Was the Mosquito the worlds first stealth aircraft?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Seawitch, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist, others
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    Was the Mosquito the worlds first stealth aircraft? I've had it put to me like that a few times, which is why I'm asking.
    Much has been made of it's low Radar signature courtesy plywood construction and other things like rubber block suspension and radiators within the wings.
    But was this much by accident than design, there were plenty of good wood and canvas aircraft about surely?
    Your thoughts?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Those big engines and propellers kind of defeated the concept of "stealth".

    Just because an airframe is made of wood, doesn't mean it absorbs radar pulses, or scatters it.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    agreed, the Mossie in any form was never considered stealth a/c
     
  4. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist, others
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    Okay, so stealth is an entirely modern concept/term in aviation?
    The Mosquitoes low but not absent signature never affected it's being selected for a job?
    The V1 was never called a cruise missile because the modern ones hadn't been invented yet, but surely this is what it effectively was?
    I bring this up because I wonder if the same circumstance surrounds the Mosquito....the term stealth doesn't seem to have been applied even if thats what it effectively was.
    My true thread object is find if there was anything that could be deemed equivalent to the Mosquito.
    The Mosquito I gather was drawn up to be an unarmed Bomber...fast enough to stay out of trouble, the same attitude would be applied to the Vulcan years later.
    Staying out of trouble requires stealth as well.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,204
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Actually the Mossie did have a very low radar signature and if I remember right needed a special IFF system (transponder) so friendlies could track it on radar - this was more of an accident rather than an intensional design feature so to answer the question, to a degree the Mosquito was the first "Stealth" combat aircraft.
     
  6. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Apparently Galland makes the comment that the Mossie was difficult to track, however what he based that on is unclear.

    I really should ask SES over at the Gyges site about the extent to which this was an issue. He's got a separate page on anti-Mosquito ops and ground control:

    Home

    Control overview at:

    Home
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,204
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Great Info!
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Platonic Sphere
    well guys since I am writing a book on night anti-Mossie ops, simply put the Mossie was tracked both intruder and LSNF and recon types, catching the bird was another story, it was NOT stealth
     
  9. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Messages:
    826
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Thanks Erich. I've read a number of accounts, mostly IIRC from the Coastal Strike boys off the Norwegian coast who used to say they could hear a buzzing in their 'phones when they'd been "painted" by German radar - anything to it, do you think?
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    I disagree that the Mosquito was stealthy but considering the equipment of the day it would've been tougher to paint . The trouble would be painting it with radar the other aircraft would show up a little better but not much . The operator of the radar would be the deciding factor. Adjusting the radar to discriminate between ground clutter, rain , atmospherics birds etc would all come into play.; These were all controlled by the operator if you had a good operator it would be no problem but recall radar was still in its infancy and the operators were on a steep learning curve. I can't recall if the German radar had MTI (moving target indicator) which removed targets that weren't moving or if he had to diseminate all the targets presented . Aspect angle of the radar signal (if the target was sideways or pointed directly at the radar) also plays a huge factor . Those props, radios, engines ,armour plate , seats weapons etc would make it non stealth
     
  11. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The first truly stealth a/c is the Ho/Go-229 which would've been undetectable by any radar equipment of the time.

    [​IMG]

    Regarding the low radar signature of the Mossie, well I doubt it was much lower than for another a/c of similar size, its not like it was the only a/c with hidden away radiators. The wooden airfram wouldn't have helped much either, esp. since the skin was metal. The a/c with the lowest radar signature in full frontline service by WW2 was probably the Yak-3.
     
  12. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    how so?
    What gave it these magical properties that was not attainable by any other aircraft
     
  13. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You don't know much about how to reduce radar detectability do you ?

    Ever wondered why the B-2 is shaped the way it is and why it is todays stealthiest a/c ??

    Also read up upon the radar equipment of the day please, it wasn't going to be any good against the Go-229 and that's for sure.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,204
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    But it was a fact - despite the metal items within the Mossie's airframe it still painted a lower radar signature than other aircraft of the day - it seemed the plywood absorbed the radar. There was a recent book called "The First Stealth Fighter: The De Havilland Mosquito" by John Melendez that detailed a lot of the Mosquito's "Stealthiness."

    As far as the Ho/Go-229 - it would of had a lower radar signature for sure, as far as being totally undetectable? It's had to say. Unless the aircraft's surface totally absorbs all the radar or the surface is able to deflect the radar away, it going to paint a signature. Had the -229 been built I don't think the priority of the aircraft would of been to avoid radar.
     
  15. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    Have you ever worked radar? touched it ? Done a lobe check? ad infinitum.... I have for 10 years ..So what your telling me is that just the look will affect radar . .. how the radar is dispersered by the shape of the aircraft was all figured out by the LW . Yeah OK
     
  16. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It wasn't meant as a stealth fighter Pbfoot, however the shape of the Go-229 would've made its signature on the radars of WW2 the same size as that of a large bird.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,204
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Maybe - the only way to determine that was to actually track the aircraft or test it on a "radar range." No doubt it would of had a very low signature - any flaws on the aircraft's surface would of induced a condition called "radar creep," where radar signals would run up and down any gaps or mismatches on the surface of the aircraft. Let's face it, although Germany produced extremely advanced aircraft toward the end of the war surface aesthetics and "gap and mismatch" took a back set to getting the aircraft operational, especially if said aircraft were built by slave labor.
     
  18. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I fully agree.

    The versions of Go-229 built weren't so by slave labor though, and AFAIK only Bf-109 production to a small extend utilized slave labor within the aeroplane industry. Ammunition and some small arms production plants utilized the most slave labor late in the war.
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,204
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Gotcha -

    BTW a signature about the size of a small bird = F-117A. A larger bird = SR71 (with some ECMs working). A very big bird = B1B (with all ECMs working).
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I admit I would be interested to know how the Ho-229 was so stealthy. I am not saying it wasn't but would appreciate some guidance/tips oh how it was achieved.
    I can see the shape would help as would the lack of a prop so I can see that it would be less, but invisible, thats asking a lot.
     
Loading...

Share This Page