Mosquito file photo [154]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Manufacturerde Havilland Aircraft Company
Primary RoleLight Bomber
Maiden Flight25 November 1940


ww2dbaseThe spruce-and-balsa wooden Mosquito multi-role aircraft were designed as fast light bombers that could outrun pursuing hostile fighters; because of their light weight and high speed, they were also used as fighters when necessary. Although the original design was released in 1938, it was not until 1940 when the British Air Ministry took notice of the wooden aircraft. When the German airmen faced these aircraft, they were amazed by their speed and their ability to protect the airspace over Britain. "In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now!", said Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, in Jan 1943. "It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy." What made Göring and the rest of Germany most envious was de Havilland's ability to construct a capable aircraft out of material as common as wood at a time when iron and steel was in great demand. The most numerous variant was the Mk.IX that served as a high altitude bomber, encouraged by the result of a Royal Air Force cost-benefit analysis: throughout the entire war, the Mosquito bombers enjoyed the lowest loss rate, while it dealt far greater damage to the Germans when compared to the larger and more expensive Lancaster bombers. During its service, 7,781 Mosquitos were built, with 6,710 of them during the war. A significant fraction of that number came from Commonwealth nations such as Canada and Australia. During the war, Mosquito bombers were responsible for dropping 35,000 tons of bombs at a loss of only 193 aircraft.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2006

Mosquito Timeline

25 Nov 1940 The prototype of the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito unarmed light bomber was flown for the first time from Hatfield Aerodrome, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. The aircraft was flown by Geoffrey de Havilland, accompanied by engineer John E. Walker.
2 Jun 1941 The British RAF took delivery of the first Mosquito PR 1 photo-reconnaissance aircraft. With double the range of the streamlined Spitfire photo-reconnaissance aircraft, by early 1942 UK-based Mosquito aircraft would be regularly flying photo-reconnaissance missions as far away as northern Norway, Ostpreußen (East Prussia) in Germany, and the north of Italy.
17 Sep 1941 The first operation conducted by a British Mosquito aircraft was launched to take photographs of German-controlled ports.


MachineryTwo Rolls-Royce Merlin 21 engines rated at 1,230hp each
Armament4x20mm Hispano cannons, 4x0.303in Brownings
Span16.52 m
Length13.57 m
Height4.66 m
Weight, Empty6,396 kg
Weight, Loaded7,938 kg
Speed, Maximum595 km/h
Service Ceiling10,520 m
Range, Normal2,990 km

MachineryTwo Rolls-Royce Merlin 21 engines rated at 1,230hp each
Armament4x20mm Hispano cannons, 4x0.303in Brownings, 4x227kg bombs
Span16.52 m
Length13.57 m
Height4.66 m
Weight, Empty6,396 kg
Weight, Loaded10,206 kg
Speed, Maximum595 km/h
Service Ceiling10,520 m
Range, Normal2,990 km

MachineryTwo Rolls-Royce Merlin 72 engines rated at 1,680hp each
Armament4x20mm Hispano cannons, 4x0.303in Brownings, 4,000lb of bombs or extra fuel
Span16.52 m
Length13.57 m
Height4.66 m
Weight, Empty6,895 kg
Weight, Loaded11,340 kg
Speed, Maximum684 km/h
Service Ceiling12,190 m
Range, Normal2,990 km


A Mosquito bomber in flight, date unknownMosquito aircraft in flight, circa 1944Mosquito bombers of No. 487 Squadron RNZAF attacking the prison (large building at center left) at Amiens during Operation Jericho, France, 18 Feb 1944De Havilland Mosquito Photo Reconnaissance variant at Akyab Island airstrip, Burma, 1945 (now Sittwe, Myanmar).
See all 6 photographs of Mosquito Light Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
22 Aug 2010 11:46:59 AM

The Mosquito Mk XVIII carried a 57mm cannon and four 303 caliber machine guns. The cannon was 1,800lbs/815kgs in weight, and each round for the cannon was 7lbs/3.2kgs in weight. Twenty five rounds for the cannon was carried and with an automatic-loader, could fire all twenty five rounds in twenty seconds! Twenty seven aircraft were fitted with this weapon, However it was found out that two 500lb bombs, or eight 60lb rockets were found to be better suited.
2. David Barker says:
13 Jan 2020 06:23:10 AM

I believe that the maiden flight of the prototype Mosquito constructed at Salisbury Hall, London Colney in November 1940 was from an adjacent field, not from Hatfield Aerodrome as stated on your website. A photograph taken there prior to this flight is shown in the HistoryNet article on the Mosquito aircraft at:

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Mosquito Light Bomber Photo Gallery
A Mosquito bomber in flight, date unknown
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