de Havilland Mosquito

deHavilland's wooden wonder

The de Havilland Mosquito distinuished itself as both the worlds fastest operational piston engine aircraft, and the most versatile combat aircraft - built during World War II.

The Mosquito excelled in a variety of roles during World War II, including as day or night fighter, strike fighter-bomber, photo-reconnaissance, pathfinder, intruder, maritime strike, and surprisingly, a few BOAC mailplane variants flew regular nightly services over Nazi-occupied Europe!

It was conceived as a fast twin engined day bomber that could outrun all contemporary fighters.
With no heavy defensive armament to man, the crew was reduced to pilot and navigator so the aircraft was lighter, faster and overall more efficient. de Havilland chose a radical construction technique initially developed for their earlier Comet racer - by utilising a laminated ply and balsa skin formed in concrete moulds by civilian craftsmen, the Mosquito was extremely strong, light, and flexible, yet placed minimal drain on esential materials and skilled-labour during Britains 'darkest hour' in 1940 - 1941.

Powered by a pair of the latest "Merlin XX" two-speed single-stage supercharged engines, three prototypes were built. The first to fly was the bomber prototype W4050 on November 25, 1940 followed by the night fighter model on May 15, 1941 and then the photo-reconnaissance model on June 10, 1941.

Mosquitos were widely used by the RAF Pathfinder Force to mark targets for night-time strategic bombing, and Mosquito bombers hauled a 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) "block-buster" bomb in their internal bomb bay to Berlin at a comparitively fractional cost when compared to the contemporary B-17 or Lancaster running costs and operational-losses.

The Mosquito ended the war with the lowest loss rate of any aircraft in RAF Bomber Command service during WWII. The last RAF Mosquito to remain in operational service was retired in 1956. Total Mosquito production was 7,781 of which 6,710 were built during the war - De Havilland accounted for 5,007 aircraft built in three factories in the UK. Mosquitos were also built by Airspeed Ltd, Percival Aircraft Company and Standard Motors. 1134 Canadian and 212 Australian built Mosquitos were also produced by the Commonwealth. The last Mosquito (NF Mk 38) was completed at Chester in November 1950.

de Havilland Mosquito versions

Bomber | Reconnaissance | Stike | Maritime Strike |




Prototype E0234 / W4050 at Hatfield, after its journey from Salisbury Hall prior to its maiden flight. The aircraft was painted bright yellow, as were most prototypes at this stage of the war to avoid anti-aircraft fire from gunners who didnt recognize the aircraft, but the film stock (orthochromatic) reproduces colours in different shades of grey than the human eye expects to see, so the aircraft appears to be a dark colour. W4050 is currently undergoing complete restoration.

Mosquito Squadron

As conceived - faster than a Spitfire!
Faster than anything else flying at the time!

De Havilland Mosquito



The B.IV had a glass nose for a bombardier and although designed to carry four 112 kilogram (250 pound) bombs, this was ingeniously increased to four 225 kilogram (500 pound) bombs before Series I aircraft reached operational units in 1941. The first B.IV Series II was delivered in May 1942, and the first strikes were performed at the end of the month.

Although initially being used for bombing attacks, Bomber Command decided that the best use of the Mosquito bomber was as a "pathfinder" marking enemy targets with coloured flares that following waves of bomberss would use as an aiming point. B.IVs were fitted with the latest top secret electronic navigation aids for night and overcast conditions, including "Oboe" and "H2S".

Bomber Command then began to employ the growing number of Mosquitos for nuisance attacks and from 1943, many B.IV Mosquitos carried a single 4,000 lb High Capacity "Cookie" bomb in their modified internal bomb bay, and could deliver it to a precise location in Berlin at a comparitive fraction of the running-cost and operational-losses of the contemporary Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress or the superb Avro Lancaster.

60 B.IVs were also modified to carry the "Highball" antiship bomb, a design based on Barnes Wallis's famous 'Dam Buster' skipping bomb.



wingspan: 16.51 meters
wing area: 33.54 sq. meters
length: 12.43 meters
height: 4.65 meters
empty weight: 5,942 kg
max loaded weight: 10,150 kg
maximum speed: 612 KPH (380 MPH)
service ceiling: 9,450 meters
range: 1,965 kilometers


Mossie bomber nose

Two Rolls Royce Merlin XX = lots of horse power!


Mosquito B Mk. XVI



181 PR.34s were built (50 by Percival in England) and although intended for service in the Far East, they were mostly deployed the Pacific in August 1945. These late models had phenomenal performances.



wingspan: 16.51 meters
wing area: 33.54 sq. meters
length: 12.65 meters
height: 4.65 meters
empty weight: 7,545 kilograms
max loaded weight: 11,565 kilograms (25,500 pounds) maximum
speed: 685 KPH (425 MPH / 370 KT)
service ceiling: 13,100 meters (43,000 feet)
range: 5,375 kilometers





To be updated shortly
the Daily Telegraph - Beaking News feed


To be updated shortly




* W4050 - W4050 is currently undergoing complete restoration at the De Havilland Heritage Centre & the Mosquito Aircraft Museum, Salisbury Hall UK.

More Mosquito stuff



This website is a work in progress... I try to update it once a month.
If you have any information, images or you flew Mosquitos, please contact the editor
email: webmaster @ k5054.com (remove spaces)

Stan Passby
Website dedicated to
Stanley Passby
02 Aug 1916 - 20 Dec 2005
(Airspeed and Dehavillands engineer)



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E-mail: webmaster @ k5054.com (remove spaces)