Mosquito FB Mk VI
2 x Uncle Tom rocketsSetup 4
|This page is about the British twin-engine fighter Mosquito FB Mk VI. For other version, see Mosquito (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Mosquito FB Mk VI is a rank III British twin-engine fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB) and 3.7 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The Mosquito is researched after the Beaufighter Mk X, requiring 26,000 RP and 100,000 SL to buy and further 29,000 SL to train a crew.
The Mosquito FB Mk VI is a heavy-hitting fighter-bomber that can cover many roles in War Thunder as it could in real life. With the ability to equip bombs and rockets, it can play a part in both the ground and air war. Use its speed and firepower to show your enemies who really rules the battlefield. With the instructions below you can make full use of the Mosquito and even squad up because as in the war, you can never have enough wooden wonders. The Mosquito then goes on to the excellent Tsetse (Mk XVIII) with the 57 mm cannon for an even better ground attacker. If you feel that you want to be like a real wooden wonder pilot give the pilot's manual a read.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 3,780 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
The Mosquito is famed for its outstanding agility in the war, pilots often remarked it as being on par with fighters and nothing like what they had flown before. This was thanks to its light yet strong balsa and plywood frame while housing a pair of Rolls Royce Merlin engines.
In War Thunder, the manoeuvrability can seem far from the legend that surrounds it. Stock it is a heavy and somewhat lumbersome fighter that relies on slow-moving enemies to target. However, as the upgrades are unlocked and installed it slowly comes out of its shell to start being the plane so many grew up wanting to fly. The roll rate of the Mosquito is quite underwhelming as sometimes expected from such a large aircraft, being best at around 380 km/h (240 mph). The upside is that in the roll, the Mosquito has only a small wobble and so will allow for some well-aimed shots. The horizontal turn on the Mosquito is again not that impressive as one might expect but it is not just a brick with wings either. It has a mediocre turn radius in the flat and can turn with and inside other heavy fighters excluding the Japanese ones. It will undoubtedly not be able to out-turn all its single-engine opponents though with the Fw 190 being the exception in a sustained turn. Finally, the vertical manoeuvrability is decent and the Mosquito will only lose a small bit of altitude in a loop with combat flaps deployed. However, there is one upside. In Simulator battles, the Mosquito is not under the control of the instructor and there is an improvement in its performance. This allows it to be better in the fighter role than in RB if it were in the same matchup.
There is some controversy over the Mosquito though. Many players argue that the Mk VI should be more manoeuvrable than it actually is and this is probably down to two things. Firstly the flight model may be inaccurate in the respective area causing it not to perform as well, but the most likely reason for the performance is the large fuel minimum. At 1 hour it has a large effect on what the plane can do. This is a little less than double that of similar planes that have 45 minutes of fuel.
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 360||< 360||< 450||> 360|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|2,819 m||2,272 hp||3,612 hp|
It is a good idea to set the compressor to the 2nd position while not using WEP at low altitudes in Realistic Battles. This will prevent the engines overheating, and will generate almost as much power as they do on 1st compressor's position with WEP. This will maximize motors' efficiency, especially because there is no need to open the radiator and increase drag.
Survivability and armour
- 64 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
- 9.5 mm Steel plate in pilot seats
- 9.5 mm Steel plate in the nose
The Mosquito FB Mk VI is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, chin-mounted (150 rpg = 600 total)
- 4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)
The Mosquito VI has a fixed forward-mounted armament of four 7.7 mm Browning machine guns and four 20 mm Hispano Mk.II both with a variety of belts. For the machine guns, the "Universal" belt is highly recommended as it suits both ground attack and air combat although only for the use of tracers in the latter. Use the machine guns for ranging and attacking light targets, don't waste the cannons on those. The cannons are specific to their role, so you may want to think about what you want to do before you spawn. In the ground attack role, the "Ground targets" belt is the obvious choice for the cannons as 60% of the ammo is armour-piercing. This ammo can kill targets up to light tanks (attack from behind) and light pillboxes (through windows and doors). For anti-air, the belt of choice is "Air targets". This ammo makes light work of any aircraft. "Stealth" can also be used as it does not contain any Tracer component, sometimes allowing you to sneak attack unsuspecting opponents. This is also why the "Universal" belt on the machine guns are useful as it allows you to adjust your aim while using "Stealth" belts.
