The Wooden Wonder - the de Havilland Mosquito

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Smithy, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    I've had a soft spot for the Mossie ever since I was a little boy and my Dad would tell me of the hair-raising raids on occupied Europe that RAF Mosquito pilots took.

    Back home in NZ, AvSpecs have very nearly completed the restoration of one to flying condition which is very special in itself - this will be the only Mossie in flying condition in the world:

    http://www.theaucklander.co.nz/news/mosquito-warbird-restoration-nears-end/1234388/
     
  2. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    Some years back I had a chance to inspect some of them up close. A friend who dealt in military surplus had them. He told me the pilots used to say you are never alone in a Mosquito. Because of the insects that liked to nest in the plane and eat the caseine glue lol.

    The fusilage was made of moulded plywood with 2" of balsa wood sandwiched in between. The wing was made separately and was based on 2 thick wooden beams. The biggest metal piece, other than the engines, was the engine mountings that were welded together out of steel tubes like a bicycle frame.

    A truly incredible piece of design work, and very effective. More than 2000 of them were made in Downsview Ontario, not far from here. I believe the last ones in service were used in northern Canada in the sixties for magnetic mineral surveys and aerial photography.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  3. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    Hi Stanley, the Mossie really was a remarkable design and oh so beautiful and very fast.

    I've had the pleasure of having had a very good poke around the example at the Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø, Norway on a few occasions and it never fails to amaze me how fast they look even parked on the ground.

    And here's a rather good video of Mossies doing one of the things they did best...

    [video=youtube;1FZvEPB4zSQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FZvEPB4zSQ[/video]
     
  4. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    To know her is to love her. I'm curious to see the full restoration process. I would think, given that the plane is all wood, that it would have to be almost a complete rebuild from scratch.
    BTW, any Lounger who is any kind of WW II buff HAS to see "633Squadron". The Mosquito is the real star of that flick.
     
  5. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    Indubitably. The Mossie and the flying are spectacular.

    Actually come to think of it, the Mossie is probably the best actor in the film as well :D
     
  6. Spitfire

    Spitfire I'll Lock Up

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    [​IMG]
    Mossies were also used for the spectacular bombing raid at the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen.
    According to my father, who witnessed the raid, the were actually flying down through the streets at some time. Below rooftop.
    The danish resistance had begged London to bomb the Gestapo HQ because they had almost rolled up the entire resistance movement and they feared that the germans would strike hard against them at any moment. Gestapo had placed all the danish prisoners at the top floor of the building as "bomb-shields", so RAF had to bomb "through the windows" at the lover floors. The raid was a success. Gestapo and their files were bombed out - and a lot of the prisoners managed to escape in the turmoil. We owe these young airmen a lot in this country.
     
  7. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    One heck of an aircraft and one heck of a raid ,Göring complained about the high speed of the aircraft and its wooden structure, built by a nation he considered to have large metal reserves, while Germany had shortages of such materials and could not produce such a design. There was a similar raid for similar reasons on behalf of the French Resistance. One of the higher risk uses of the fighter-bomber Mosquito FB VI was by 21 Sqn., 464 (RAAF) Squadron and 487 (NZ) Squadron of No. 2 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force in Operation Jericho, a mission to destroy the walls and guards' quarters of Amiens prison to allow members of the French Resistance to escape. In the aftermath of the operation the Mosquito of Group Captain Percy Pickard was shot down. I believe the locals built a monument to him at his crash site.

    I thought that another Mossie was being restored to flight condition in Canada.
     
  8. [video=youtube;su5JWj8Wlec]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su5JWj8Wlec[/video]

    [video=youtube;2A04o_kVonQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A04o_kVonQ[/video]
    On a humorous note look for the anachronistic Mini Cooper at 5:46 lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  9. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

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    It was the first ever Airfix model I ever made, (with the help of my Granddad). In honour of this post, this weekend I will make an airfix model with my son.
     
  10. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    That's a fantastic thing to do with the young lad Warden.

    Please post pics of the finished kit when you are done, would love to see them.

    Happy modelling!
     
  11. Windsock

    Windsock A-List Customer

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    Australia
    Hello Tim, how's it going, did you get that B after you got the kid??

    I love the Mossie and it's probably all due to soaking it up in the '60's in films like 633 Sqn. This is a bit of digital art I knocked up a few years ago, showed it to an old Mate who flew Beaufighters and he just said, "well thát just wouldn't have happened", so much for that.

    [​IMG]

    As you know I have in my posession a particular pair of flying boots with a Kiwi and low level Mosquito connection, so i'll take the opportunity of whacking them back up. If only they could talk, i've tried interrogation but they won't budge.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Windsock

    Windsock A-List Customer

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    Forgot to add, you might check out that rebuild just down the road from you at Pt Cook. Humming along when I was there 1.5 yrs ago. :D
     
  13. DJH

    DJH I'll Lock Up

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    I find the 633 Squadron tune always gets stuck in my head. Great music for the movie!
     
  14. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    Those are those boots from the 487 pilot aren't they Andrew? Mighty jealous I am too, and if they could talk, they certainly would have a few stories to tell!

    Ended up not getting the B in the end. The chap was a touch dodgy which made me suspicious of the car, he was up in Sydney and when I asked about him taking it for an inspection report (which I said I would pay for) he got very cagey. To be honest the timing was all wrong - just about to have a baby and here's me looking at impractical sports cars :eusa_doh:
     
  15. Swing Motorman

    Swing Motorman One of the Regulars

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    What'd he mean by "so much for that?" (Probably that the two German fighters would never have survived getting that close to two Mossies...) :D

    The Mosquito amazes and inspires me more than any other airplane. The revolutionary construction, the incredibly low loss rate, the versatility... the inspiration I take from it is that when smart people put their heads together and allow themselves some room to stray from "conventional wisdom," they can produce [Wooden] wonders, even in trying times.


    -Steven
     
  16. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    4 x 20mm and 4 x 303 in a head on pass, probably the mossies would have come out ahead. Very nice boots BTW.
     
  17. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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  18. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    Anyone else notice, the illustrator in that Telegraph story drew a Beaufighter (short nose, radial engines) rather than a Mossie (longer nose, inline watercooled Merlins).
     
  19. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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  20. hatguy1

    hatguy1 One Too Many

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    Ha! That's great! Way to go, RAF!
     

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