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De Havilland Mosquito B Mk IV
The first order for the production of Mosquito bombers came on 17 July 1941, when the original contract was modified for the second time. Late in 1940 an original order for fifty bomber/ reconnaissance aircraft had been altered to one for twenty one aircraft, mostly photo reconnaissance aircraft or prototypes and a separate order for twenty six fighters. Finally, in July 1941 it was decided to produce nine of the twenty one aircraft remaining in the original order as bombers.
Amongst the other aircraft in that order was the single B Mk V, the original bomber prototype. This aircraft was used as a test bed, but the B Mk V series never entered full production. Instead the interim B Mk IV series remained the only unarmed Mosquito bomber variant until the appearance of the Mk IX in 1943.
The first nine B Mk IVs were known as the PRU/ Bomber Conversion type, or B Mk IV series i. Like the PR Mk I, they were powered by the Merlin 21 engine, used the same glass nose and were entered via a hatch under the cockpit. They also used the same short engine nacelles as the PR Mk I. Production of these nine aircraft took from October 1941 to February 1942.
Deliveries of the main B Mk IV series ii began in April 1942. The main visual difference was that the series ii aircraft used a longer engine nacelle, extending behind the wing. This solved a problem with excessive turbulence around the tail plane of the Mosquito. The aircraft could also carry a 50 gallon slipper type fuel drop tank under each wing. 300 B Mk IV series iis were built before production ended in August 1943.
Experiments with the B Mk V had proved that the Mosquito could carry four modified 500lb bombs, with shortened fins to allow the bomb to fit inside the Mosquito bomb bay. The Mosquito’s bomb load was thus doubled from a projected 1,000lb to a rather more useful 2,000lb. The original bomb load was the same as that used in other light bombers in RAF service, such as the Bristol Blenheim.
In April 1943 that bomb load was doubled again, when the first Mosquito was altered to carry the RAF’s large 4,000lb “Cookies”. This required the use of bulged bomb bay doors, to provide enough space for the big bomb, the removal of some of the internal fuel tank, the addition of ballast in the nose to keep the aircraft level, and the use of under wing drop tanks. This gave the Mosquito a bigger bomb load than many medium bombers! Only 23 B Mk IVs were converted to carry the big bombs. The Mk IV was operating on the edge of its capacity when carrying the big bomb, but for later, more powerful variants of the Mosquito it would become almost the standard bomb load.
A number of Mk IVs were also modified to carry the Highball bouncing bomb. This was a smaller version of the bomb used on the famous “Dam Busters” raid, designed to be used against enemy shipping. No. 618 Squadron was formed to use the special weapon, but by the time they were ready, there were no German targets left, so the unit was moved to the Pacific. By the time they arrived there were no Japanese targets left, and the unit was disbanded without every having used its special bombs.
Initial production of the Mosquito bombers was slow. The first B Mk IV series i aircraft was flow to No. 105 Squadron on 15 November 1941, by Geoffrey de Havilland Jr! Operations began in May 1942. A second squadron was not formed until 8 June 1942, when No. 139 squadron began to share No. 105’s aircraft.
The Mosquito was first used to launch nuisance raids over Germany, with the hope that the constant alarms would wear down German morale. Amongst these raids was an attack on Cologne on 1 June 1942, the day after the first thousand bomber raid. This time Bomber Command launched a four bomber raid.
The B Mk IV also began the Mosquito’s career of pinpoint attacks against special targets. The first such raid came on 26 September 1942, when Mosquitoes of No. 105 Squadron bombed the Gestapo headquarters in Oslo, destroying many records on the Norwegian resistance.
These early raids proved that the basic principle behind the Mosquito - that of a light bomber capable of outrunning enemy fighters – was correct. Even the Fw 190 could at best keep pace with the Mosquito. As faster German fighter aircraft appeared, so would faster Mosquitoes.
HK Models 1/32 de Havilland Mosquito B.IV Series II Kit First Look
For a brief history on this aircraft, check out our first look at the Revell 1/48 Mossie B.IV here.
What a great year to be a large scale modeler AND a Mosquito lover! Within weeks of one another, we have the HK Models 1/32 Mosquito B.IV and the Tamiya 1/32 Mosquito FB.VI. What's the difference? The B.IV is a tactical bomber with a clear nose for the bombardier to aim. The FB.VI has the gun nose with four .303 machine guns with four 20mm cannons below.
If you've read some of my Mosquito write-ups, you'll know that my son's godfather was Jim Luma, an Air Berlin 707 pilot when I knew him in Berlin, but during WWII, he was an American that volunteered to fly with 418 Sqn (RCAF) and operate under the RAF in the UK. During his time with 418 Sqn, he had been credited with six air kills, and numerous ground kills. Also during his time with 418 Sqn, the US had entered the war and as the USAAF was gearing up operations in the UK, they attempted to bring Pilot/Officer Luma into the USAAF. In a stir that went to 10 Downing Street, the USAAF agreed to let Jim complete his tour with 418 Sqn BUT he had to wear a USAAF uniform. So if you've seen photos from 418 Sqn, he is the one smoking a pipe and wearing the USAAF uniform. For his time in 418 Squadron, I need Tamiya's FB.VI kit.