The cannons are mounted under the nose and so will need more lead than wing-mounted Hispanos, but the close grouping makes it far less affected by convergence. To use the cannons to kill ground targets, go into the virtual cockpit to gain the best accuracy. For tanks, line up behind them at least 0.6 km away and low to the ground. Begin to fire at the target at about 0.4 km, by aiming for the top armour of tanks and the back of the turrets as these areas are more likely to be penetrable. As for light pillboxes, these are stationary targets they will be easier to kill and so don't need as much setting up. Aim for the back of the pillbox or the window at the front. Of course, you will need ground target ammo to penetrate the armour of both targets. Flaps should be deployed as they will help you elevate quicker and stop you from crashing into trees or buildings. The tactics and knowledge you build from this will then come in very useful when playing the Mk XVIII as it is an even better ground attacker.
The Mosquito FB Mk VI can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (500 lb total)
- 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 8 x RP-3 rockets
- 4 x Uncle Tom rockets
The 250 lb bombs are only useful if you are a skilled dive-bomber pilot as most targets need a direct hit or both 250 lb bombs to destroy them. The 500 lb is a better choice as it gives some leeway if the target is only slightly missed; they can also kill destroyers in one direct hit. To attack with bombs you want to line up with target >1 km out and change to the virtual cockpit. Dive on the target at 30 degrees or more with the steeper the dive the better. Release the bomb at around 300 m above the target, this should give you enough time to pull out of the dive and not blow yourself up. Bombs are recommended for pillboxes and stationary targets above all else. Rockets can be used both for anti-bomber as well as anti-ground. The rockets can also be used against destroyers and pillboxes although you need 4 rockets to hit to kill them allowing you to attack two with each loadout. Note when attacking ships come at their broadside at around -30 degrees, this will give you the largest target.
Usage in battles
The Mosquito is one the best multi-role planes in the game due to its many redeeming aspects even at its high BR. The Mk VI is at home as both a ground attack aircraft and a heavy fighter with the ability to easily switch roles in battle. Firstly, the plane packs a devastating punch with the quad 20 mm and can snipe pretty well due to its nose-mounted guns. This makes it a brilliant anti-bomber aircraft, especially with rockets. It is also decent against other heavy fighters, but never expect an easy fight (although the same could be said for the enemy). It can outrun a Bf 109 G-6 at low altitude, although this doesn't mean you should always avoid using it as a fighter. With its rockets or 500 lb bombs, it can deal with 2 pillboxes while the cannons with ground ammunition can kill light pillboxes and medium tanks from behind, and the MGs can then tear up soft targets making it an awesome ground attack aircraft. The only real major downside is that the flight model and weapons profile match that of the series 1 Mk VI Mosquito. This means that the engines and the payload are both worse (less powerful Merlin 21 engines instead of the 25, and no external bomb storage) than what they would be if this was the series, two models, instead.
In Arcade the best loadout will be the 500 lb bombs, with the artificial crosshairs it makes dive-bombing very accurate and easier to use than the rockets, they also have more flexibility in targets. The rockets aren't as good in Arcade due to the crosshairs making bombs the more accurate ordinance however they can still be useful for taking out bombers quickly and somewhat brutally providing they are well aimed. The cannon ammo will probably favour the universal belt as you'll have to be more diverse in the role played in Arcade matches than in RB/ SB. For attacking aircraft, bombers are a good target as the Mosquito can take some punishment (although not to the engines) and will quickly deal with the bombers with its cannons. For fighters stay fast and use it like a Beaufighter to quickly kill a target and get out, do not get caught up in dogfights. Remember you can't do anything if you're dead.
The best mode is Ground strike for Arcade, this gives a few choices that the Mosquito can undertake. Firstly the anti-bomber role can be played to stop the opposing team base rushing the match to a quick end. It will also provide plenty of air kills while little interference from other fighters. The second is to pray on the low and ground attacking aircraft or the enemy aircraft that are attacking the friendly ground strike aircraft as they will also be low and vulnerable. Attack these by "Boom and Zoom" tactics as turning will slow the Mosquito down and make it an easy target. Finally, you can go ground strike yourself. The 500 lb bombs will hit the heaviest of targets and destroy them while also being very accurate with the bombsight. You can engage in normal fighter combat but this will be riskier.
