speedy bombers, you know, the ones that would always get through) and heavy armament to do the tough work of shooting down durable bombers. The Mosquito was a destroyer, although as it turned out, the whole destroyer idea didn't quite work out in practice. It was re-purposed into a reconnaissance / light bomber role, at which it turned out to excel due to its high speed. The wooden construction meant that it didn't use many war-critical materials, which certainly factored into keeping the design around.

Why didn't the Americans use it? They had their own models with which they were already familiar, and they weren't quite so short of strategic materials as the island-bound British.
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Darrell Hanning
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Mosquito couldn't carry three tons of bombs two thousand miles, where the B-17 could.

And does it take much imagination to guess what a wood airframe would look like, after going through the heavy AA flak you found around German industrial cities?
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Edward Kendrick
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
The B17 could carry 5800 kg of bombs, the Mosquito 1815 kg (German Wikipedia).

I guess at the time when the decisions were made, a plane full of guns seemed to be a really good idea.


I'm sure there are people around who can comment on this. I have seen figures of 4000lb (~2000kg) and 6,000lb (~3000kg) for the B-17 bombload, depending on model (and of course range to target).

The interesting comparison is with the Lancaster, which regularly carried bombloads between 10,000lb and 14,000lb and was capable of delivering the 22,000lb "Grand Slam".
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Alfred Wallace
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Boeing gives 4000 lbs (i.e., equal to one of the Mosquito models) for the -E and 9600 for the -G.

http://www.boeing.com/boeing/history/boeing/b17.page
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Barbarossa wrote:
Thamos von Nostria wrote:
The B17 could carry 5800 kg of bombs, the Mosquito 1815 kg (German Wikipedia).

I guess at the time when the decisions were made, a plane full of guns seemed to be a really good idea.


I'm sure there are people around who can comment on this. I have seen figures of 4000lb (~2000kg) and 6,000lb (~3000kg) for the B-17 bombload, depending on model (and of course range to target).

The interesting comparison is with the Lancaster, which regularly carried bombloads between 10,000lb and 14,000lb and was capable of delivering the 22,000lb "Grand Slam".



When the subject of carrying A-Bombs came up, the Lancaster was mentioned as a possible carrier - of course the Amis would not allow that to happen - B-29s or B-32s were to do that. Planes that were barely in development.

The P-38 was the American "Destroyer" and that was expected to take on roles the Mosquito had been planned for.

---------------------

Interesting comment from one H. Goering on Mosquitoes and Strategic Assets:

"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."



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J Macc
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On a side note, the Air Museum here in Virginia beach has the only flying Mosquito in the world. It was rebuilt in New Zealand and put back together here.

The plane will fly with many other historical aircraft, including both a Lancaster from Canada and a B-17
the weekend of May 17-19.

http://www.militaryaviationmuseum.org/events-calendar.html
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Alfred Wallace
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enlightenedknave wrote:
On a side note, the Air Museum here in Virginia beach has the only flying Mosquito in the world. It was rebuilt in New Zealand and put back together here.

The plane will fly with many other historical aircraft, including both a Lancaster from Canada and a B-17
the weekend of May 17-19.

http://www.militaryaviationmuseum.org/events-calendar.html


A must-see if you're in the area. When I was last there, they were figuring out how to get the thing from New Zealand; I'd love to head back down and see it fly. Maybe...

Many of the staff are volunteers. They pay them off occasionally in rides in the 2+ seaters--the more hours you log as a volunteer, the better the trip you get. (Or so a volunteer told me.)
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Edward Kendrick
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tykemalcolm wrote:
One of its roles was in sub hunting. Some were equipped with a 6pdr a/t in the nose instead of machine guns. They would then hunt German subs in the Atlantic/Irish Sea areas.


There is an actual example of a 6-pdr equipped Mosquito in the RAF Museum at Cosford, England.

Would have made a good tank-buster (unless it was too fast)! - but as you say it was used to attack shipping.
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david mackay
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Precision bombing was its forte:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Carthage

It was not intended to brave mass flak. It had no need to.
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Nick Hawkins
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Where to start?

If the allies had spammed Mosquitoes then the Germans could have concentrated on anti-Mosquito fighters. As it was the Germans had to spread their resources between aircraft that could defend themselves against American long range fighters, heavy fighters that could shoot down a B17/24 quickly, night fighters and anti-Mosquito fighters.

Describing the Mosquito as 'wooden' is misleading as it conjures up an image of a WW1 stick-and-string aircraft. It's probably more useful to describe them as being made of natural composite materials (wood and organic glues) as opposed to modern combat aircraft which are made of synthetic composites (carbon/boron fibres and chemical glues). Composite structures have a better distributed strength than 'traditional' aircraft structure so have a good resistance to general damage. Fire is bad in any aircraft (aircraft alloys lose their strength at relatively low temperatures).

On some mission profiles the Mosquito could carry a similar amount of bombs as a B17 but that is a false comparison. Its real role in the strategic bombing campaign was to fly diversionary raids and hit precision targets. A far better comparison is between the B17 and Lancaster both of which carried a similar warload (offensive weapons, defence equipment and fuel) it's just that it was allocated differently.

Bomber Mosquitoes did not carry guns, their survival depended on not allowing an enemy fighter to get in a good attacking position. This generally worked very well.

