Was the De Havilland Mosquito a good fighter?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by rousseau, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    In terms of my understanding, Mosquito original was a light bomber. In same way and some time it used to be as night fighter since radar equipped in its nose. But is it a qualified fighter for air combat?
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If I may suggest that you ask the question in the main sub-forum (WW2 Aviation), so more people would join in?
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Working on the bais you are talking about air to air day combat it depends what you are facing. Any equivalent single engined fighter would hold all the aces as would a P38. However against most other twin fighters being used in daylight then the Mosquito was very effective.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Where was the Mosquito used as a day fighter except over the Bay of Biscay? Late model Ju-88s would be the likely competition in that area.
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It was only over the Bay of Biscay where it was used as a day fighter and even here care was needed, as for a time Fw 190 were used by the Germans.
     
  6. timmy

    timmy Member

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    I have always been interested in this subject. It was the fastest aircraft of
    the war up to 1944. Great firepower, outstanding range so why was it never
    used as a fighter. I always thought that if it was flown like a P47 in dive and
    zoom tactics it would have been competitive against single engined fighters
    But it seems the RAF didn't think so..

    Anyhow it always makes me wonder why Dehavilland took so long to come up
    with the smaller Hornet. Now I'm sure that plane could mix it with the fighters

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It lacked agility for a day fighter and it had too many blind spots. As mentioned earlier as a fighter it was no match for a single seat or P38 fighter in climb, dive or acceleration.
     
  8. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    The most strongest rival the Mosquito will facing is He-219 I think, but what Timmy said is right, so remain the only reason to blame the Mosquito wasn't a fighter suitable to a2a combat would be its made of wood possibly?
    Notice we have to use same rule to measure different objects, when we discuss Japanese fighter we always say they like tinder or sth inflammable.
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It isn't what the aircraft is constructed from, actually. The Hurricane was cloth and wood behind the engine area.

    In regards to the Japanese aircraft, the main problem with the Zero and others was that the fuel tanks were not self-sealing. One well placed burst of fire across a Zero's wings and you can let the fire do the rest.
     
  10. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    A few Bf 110 and He 219 were adapted at unit level to hunt the Mosquito at night.

    A specially prepared Bf 110 G-4 of II./NJG1, G9 + FS, flown by Oblt. Dietrich Schmidt scored a victory over a 109 Squadron Mosquito IV near Kleve in the early morning of 14th January.

    Such victories were rare, most of the time all the Luftwaffe aircrew got was a nasty dose of altitude sickness.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    de Havilland Mosquito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I don't think so. Prior to 1944 we are talking about the Mosquito FB Mk VI fighter-bomber. Powered by two 1,460hp Merlin 21s or two 1,635hp Merlin 25s. Top speed was supposedly 368 to 384 mph. By 1943 most fighter aircraft could exceed this speed.
     
  12. steve51

    steve51 Member

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    Didn't Mosquitos fly day intruder missions over Norway and Denmark late in the war? If they did, they may have engaged German single engine fighters.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nope, they flew specific, low-level raids, such as those against Gestapo HQs in Aarhus, Copenhagen and Oslo, with fighter escort from RAF Mustangs. These Mosquitos were the FBVI variant - Fighter Bomber. This type was intended from the outset to be fast, armed strike aircraft, which would at least have some margin of self defence, they were not intended to be fighters in the true sense. The only Mosquitos which were classed as 'fighters' were the Night Fighter variants, with the FBVI etc as Night intruder, and daylight strike, a role in which they were extremely successful, from Norway to the Bay of Biscay, in coastal and shipping strikes, as well as key targets in mainland Europe.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you brought that up.
    Bob Braham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bob Braham was the top scoring RAF Mosquito pilot. On June 25, 1944 his Mosquito FBVI was shot down by a German Fw-190 over Denmark. A good example as to what happens when a Mosquito pilot gets cocky and decides to dogfight with day fighters.
     
  15. steve51

    steve51 Member

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    Airframes and davebender,

    Thank you for the clarification and correcting my mistake. I also didn't know about Bob Braham being shot down on a day mission.
     
  16. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    #16 Jabberwocky, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
    The RAF didn’t think that the Mosquito was particularly good as a day fighter.

    The AFDU did tactical trials of the F/B Mk VI in Mar-1943. The aircraft was fitted with Merlin 23 engines, allowing +14 lbs in combat boost, so was a little down on the speed and climb that can be expected of a Merlin 25 equipped example, but the results generally stand.