Domination mode is a good mode if a bit of luck is added. Stay high and above the fight and pick off enemies that present an easy target (like capping an airfield or at the top of a loop). Again use diving attacks to stay at an advantage over other enemy aircraft and engage from as far out, the domination mode does allow for some ground attack gameplay but it is only recommended you make one pass then engage fighters and other aircraft.
The air domination mode. This is the worst mode for the Mk VI as there will always be high altitude players and few bombers to prey on. The only safe way to play this mode is to take targets of opportunity while keeping a reasonable height. However, there is always the tactic of going in headfirst and with a whole lot of luck having an amazing game.
The approach into battle is dictated by what the role want to achieve in that game. For heavy fighters, climb into battle to obviously get altitude and hopefully be above the enemy, however, this is hard to achieve due to the bad climb rate. Climb at around 150 mph/ 240 kilometres per hour*, WEP from takeoff allows the Mosquito to climb at 180 miles an hour/ 290 km an hour* at around 15 degrees. Also, side climbs until around 2,500 m. At this altitude, the water will start to overheat and so release the WEP and lower the angle to 10 degrees to keep the speed up. At around 3,500 m, begin to climb into the battle area maintaining the 10 degrees angle of attack. This will take the Mosquito to the same altitude as the bombers or just below the highest enemy players (you'll be at a minimum of 4,500 m). This should allow you to engage the targets you want.
For ground attackers, go for a more unconventional approach. Fly low to the ground and use the terrain to the advantage to stop you being seen, never above 400 m of the ground. Fly around the map and not through the middle this will stop the Mosquito flying into enemy view ranges and to get the target unnoticed. Avoid going to the map edges as this will be a waste of time for everyone. Alternate history Krymsk is a good example of this. As on takeoff, stay low to the sea and fly close to the mountains on the right. As the destroyers come in range the then fly in between the mountains and to avoid being shot down by them. You'll then be able to attack the enemy pillboxes without the enemy knowing until the first few ground targets have been destroyed.
Using the Mosquito is quite difficult due to its enemies and its own rather lacking speed. You want to keep your speed up and don't dogfight if you don't have to as any fighter will be able to get on the six of the Mosquito. The best way to play the Mosquito is like most other heavy fighters, and that's to do single diving attacks and get as much damage in as possible. To make full use of the Mosquito you want to be using Air targets belts for the cannons and open fire at around 400-500 m. Take appropriate aim but remember the cannons are mounted under the nose so they require a bit more lead than nose-mounted ones. The reason for shooting at a long distance is that usually the enemy will only just start to react and so the shot will be easier than a close-range snapshot. Use vertical manoeuvres to engage an opponent but if you are on a higher energy state or barrel roll to get some more deflection shots. The best targets are other heavy fighters, attackers and best of all are bombers. The Mosquito is somewhat manoeuvrable and so can dogfight if needed but it will be a hard fight. Scissors are an option depending on the opponent but aren't recommended- these can be used on other heavy fighters or 190s if they try and follow you in flat turns.
To defend against a diving opponent apply downwards rudder and then immediately apply some roll. This will throw most of the initial shots of the target and cause the enemy to react quickly or pull off for another attack. You can also begin a flat tun with combat flaps deployed. Then once they are about to enter firing range apply full upwards elevator and roll under your self but elongate the roll slightly. If they overshoot they will either go vertical or carry on in their bearing. If they go vertical begin a flat turn and react to what they do next. If they immediately begin the other attack roll out of the way or if you have height do a split-S in hope of throwing off their attack. It is not much you can do to get back on the offensive so just focus on being defensive and call for help. If they do overshoot and carry on their bearing without climbing, try and take a few ranging shots as you have a good chance of hitting but the window of opportunity will only be open for a short period of time.
