Simply put, the Mosquito was perhaps the most durable and forgiving aircraft design of the Second World War, with the B-17 being the only other airframe contending for that title. Built entirely of wood, glue and screws, with very few systems short of the power plant susceptible to battle damage, the Mosquito had the fewest combat sortie losses of any aircraft in the British Bomber Command. It was also used to fulfill more varied types of missions in addition to its bomber role than even the venerable Ju-88, including day and night fighter duties, intruder, fighter-bomber, mine-layer, photo-reconnaissance, dual-control trainer, and as a transport aircraft for both the Dutch and French resistance movements. Further, it served on every Front the British Army saw action and even some they did not. Even Russia acquired some Mosquito bombers through the Lend/Lease program and put them to good use on the Eastern front. In all, 7,781 Mosquitos in no less than 27 variants were built, 6,710 of which operated in various theaters during the war.
In addition to its ability to sustain battle damage and keep going, the primary assets of the Mosquito were its speed and maneuverability. Following its first operational sortie in September of 1940, the Mosquito was rapidly integrated into Bomber Command to supplement and eventually take over from the Bristol Blenheim. With an operational range of over 1700 miles with drop tanks and a full bomb load, the Mosquito could reach any target in the European theater. And no other aircraft, bomber or fighter, matched its sustained top end speed until the middle of 1944.
DeHavilland Mosquito IV
- Wingspan: 54 ft. 2 in.
- Length: 40 ft. 6 in.
- Height: 12 ft. 6 in.
- Engine: 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin XXI rated 1,460 hp.
- Loaded Weight: 21,460 lb.
- Maximum Speed: 380 mph.
- Service Ceiling: 34,000 ft.
- Combat Radius: 1,020 miles
- Armaments: 2,000 lbs. of bombs
This material was included in the original 1998 release of European Air War by Microprose.