The big-gun armed Mosquitoes were known as Tsetses (after the African fly) and were intended for attacks on shipping with high explosive and semi-amour piercing shells from outside the range of light flak. I'm not sure if they would have been any good against tanks as it's quite a big aircraft. Very few Tsetses were made as although it was a better anti-shipping weapon than a Mosquito with rockets (very inaccurate) it was a single purpose weapon that could do nothing else whilst an aircraft that carried rockets one mission could have long range tanks or bombs for the next.
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It was built from components from at least 3 nations - the US, the UK and Canada.

There was a lobby to deploy the thing in the USAF - and I bet it could not have been done in sufficient numbers because of the engines.

The US however had plenty of excellent engines based on the Wasp design, and we more than made up for the missing asset.

-----------------

Later, this attraction to UK aircraft and aeronautical excellence would lead to one famous plane in the US inventory for decades - the B-57 was USAF version of the BAC Canberra bomber.

The Canberra, like the Mosquito, had capabilities no US aircraft alone possessed.
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Malcolm Sleight
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enlightenedknave wrote:
On a side note, the Air Museum here in Virginia beach has the only flying Mosquito in the world. It was rebuilt in New Zealand and put back together here.

The plane will fly with many other historical aircraft, including both a Lancaster from Canada and a B-17
the weekend of May 17-19.

http://www.militaryaviationmuseum.org/events-calendar.html


Really!!!! I know there was one in England in 1980 because I saw it flying at the British Aerospace factory near Manchester. They used to have an airshow every couple of years and it made a couple of low level passes. It was amazing to see in flight. My dad, who had been in the RAF after WWII recognized the sound before he even saw it. That was another of it's capabilities - due to its speed, by the time you heard it, it was almost passed you.

As a side note, they also had a Vulcan Bomber flying that day. The pilot came in at ground level - literally - got to the end of the runway and turned it vertically nose up, hit the afterburner, and it just sat there for about 4 seconds before climbing like a rocket. VERY IMPRESSIVE.
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Tim P.
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Wilhammer wrote:
It was built from components from at least 3 nations - the US, the UK and Canada.

There was a lobby to deploy the thing in the USAF - and I bet it could not have been done in sufficient numbers because of the engines.
....



Packard was building the Merlin engine, used in the Mossie, under license for the P-51 Mustang, so I doubt if engines were the reason that the USAAF did not use the Mosquito.

The USAAF had the P-38, used different strategic bombing tactics and had the Norden bombsight for their bombers. Therefore they probably thought they did not need the Mossie (even if they could have benefited by using it as a long range Pathfinder or precision bomber)
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Will (JR) Todd
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NickH wrote:
Where to start?
The big-gun armed Mosquitoes were known as Tsetses (after the African fly) and were intended for attacks on shipping with high explosive and semi-amour piercing shells from outside the range of light flak. I'm not sure if they would have been any good against tanks as it's quite a big aircraft. Very few Tsetses were made as although it was a better anti-shipping weapon than a Mosquito with rockets (very inaccurate) it was a single purpose weapon that could do nothing else whilst an aircraft that carried rockets one mission could have long range tanks or bombs for the next.


I think this is one of those big guns on a mosquito...

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Jon M
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NickH wrote:
Where to start?

If the allies had spammed Mosquitoes then the Germans could have concentrated on anti-Mosquito fighters. As it was the Germans had to spread their resources between aircraft that could defend themselves against American long range fighters, heavy fighters that could shoot down a B17/24 quickly, night fighters and anti-Mosquito fighters.

...


I don't really think this is the reason. What exactly does an Anti-mosquito fighter look like? The principal German fighters were the F190 and Me109. I don't think they designed a fighter to specifically take out Mosquitos. Interested to hear what it was.
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Joe B
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Gringo123 wrote:

This begs the question why didn't the allies especially the American take this plane and to use a common expression spam it to death.

I sure it would have saved more lives flying this plane than the B17.


Besides the bombload, B-17 and Mosquito differ greatly in another thing.

The mosquito as bomber has no defensive weapons, which doesnt matter much on a nighttime sortie, the kind which the british did carry out over Germany.

The B-17 has heavy defensive armaments, and many B-17 flying closely together can defend themselves against fighters in daylight, the kind of mission the Americans carried out over Germany.

Still, sitting in a Bomber on a way to inaccuratly hit some town was much more dangerous than even fighting on the frontlines.
 
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Dan The Man
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I like the Mosquito, but, as with all designs, it is a compromise (it was just a very nice set of compromises!).

One feature it did have, being made mostly of composites, is it had a very small radar cross section (stealthy). For the time, while not invisible, it did very well.

It also was VERY labor-intensive to build, and not particularly suited to the mass production models then current in the US.

NIH was certainly a sizable consideration!
 
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Hidalgo wrote:
NickH wrote:
Where to start?
The big-gun armed Mosquitoes were known as Tsetses (after the African fly) and were intended for attacks on shipping with high explosive and semi-amour piercing shells from outside the range of light flak. I'm not sure if they would have been any good against tanks as it's quite a big aircraft. Very few Tsetses were made as although it was a better anti-shipping weapon than a Mosquito with rockets (very inaccurate) it was a single purpose weapon that could do nothing else whilst an aircraft that carried rockets one mission could have long range tanks or bombs for the next.


I think this is one of those big guns on a mosquito...



Never knew that! Thanks for the info Hilalgo and the video Nick. I have a strange affinity for cannons like that being mounted on aircraft (B-25 w/ 75mm, the various German aircraft, Hurri's with 40mm's, etc). Really neat to learn that, something more to research! laugh
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