The Mosquito in SB is probably the best mode to play it in for it to play as a ground attacker, and this is due to a few very good reasons. Firstly it is a very stable gun platform- This makes it easier to use in mouse aim and for beginners as it doesn't wobble as other planes would. The stability allows the Mosquito to fire the rockets or drop the bombs accurately (although still follow the same procedures as above in dive-bombing and rocket attacks). The game mechanics of SB are also in your favour, because flying low to the ground and there is no spotting system except for close proximity allies, you'll be a lot harder for the enemy to see against AB and RB. also being low to the ground will make it easier spotting the enemy, so-called by the SB aviators as "spot the dot", and the fully glazed canopy will also give you excellent vision (You had best bound the head's X and Y axis keys to make full use of this). As a fighter, it is also quite decent as long as you go up against aircraft no higher than .3 BR above you. Even stock it can manoeuvre with a 190 in turns and keep up with one in a short dive. The stable gun platform makes it easier to aim and hit the target from longer ranges - This is shown in the video below. There are downsides, however. The targeting sight is located to the right of the default view meaning you'll have to keep on zooming in to see the sight or move the head along the X-axis to see is in normal view. The second is that the artificial horizon has been covered up by the same gun sight. The final downside is that it has a somewhat high stall speed on landing and is quite high up for an aircraft. this makes it difficult to land and can result in an easy prop strike when you first fly it. Lastly, it is also recommended you have a wingman in this mode, be that another Mosquito or something like a Typhoon to cover your back when a more manoeuvrable fighter gets on your back. Just remember to not take any plane above the Mosquito's BR.
The Mosquito in Sim is a slightly different plane to what it is in RB. The manoeuvrability is somewhat improved with the lack of an instructor allowing it to dogfight more effectively. You can stick to opponents a lot easier and have a higher chance of winning. Against FW 190's the Mosquito can be a very good adversary as in real life and it can cause problems for 109s. Against the Japanese however, it is totally outclassed. All of the Japanese fighters will outmanoeuvre you so like in all other aircraft, don't turn with these. You can perform scissors somewhat better and it has very forgiving flying characteristics and pulls off some more advanced manoeuvres more sharply.
Belt type recommendations
20mm Hispano belts
- Default: · · · - As stated, the default belt is very average and due to no Armour-Piercing shells it cannot penetrate armoured targets.
- Universal: · · · - An all-round belt that is reliable for air targets but with only one Armour-Piercing shot every 4th shell it is not a reliable anti-armour belt.
- Ground targets: · · · · - A belt to destroy armoured targets, it has 60% Armour-Piercing and so is reliable in its role. It can double up as an anti-air if needed but the AP shots will do little damage so aim for the engines or cockpit.
- Air targets: · · · · - The best anti-air belt but won't be able to penetrate armoured targets.
- Tracers: · · - Another all-round belt, if you are not confident with aiming this can help you practice and then you'll know how to adjust it. It can kill armoured and air targets but is by no means the best for either (Bad for stealth attack).
- Stealth: · · · - Much like the Air targets belt but without the Tracer bullet for a completely invisible belt. Good if you are confident in your aim for the occasional small advantage of surprise.
7.7 mm Browning .303 belts
- Default: · · · · · - Average belt, can score a criticals semi-regularly.
- Universal: · · · · - Same as the Default belt but removal of the useless ball round and is the best for ground attack.
- Tracers: · - Best anti-air belt and most likely 7.7 mm belt to cause a fire.
- Stealth: · · - Technically the best belt for soft targets but Universal is more useful as it has tracers allowing you to adjust the fire.
Recommended Payloads in Realistic and Simulator battles
AI Ground Targets the Mossie can kill (with minimum weapon needed)
7.7 mm Browning .303
- AAA/ Artillery
- Armoured car/ Mobile AAA/ vehicle
- Landing craft
20 mm Hispano
- Patrol boats
- Light tanks - 20 mm
- Light pillbox - 20 mm (Aim for the front window)
250 lb bomb / 1 rocket
- Cargo ships
- Medium tanks (very hard to do with the 20 mm)
500 lb bomb/ 4 rockets
- Heavy tank (not rockets)
How to dive bomb in the Mosquito
Although the basics are the same for dive-bombing in general, the Mosquito has no air brakes and a low red-line speed making speed management very important. This also stops you from getting very steep angles, as you run a very high risk of crashing. If you don't keep one eye on the speed then you will either red-line before you know it or be a victim of control stiffening. You'll need to learn how to dive-bomb at a more shallow angle with less speed.