    The aircraft was found to be nice to fly, with well balanced controls and effective ailerons. However, the inertial weight on the controls meant that “forces over 3G are very difficult to impose and detract from the general manoeuvrability as a fighter”. It was found to be tail heavy in a dive.

    Elevator control at 450 mph IAS was “very heavy” but aileron control was “quite light”.

    The aircraft was flown against the Spitfire V, IX and XII and the Typhoon IB.

    Low altitude

    It was found to be outpaced at low altitude by all fighters except the Spitfire Mk V. All S/E fighters were able to throw the Mosquito off their tails and get onto its tail themselves. The Mosquito was found to be unable to disengage whenever a S/E fighter got into position behind it.

    However, its evasion was considered “particularly good”, making it difficult for fighters to get easy shooting solutions. The aircraft was easy to corkscrew and could weave easily, even at high speeds.

    The exception to being out-turned and out-manoeuvred was against a Typhoon flown by “an inexperienced pilot”. However, "when the Typhoon, which has a turning circle similar to the FW 190, was well flown, it could make matters almost as difficult for the Mosquito as the Spitfire”.

    Medium altitude:

    Similar results to low altitude tests. There was a better chance for the Mosquito to escape though. It accelerated in a slight dive faster than the S/E fighters. Time to max speed from fast cruise was two minutes. The Mossie could lead the fighters on a stern chase and sometimes avoid combat outright using a slight dive. Best speed was at about 9,000 ft.

    High altitude

    The manoeuvrability of the Mossie was much diminished over 25,000 ft and aileron control “feels comparatively mushy”.


    Enemy fighters

    It was also flown against a captured 190A (probably an A3) and a 109G2.

    The aircraft was found to be around about as fast as the enemy fighters near sea level, faster than both aircraft at 9,000 ft but slower at altitude, particularly against the 109 which was much superior over 17,000 ft. The Mossie was 700 ft/sec slower in initial climb than the 190A, and 1000 ft/sec slower than the 109G2 in climb. This deficiency increased with altitude.

    Overall assessment

    It was judged that the Mossie was not a good day fighter against S/E types. If in contact with enemy fighters it was “unable to go on the offensive and must content itself with defensive tactics”.

    It was not judged to be expected to behave as a fighter against enemy S/E types.

    It was considered “only able to be offensive against enemy bomber type aircraft”. It “cannot take on enemy single seater fighters effectively”.

    It was also considered to be a poor aircraft for bomber escort and would “probably be a liability to a bomber force”.


    Single seater

    Interestingly, the AFDU converted their Mossie to a single seater and took out about 1,500 lbs of equipment from it (dropping all up weight to 18,800 lbs) and removed the inertia weight from the controls. The results improved the climb and manoeuvrability of the aircraft. Rate of climb shot up to over 3,000 ft/min for the first few thousand feet.

    The consideration was that while the aircraft was “unable to be really effective against a Spitfire” in slow turns a lighter smaller version of the Mossie (ie the Hornet) could probably out-turn the Typhoon and “certainly” out-climb it. It was considered that it could “probably deal well with the typhoon of FW 190 class of fighter, especially by out-climbing them.”


    With Merlin 25s:

    The ADFU later tested a Mk VI with Merlin 25s against a Spitfire XII. It was found that the aircraft could outrun the Mk XII at ground level. Even if the Mk XII was 800 yards behind and 1,000 ft above, the Merlin 25 outfitted Mosquito VI could accelerate from a fast cruise and pull away.

    The RoC was also significantly improved, starting at 3,800 ft/min. The aircraft could go from fast cruise at sea-level into a 2,000 ft cloud base in about 30 seconds.

    It was considered able to accelerate away from the majority of attackers. From a fast cruise top speed was hit in about 1 1/2 minutes (about 30 seconds better than with Merlin 23s).
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Gp. Cpt. Pickard was also shot down and killed, by two Fw190s, during the daylight attack on the Amiens prison, in February 1944.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Thanks for the info, Jabberwocky.
     
  19. timmy

    timmy Member

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    My Bad

    Meant to say fastest in the RAF...well it was according to this article :)

    de Havilland Mosquito
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. Love to see a comparison of the Merlin 25 aircraft with the P38, let alone the single seat Mosquito.
    Its easy to see why the Luftwaffe had a hard time intercepting these aircraft. If the Mosquito saw them coming, then they had a devils own job catching them.
     
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