Wednesday, August 09, 2017
If You're Into Aviation
This is a bit like discovering King Tut's tomb. An entire set of blueprints for the legendary WWII British fighter-bomber, the "Wooden Wonder" de Havilland Mosquito have been found, just as they were about to be tossed into the recycling bin. The technical drawings are complete and cover every marque and modification from nose to tail.
Built largely from Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir (British Columbia and Alaska) by cabinet makers this was the most versatile warplane of WWII. The aircraft were manufactured in Britain, Canada and Australia. The balsa wood veneers that gave the aircraft its incredibly smooth exterior were fabricated in Wisconsin and Pembroke, Ontario.
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Wonderful. It is important that old documents like that should be saved.
No one had any idea they still existed. A Victoria firm recently restored a Mosquito out at the airport. I expect they could have saved a tonne of money if they had original blueprints to work from. I wouldn't be surprised if their Mossie doesn't wind up back in the hanger for a touch up restoration.
I watched three Mosquitoes in flight at Biggin Hill in the late sixties.
They had been used for the movie 633 squadron.
The Mosquito was possibly the most successful WWII aircraft.
I absolutely agree, TB. As it happens I watched 633 Squadron about a month ago. They remain a magnificent airplane.
My father logged a few hours in the Mosquito in 1045 (I have his RCAF logbook). Training for some 'top secret' mission which he took to his grave. He did say it was a beautiful aircraft to fly. The story goes that Gregory de Havilland was the first to break the sound barrier in a Mosquito, but neither survived the adventure.
The Mosquito never could have achieved Mach 1. The airframe, especially the tail structure, would have been shredded by transonic buffeting. The propeller tips might have gone supersonic but not the airframe.
As for Geoffrey de Havilland, he died in hospital in 1965, age 82, of a brain hemorrhage.
"Geoffrey Jr carried out the first flights of the Mosquito and Vampire and was killed in 1946 flying the jet-powered DH 108 Swallow while diving at or near the speed of sound."
If you're going to use Wikipedia as a source then you should at least read the entries.
While we're pushing for accuracy, Anon, there was no "Gregory" de Havilland involved in the testing. I assumed you meant Geoffrey. You meant Geoff Jr. And his death had nothing to do with pushing a Mosquito toward the speed of sound, an implausible challenge. He perished in a jet-powered, all-metal, swept wing and tailess design that failed structurally approaching Mach. I mistook your reference to mean Geoffrey, not Geoff Jr. You, by contrast, got pretty much everything wrong but thanks for playing.
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