Approaching the target you want to around 1,000 m (3,000 ft) of altitude, any more and you'll start to over-speed in the dive and any less won't give you enough time to aim. Fly true to the target but keep an eye on it with the target lock. Once the target is at the bottom of the screen, cut the throttle and begin the dive. Begin at -30° for the first 400 meters (1,200 ft) then you'll need to go down to -40°/-45°. This should bring the gun sights over the target although a little adjustment will need to be made as every situation is different. Release the bomb(s) 300 m from the ground and pull up. Bring the throttle to WEP and climb out at +30° and level off when you like (+30° gives you the most altitude for the speed in tests).
How to use the rockets on the Mosquito
Unlike dive-bombing where you have to be slightly different, you can use the same techniques with the rockets as you do any other aircraft. The thing to watch out for on the Mosquito is the wide wingspan making it less forgiving on when they converge. However, this isn't a massive hindrance. Tanks are hard to hit unless you use them a lot and know how to fully work them. Therefore the two types of targets you should use the rockets for are both Naval and stationary land targets.
For ships, you should almost treat it like your dive bombing but with a few changes. You can be at any altitude between 600 m and 1,000 m although 1,000 m is recommended as you'll see now. Firstly line up to to the ship's broadside (ahead of it if it's moving), level out and switch to the virtual cockpit. Begin your dive once the ship is near the bottom of the screen aiming for about -35° angle of attack. As you dive you may have to go slightly steeper to keep the crosshairs on the target. At 250-300 m fire the rockets and full elevator, climb away at 30°. Again adjust if you need to and here is a short clip demonstrating an attack in a test flight.
The second way is the more common attack. Come in low to the ground and level out by at least 800 m away. Deploy combat flaps to give you more lift and so the Mosquito will be able to pull up easier and will also give you the ability to bring the nose down a bit more. Once you are at the convergence range fire the rockets and pull up. This is a more simple attack and will be easier after a few attempts.
A Mosquito can be very deadly if dealt with wrong, but just remember a few simple things about it and you'll be able to attack it with little problems. Note this is mostly for RB/SB
Firstly what not to do.
Never head-on attack one. The firepower will kill you due to the nose-mounted cannons and the Hispanos doing a high amount of damage, even Fw 190's should stay away from this. Also, like the first try not to overshoot and fly in front of it, the cannons can still get you from far out.
Now how to attack one.
You will most likely be in a prop that is faster and more manoeuvrable and uses this. If one is coming from behind, do a Split-S and roll under it. The average roll rate on the Mosquito (especially at higher speeds) will make it so the guns have less chance of hitting you. You should also be able to out turn the Mosquito unless you are in an Fw 190 or a 109 with gun pods. Use this to get on its 6 or if you need to, dive away (its red-line begins at 401 mph). If you chose to fight the Mosquito, use manoeuvres that will exploit its sluggish controls.
As the Mosquito was made from wood it can take some beating before going down. If you are tailing the enemy aircraft, then aim for the engines, they are easily damaged and the fire will spread due to the wood frame and the fuel tanks being in close proximity and spanning both wings. Keep your energy while fighting it by using vertical manoeuvres as then it won't be able to engage you. If there is a squad of Mosquitoes then don't underestimate their ability and only attack when you know you can.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Offensive 7 mm||Offensive 20 mm||SBC mk.II|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 20 mm cannons||MBC mk.II|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||New 7 mm MGs||Mk.II year 1942||RSC mk.II|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||Mk.II year 1943||Uncle Tom|
To pursue the "Fighter" role:
Firstly unlock the ammo belt for the cannons (as can see each belt below). This will unlock the Air targets/Universal belts, significantly improving the firepower. Next, go for the "Radiator" module, this will improve the WEP capabilities and +4 mph. The third should be the "Fuselage repair" further increasing the performance and this will also unlock tier II. Immediately go for the "Compressor". It gives a solid boost to all the performance abilities in both speed and manoeuvrability. Following this, the cannon upgrades should be next to give more accuracy and ability to fire longer bursts (more useful in AB). As two modifications are only needed in this tier, tier III will now be unlocked. "Engine" should be unlocked before "Wings repair". This will give more horsepower and a better climb rate with "Wings repair" coming after. Access to tier IV is now achieved and without a doubt, the next modification should be "Engine injection". This will give the biggest increase in all performance areas with up to +34 mph, +13.9 climb rate and -2.8 turn time. "Cover" should come next. Now that all the tiers are unlocked, unlock "Airframe" further increasing the durability and lightening the plane. Now focus on the cannons to get the Mk.II 1942 and 1943 modifications. Now work on the pylons to gain access to the rockets, these are useful against bombers and will also give the Mosquito ground attack versatility. Finally, upgrade the 7.7 mm machine guns thus "Spading" the Mosquito.
