Mosquito, British Reconnaissance Aircraft

Photograph of Mosquito bomber

Imperial War Museum. Via Wikipedia Commons

De Havilland Mosquito PR.IX





54'2" by 41'6" by 15'3"
16.51m by 12.65m by 4.65m


14,569-22,000 lbs
6608-10,000 kg

Maximum speed      

408 mph
657 km/h

Cruising speed

250 mph
402 km/h

Climb rate

48 feet per second
14.6 meters per second

Service ceiling

38,000 feet
11,600 meters

Power plant

2 1680 hp (1253 kW) Merlin 72 vee-12 engines driving three bladed propellers


2450 miles
3940 km


10 PR.1
90 PR.IX
432 PR.XVI
5 PR.32
50 PR.34
6 PR.40


The PR.XVI had a pressurized cabin.
The PR.34 was a long-range version that continued in production after the war.

The Mosquito is legendary for its exploits as a fast bomber in Europe. However, its photoreconnaissance version saw extensive service in the Far East and Pacific. It was faster than most fighters and could fly at high altitude, and proved very difficult to intercept. It was similar in this respect to the Japanese Dinah. The aircraft was constructed largely of plywood and had no defensive armament, relying on its speed for protection. The plywood construction also gave it an unusually small radar signature, making it arguably the first stealth aircraft. The photoreconnaissance version carried three vertical cameras.

The concept dated to 1938, but it was not well received and only reluctantly approved for prototyping. The prototype first flew on 25 November 1940; the third prototype was a photoreconnaissance version and flew in June 1941. It made its operational debut on September 1941 over northern France in broad daylight, comfortably outpacing three German fighters sent to intercept it.

An attempt was made to begin production of the Mosquito in Australia, but only the PR.40 reconnaissance models saw service before the war ended.


Wilson (1998)

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