DH Mosquito - landing characteristics

Discussion in 'Flight Test Data' started by kration, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. kration

    kration Member

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    My favourite aircraft of WWII (and probably of all time) is the DH.98 Mosquito - if I had a sig on here it would be one of those. But there's one question about it that's been niggling me for a while - it was often referred to as having difficult landing characteristics.

    I have read some comments re. light aileron control at low speeds and a high landing speed, but there's a couple of things which have brought this into focus. I have read on PPRUNE that the Mosquito had landing characteristics which wouldn't be tolerated in modern aircraft (though that would apply to a lot of WWII planes), and I have a vague recollection of reading an account of a Mossie pilots log-book where he crashed on landing and only wrote 'Don't want to fly Mossies no more'.

    The Beaufighter swing on take-off is often referred to, but the Mosquito's landing problems seem to be brushed over.

    So, my question is what were the Mosquito's problems on approach and landing, and were they particularly severe?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I never heard of any problems with the Mossie on take off and landing but it is a twin engine aircraft with a tail wheel configuration and just by virtue of that can be a handful, especially if landing on one engine or losing an engine on take off. Twin engine aircraft training in some areas were lacking, especially in the US and I would guess it would be the same in some circumstances in the UK. Low time pilots with just cursory twin engine training were thrown into high performance twins and would often have great difficulty in mastering their aircraft and unfortunately many young pilots were killed because of this. Later in the war the training syllabus was expanded to give more training to pilots flying twins, especially emergency training. This may have been the case with the Mossie
     
  3. kration

    kration Member

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    Thanks for the reply Flyboy. But take-off never seems to be referred to re. the Mossie, just landing - even under normal circumstances.

    Your comment re. lack training re. twin engined planes is very valid though.

    It's just that the Mossie's land characteristics do keep getting referred to, but never seem to be defined?
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I heard the main landing gear on the Mossie is nothing more than 2 steel tubes with some rubber pucks to absorb the shock. A bounce or two with slow or no rudder inputs (especially in a crosswind) can ruin any one's day.

    The Vertical Stabilizer and rudder don't seem that big - I wonder if this could have a part in this?
     
  5. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    #5 Snautzer01, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    you heard right
     

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  6. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    handling

    Crowood Press de Havilland Mosquito (martin Bowman)
     

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  7. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The DH Sea Mosquito had to be fitted with normal oleo struts to stop it bouncing over the arrester wires.
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I'd heard, hanger flying, that it was tricky to land on one engine. Story goes that the pilot was coming back from a recon mission over Germany (pilot was an American, aircraft was reverse lend lease) and had lost an engine. On landing, he lost control, collapsed the gear and slid sideways off the runway and into the fence along side. S/L comes out and asks "What happened". Pilot says, "Was landing on one engine, lost it on touchdow, the gear folded up and I slid into the fence.". S/L says, "Come with me and I'll show you how it's done."

    They go out, get in another Mosquito and take off. S/L feathers one of the engines and sets up for landing, comes down and promptly collapses the gear, sliding into the fence right behind the airplane the pilot had just crashed.

    One of those, "You don't say anything and I won't say anything" momments.

    Anyway, it was hanger flying so you never know about the truth of the story.
     
  9. timmo

    timmo Member

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    #9 timmo, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    How I would love to add to this thread, but this is where I shamefacedly have to say that, with Spitfire, P47, P51, F4U, Vengeance, Tempest II, Beaufighter Mosquito on strength, I let 'one of my chaps' do the Mossie work.

    I have lived to regret!!

    = Tim

    PS - looking back on that - when you touch down, you are 'engineless', so a dead one should make no odds?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That was true of most WWII twins as they had relatively low power to weight ratios. I certainly wouldn't want to land a Ju-88C at night after getting one engine shot out. :cry:
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Actually the worse time for a twin to loose and engine is on take off.
     
  12. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Lot of great airplanes you flew Tim, pretty good bunch. Tempest 2 must've been a real bear.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Isn't that where they used to lose a lot of B26 and P38s? Seem to recall reading that.
     
  14. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Tim, you'd better be posting some details of the above, or you'll have a legion of aircraft nerds showing up at your door to badger you (instead of over the internet, where the nerds are much safer).

    Part of the issue with swings on landing may have been the "RAF Standard Procedure". Jimmy Rawnsley mentions this in his book - I'll see if I can find the quote. IIRC, John Cunningham (Rawnsley's pilot) swore by power-off three-pointers, whereas the book called for power-on three-pointers. I've also read another anecdote (can't remember when or where) by a mossie pilot who preferred power-on two-pointers, but wouldn't abide power with the tailwheel down.'

    All this is remembered across a mish-mash of bits and pieces and across the mists of time. Real-Life-Pilots (TM) may be able to shed more light.


    Don't forget Timi, post or face the consequences! (Really, you don't want nerds at your door - lowers the tone of the neighbourhood.)
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    More the B-26. P-38s were also lost and it's ashamed as it had no critical engine (or both engines were critical) as the emergency procedure was the same for each engine. The different thing about the P-38 is you actually had to REDUCE power on the good engine first.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    If it was me I'd prefer power on 3 pointers if I was on a runway especially if narrow and any chance of a crosswind. On an open grass field (which there were many of) I'd have no problem with 3 pointers power off providing I've carried enough airspeed in the flare.

    Personally I like "almost 3 pointers" with the mains first and then the tail touching down a few seconds later while carrying a little power for any wind gusts or just in case I have to go around.
     
  17. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I was under the impression that was how you handled all twins. Reduce power, trim for one engine, increase power (do it all very fast).

    Never flown a twin. Is that how it's done (was thinking something like a 310 or 340).
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    For the most part correct but for some anemic twins (early Piper Apaches) you reduce power on the good engine you'll practically fall out of the sky! On the P-38, there was so much power you needed to reduce power on the good engine quickly or else you'll find yourself in the death spiral.
     
  19. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello
    IIRC the problem with Mossie single engine landing behaviour stemmed for the fact that deHavilland insisted that in his a/c the tail area was calculated using a formula that deHavilland himself had developed. After the war, maybe in connection with DH 103 Hornet, it was find out that the formula gave too small vertical tail area for powerful twins.

    Juha
     
  20. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

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    Size of vertical stabilizer of the Mosquito;
    In my opinion that was one result of tradeoffs made on the ingenious design. Small tailplanes contributed lessening of the drag for making a such high performance ship for the days. DH Mosquito was desighned for fighting and not just for flying.
    As from my experience of flying taildraggers with somebody who at the controls and wishes transition to that type of planes, I noticed some people were unable to maintain direction on the ground roll after touching down, in spite of giving him/her suggestion (almost yelling) how to concentrate on keeping the direction with the uses of rudder, airelons, elevator, wheel brakes and even power. Of course some others could and only the latter can transit into the taildraggers smoothly.

    Added to these the Mosquito having capabilities for high speed, long range, large bombloads and high flying would require competent aircrew for the job the type assigned. I suppose flying in the Mosquito in general was far more demanding than doing it in the existed ones.
     
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