Offensive 20 mm -> Radiator -> Fuselage repair -> Compressor -> New 20 mm cannons -> Engine -> Wings repair -> Engine injection -> Cover -> Airframe -> Mk.II year 1942 -> Mk.II year 1943 -> SBC mk.II (250 lb) -> MBC mk.II (500 lb) -> RSC mk.II (rockets) -> Uncle Tom -> Offensive 7 mm -> New 7 mm MGs
To pursue as a "Ground attacker":
Like the fighter path firstly get the 20 mm cannon belts. This gives the Ground targets belt that can be used against light pillboxes and medium tanks. Next, go for the "Radiator" as it gives a better upgrade than the "Fuselage repair" and gives the engine more WEP time. Now get the "SBC mk.II" pylons to unlock the 250 lb bombs, although these bombs are useless they will unlock tier II and give access to the 500 lb bombs. The "Compressor" should be researched before the "MBC mk.II" pylon to make it easier to get about with the 500 lb bombs. Before researching tier III, research the "New 20 mm cannons" to make it easier to hit targets. Now unlock the new engine for more speed and manoeuvrability and "RSC mk.II" rockets after that. With tier IV unlocked, prioritize the "Engine injection" as it is the most valuable upgrade and "Cover" after that. Get the Uncle Toms for a bonus ordnance option, then go back to the "Airframe" as it will make the Mosquito more durable and "Wings repair" after that will give better performance overall. For the last few upgrades, unlock both remaining cannon upgrades to give better accuracy in firing. Finally, research the "Fuselage repair" then the 7.7 mms to finish the Mosquito grind.
Offensive 20 mm -> Radiator -> SBC mk.II (250 lb) -> Compressor -> MBC mk.II (500 lb) -> New 20 mm cannons -> Engine -> RSC mk.II (Rockets) -> Engine injection -> Cover -> Uncle Tom -> Airframe -> Wings repair -> Mk.II year 1942 -> Mk.II year 1943 -> Fuselage repair -> Offensive 7 mm -> New 7 mm MGs
Pros and cons
- Extremely good manoeuvrability for a twin-engine fighter
- Four nose-mounted cannons
- Good amount of ammunition
- Stable gun platform
- Usable payload
- Can have a large impact on the ground battle
- Cockpit has good visibility
- Out turns numerous twin-engine aircraft
- Large benefit to turning offered by combat flaps
- The four Browning machine guns allow you to stay in combat with some effectiveness after the cannon ammo is expended
- Large default fuel load
- Slower then would be expected, given how it's often represented in history books
- Large Engines are prone to damage
- Wooden airframe can't take as much damage as other twin-engine fighters
- Copilot/navigator appears to not count in damage model, so losing the front pilot will make you lose the plane
- Flaps appear to tear at lower speeds than that of most other aircraft
- As with all British aircraft, cannons overheat easily
The Mosquito began life in a more than a shaky start. In 1936 the Ministry issued Specification P.13/36 that stated a twin-engine bomber that could carry a payload of 3,000 lb for 3,000 miles while having a maximum speed of 275 mph. It was also stated that it should also carry 8,000 lb at shorter ranges. Geoffrey De Havilland sent a letter to an Air ministry council member Air Marshal Wilfrid Freeman stating that a high-speed bomber could be made out of wood and powered by RR Merlin engines as there would be a shortage of strategic metals in a war. However, Freeman replied that it would fall short of the specification by either bomb load or speed both of which were important.
