The Mossie Is the One For Me



The De Havilland Mosquito ("The Wooden Wonder", also known as "The Timber Terror") was a military aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during World War II. It was a twin-engine aircraft with the pilot and navigator sitting side by side. Unorthodox in design, it used a plywood structure of spruce and balsa in a time when wooden construction was considered outdated. It was powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

The Mosquito was conceived as a fast day bomber that could outrun fighter defences and hence dispensed with defensive armament; however, owing to its speed, agility and its exceptional durability due to its wooden design, it was also used as a fighter. The fighter versions used a flat windshield to aid sighting. Its various roles included tactical bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike or photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It served with the RAF, RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF, USAAF and Israeli Air Force, plus the air forces of Belgium, Burma, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Sweden, Turkey, Yugoslavia and the Dominican Republic.

During much of the war the Mosquito was one of the fastest aircraft in the sky on either side, and one of the most manoeuvrable - in mock combats it could climb faster and turn more quickly than a Spitfire. The Mosquito inspired admiration from all quarters:

"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." Hermann Goering.



stevester stevester
46-50, M
8 Responses Feb 19, 2009

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If you are ever in York (U.K), be sure to visit the aircraft museum at Elvington, not far outside the city. They have a full size replica Mossie that is actually capable of flight, although it has never flown. Believe it or not, some guy actually built it from scratch over a number of years. They also have a `replica`full size Halifax...although this is really a big model, but its been well put together. Part of the fuselage is genuine, and the instrumentation inside is too. I was lucky enough to get to go inside it a few years ago.

Though it didn't measure up to the mossie in many respects I'm partial to the Beaufighter when it comes to two-engined craft from the UK. Not sure why, really.

beautiful in both looks & sound, it was a feat of pure genius. i am so glad i have my photos from before the crash & the memories to keep forever of her flying past at the airshows.

Last one crashed in '96 i think taking two pilots with her.

I don't know if there any left. Being made of wood they probably didn't survive too well.

My favourite aircraft I think... If i was to choose what to own for pure enjoyment i think it would be the Mozzie.<br />