Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mosquito I.

This is coolbert:

"Off we go, into the wild blue yonder"

[courtesy of your local piano factory!!]

One of the most impressive and versatile combat aircraft of World War Two [WW2] was the British De Havilland Mosquito.

A fighter-bomber that "could do"!!

Very light weight, powered by two large Rolls Royce engines, having outstanding speed.


"Unorthodox in design, it used a plywood structure of spruce and balsa in a time when wooden construction was considered outmoded."

"The de Havilland company conceived the idea of a wooden aircraft to take advantage of the underused resources and skills of the furniture industry [piano makers too!!] at a time of great pressure on the conventional aircraft industry combined with wartime shortages of steel and aluminium."

"The genius of the aircraft's construction lay in the innovative and somewhat unorthodox use of seemingly commonplace materials and techniques. The bulk of the Mosquito was made of plywood. Stronger and lighter than most grades of plywood, this special plywood was produced by a combination of 3/8" sheets of Ecuadorean balsawood sandwiched between sheets of Canadian birch plywood. Like a deck of cards, sheets of wood alternated with sheets of a special casein-based (later formaldehyde) wood glue."

"The wings were also made of wood. To increase strength, the wings were made as one single assembly, onto which the fuselage, once both halves had been mated, was lowered and attached."

[special plywood, special glue, special techniques!!]

"Metal was used sparingly in the construction of structural elements. It was mostly used in engine mounts and fairings, control surfaces, and of course, brass screws."

AT THE PRESENT TIME NOT ONE FLIGHT CAPABLE MOSQUITO EXISTS. The last flying Mosquito crashed in 1996. I doubt that an exact replica could be built today. The materials are not available in the quantities needed? Expertise in construction is lacking? It is reputed that a flying version is under construction? Maybe is active and in the air as we speak? Has been bought by a collector who is a zillionaire?




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