De Havilland believed that the adjustment was too large and that he should design the new bomber with no unneeded equipment. He began to base his new design on the DH. Albatross airliner. He would add a tail turret and around two manual guns to the design and replace the power plants with Merlin X engines. There would be a crew of 3 and a top speed of 300 mph. Although De Havilland still believed the design could be improved more and looked at other designs based on the albatross.
The new design would be more aerodynamic, wooden and powered by the Merlin engine. He also wanted to remove any gun turrets to make less weight and manufacturing easier. It would also be manoeuvrable to make it easy to avoid fighters and future fighters. However, the design was the opposite of the Air Ministry's current ideology and so little interest was shown. By the 4th of October 1939, the design had become a fast twin-engine light bomber and had moved to the secure location of Salisbury Hall for further work. However, the design was still too radical for the Air Ministry. The outbreak of war made the now DH. 98 a bit more attractive but the lack of defensive armament still made the Air Ministry cautious of the design. A small remote-controlled turret was added at the back of the cockpit to please the Ministry. On the 12th of November, a meeting between the Air Ministry and the aircraft companies De Havilland showed that his design could reach 500 mph and so was able to drop the requirement for a turret.
A month later the Vice-Chief of the Air Staff, Director General of Research and Development, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command had a meeting to see where the DH.98 could fit into RAF service. the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command refused the design for a fast bomber but instead believed it would fit in as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft. On the first of January, the DH.98 received backing after a mock-up was inspected resulting in an order of a prototype. Two months later in March 50 bomber reconnaissance variants were ordered and the May specification of F.21/40 resulted in the cannon-armed fighter variant. The fighter variant kept the mosquito alive due to its performance numbing the criticism from the government and Air Ministry even after it had shown its performance.
Operational duties of the Mk.VI
The Mosquito VI was the most mass-produced variant with 2,298 being the final score. The VI was one of Britain's primary attack aircraft and so gained fame in its low-level bombing missions against Axis forces, pilots often told of the mosquito having almost "fight like agility" and the ability to even take on single-engine fighters if needed (as some Fw 190's from Jagdgeschwader 5 found out). Its main weapon was it's speed topping out at 384 mph allowing it to do high-speed hit and run attacks with little chance of being caught. The First Mosquito VI was developed from the Mk.II, a fighter variant. As the Cannons only took up the front half of the bomb bay the rear half could be was refitted with bomb racks to hold two 250 lb or 500 lb bombs. It also had the ability to carry 8 x 60 lb rockets with 4 per wing. The first prototype flew on the first of June 1941 powered by two 1,460 hp Merlin 21's, this was then upgraded to Merlin 25's with an output of 1,635. The prototype however performed under it's expected speed only reaching 368 mph when the aircraft was fitted with "saxophone" exhausts. Stub exhausts were then fitted and a retest found the performance boot to 384 mph bringing the performance back to the expected figures. The series II modification allowed two 250 lb/500 lb bombs or fuel tanks.
The Mk. VI was used as the RAF's primary strike aircraft with the ability to attack targets with the accuracy that could never be achieved by the four-engine heavy bombers. It's speed allowed it to make fast runs into occupied Europe, attack a target and return with little chance of being intercepted. The speed even made it viable for daylight runs with low loss rates that would be impossible for four-engine bombers too. It served with many squadrons including the famed 617 "Dambusters" and other air forces around the world in and after the war. It also had a life of being a pathfinder by reaching the target before the heavy bombers did and dropping incendiary bombs on the target that could then be seen the Bombardier to aim for. The wooden profile also made it hard to detect on German radar thus improving its survival rate. The VI was also employed as a night fighter to intercept landing bombers and even enemy night fighters. The Mosquito gain its fame and legendary status with its very high survival rate, versatility and it's famous daring low-level bombing
The Mosquito had many famous exploits as depicted in post-war films, with some better than others. The two most famous ones featuring the VI were Operation Jericho and interrupting old Goering. Operation Jericho was the RAF's attempt at bombing Amiens Prison in early 1944 and was one of the most daring attacks although it's often questioned if the attack was needed. In the attack, the bombs hit the guard's barrack as well as breaching the Prison's walls however this did come at a cost. 102 prisoners were killed with a further 74 injured. However, 258 escaped of whom 78 were resistance or political prisoners but around 182 of these were later captured. in the attack out of the 9 Mosquito's 3 were shot down with 3 crew KIA and three taken prisoner. Of the three KIA one was the commander Group Captain Percy Charles "Pick" Pickard (DSO & Two Bars, DFC) and his navigator. The Raid was highly criticized and the reason for the raid or the objective for it has never been found
The Mosquito also lived up to its name by being a nuisance to none other than Herman Goering. On the 31st of January 1943, Goering proudly proclaimed that no enemy aircraft will bomb Berlin however during his speech to a large parade he was cut off when a squadron of mosquito's bombed the broadcasting station interrupting the speech.
The Mosquito ended its career with many nicknames including "Mossie", "Termite's dream", "the timber terror" and most famously "The wooden wonder". However, the one that probably suited it most was "All things to all men". This encapsulates the mosquito's effect of not only being adored by its pilots and crew but the admiration the British public gave it from its ability to be such a morale-boosting plane. To be honest the best quote ever said about the mosquito came from none other than Goering himself "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."
A twin engine monoplane which entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1941, the de Havilland Mosquito was originally conceived as a high speed bomber/reconnaissance aircraft whose performance would be so outstanding that defensive armament was not required. When its plans were originally drawn up in the autumn of 1938, a second alarming feature was conceived – to save materials for other war machines, the Mosquito would be made of largely of wood. This concept was perhaps too advanced for the British Air Ministry, and it was not until after the beginning of the Second World War that de Havilland's plans were seriously considered. The prototype first flew in November 1940, and shortly after astounded any sceptics by demonstrating a top speed of just under 400 mph and an exceptional manoeuvrability for its size.
The first Mosquito to enter service, the PR Mk I, was a photographic reconnaissance aircraft which, like the original plans, was unarmed. On its first operational sortie over occupied France, it easily outran three Messerschmitt 109s. The second major production variant was the B Mk IV, a bomber with the range to reach Berlin.
For the first major fighter-bomber variant, the Mosquito FB Mk VI, the airframe was based on the F Mk II and first flew on June 1st 1942.
The first series of Mosquito FB Mk VI Srs.1 aircraft (300 in number) were equipped with a liquid cooled engine, the Rolls Royce Merlin Mk21, Mk23, or later the Mk25. The aircraft were armed with four fuselage-mounted 20mm British-Hispano Mk II cannons and four 0.303 inch Colt-Browning Mk II machine guns. In addition, the aircraft inherited the F Mk II's capacity for carrying two 250 lb (113 kg) bombs on underwing pylons. The internal bomb bay was completely filled with the aircraft's weaponry and an extra fuel tank.
The FB Mk VI Srs.2, the second production series, was fitted with the Merlin Mk 25 engine, guaranteeing the best possible performance characteristics at low and medium altitude. The internal fuel tank was removed so that the aircraft could carry 250 lb bombs in its internal bomb bay, plus two 250 or 500 lb (227 kg) bombs carried externally. A further option was to mount extra fuel tanks under the wings instead of bombs, carrying 50, 100, or 200 gallon (227.3, 454.6, or 909.2 litres) of fuel, or eight 25 or 60 lb rockets. The aircraft's cannons and machine guns remained unchanged.
The FB Mk VI first saw combat on October 3rd 1943. The aircraft was widely used in the precision strike role against especially important targets. From 1944 on, the FB Mk VI was used by the RAF Coastal Command and saw action over the Bay of Biscay, the North Sea, the English Channel, and over the rivers of France, Belgium, and Germany.
The FB Mk VI was the most widely produced of all Mosquito variants during the war; factories managed to produce 2,584 aircraft. All in all, 6,710 Mosquitoes (from all series) were manufactured. According to General Bennett, the only drawback the 'wooden wonder' had was that there were never enough of them. After a hugely successful wartime career, the Mosquito continued to serve with several nations well into the 1950s.
- Text of this page was written for the Wiki competition "Combat training" by Zesphr. Link to original contest entry article.
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