While Jim didn't talk much about his missions after moving over to the USAAF, he did fly reconnaissance Mosquitos and he had some interesting tales about flying the lighter, faster, Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft. It was by luck that I found an image from the Imperial War Museum archives of Mosquito PR.XVI while it was assigned to the 25th Bomb Group and there is Jim Luma with his pipe. Now I have a starting point for an aircraft he flew for his special OSS missions over Germany.
To render a PR.XVI, I can use this HK Models B.IV as a starting point. before we go any further, let's take a look at what we have to work with. This kit is an engineering marvel with its (literally) one-piece wing (they've molded the top and bottom of the wing as one piece and you simply slip the movable landing flaps in place before closing things up). The two wing images to the right show the top and bottom of that one-piece wing.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 24 parts trees (duplicates not shown), four trees of clear parts, and one fret of photo-etched parts. This initial release also includes two beautifully sculpted gray resin flight crew figures posed standing in full gear ready to fly. The molding of the kit is very nicely done with no signs of flash and when you can find them, minimal ejector pin marks.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit with decals for instrument faces
- Photo-etched Sutton harness crew restraints
- Nicely detailed bombardier nose
- Cockpit transparencies are modular (important - more on this below)
- Positionable cockpit entry door
- Movable elevators
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable ailerons
- Movable flaps
- Two Merlin engines with nice detailing
- Cowling panels can be installed, partially removed, or completely removed to display Merlins
- Detailed radiators
- Detailed fuel cells in bomb bay
- Choice of standard or bulged bomb bay doors
- Choice of four bombs or one large bomb in bomb bay
- Positionable landing gear
- Detailed main landing gear wells
- Detailed main landing gear wheels and struts
- Optional slipper tanks
This kit has markings for three examples:
- B.IV, DK296, 305 FTU, Errol AB, Soviet AF, 1943
- B.IV, DZ637, 692 Sqn, P3-C, Graveley, RAF, 1944
- B.IV, DZ637, 627 Sqn, AZ-X, Woodhall Spa, RAF, 1944
The decals are printed by Cartograf and include a set of airframe stencils. And yes, DZ637 does appear in two different units at different times in 1944.
It's obvious by the design of this kit that HK Models will be releasing other variants of the Mosquito and some of those parts are in the box. Not mentioned in the instructions are the inclusion of both the narrow and wide-chord propellers as well as those modular parts in the cockpit transparency. If you look carefully at the clear parts, you see the flat side windows of the FB.VI and other fighter-bomber versions as well as the bulged side windows used in this version. More importantly (for me), the kit also has the bulge in the overhead escape hatch that was used on several variants including the reconnaissance Mossies.
So in this box, I have almost everything I need to buid the PR.XVI except one key detail, the two-stage Merlin cowlings. If you look behind Jim's head in the photo above, the carburetor intake is there which is common to all of the Merlin-powered Mosquitos. It is the air intake over his head, immediately under the spinner that distinguishes the two-stage Merlin. That detail isn't in the box, but I have found a solution here.
HK Models clearly sent an advanced copy to Eduard as they have given this kit some love including:
Eduard also has 32376 Bomb Bay and 32377 Exterior/Engine Set coming next month.
Finaly, HK Models provides a paint guide featuring Gunze, Tamiya, and AK Interactive paints. Here is an expansion of the table with the other colors in our database:
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The Mosquito was one of the RAF's most powerful and fastest bombers during the Second World War and was built in a total of 5,500 units until 1945. The lightweight aircraft owes its success to the special materials used, with wood being used instead of aluminium for the basic structure and exterior coating. The prototype flew on 25 November 1940, after which the Wooden Miracle went into series production. The Mosquito flew away from all German fighter planes. When Reichsmarschall Göring organised a parade on 31.1. 1943 in Berlin, 3 Mosquito bombers dropped their load nearby and were able to escape in peace despite a huge fighter force. The production was increased during the war, they were then also used as fighters and photo reconnaissance aircraft, including by the US Army Air Corps. The maximum speed was 611 km/h, the range 3272 km. A maximum bomb load of 906 kg could be carried.
Hong Kong Models de Havilland Mosquito B Mk.IV Series II 1:32
Kit ref: HK01E15
Price around £150.00 GBP (July 2015)
Review by Aaron Scott
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder”. The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews.
On 21 June 1941 the Air Ministry ordered that the last 10 Mosquitoes, ordered as photo-reconnaissance aircraft, should be converted to bombers. These 10 aircraft were part of the original 1 March 1940 production order and became the B Mk IV Series 1. W4052 was to be the prototype and flew for the first time on 8 September 1941.
The bomber prototype led to the B Mk IV, of which 273 were built: apart from the 10 Series 1s, all of the rest were built as Series 2s with extended nacelles, revised exhaust manifolds, with integrated flame dampers, and larger tailplanes. Series 2 bombers also differed from the Series 1 in having a larger bomb bay to increase the payload to four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, instead of the four 250 pounds (110 kg) bombs of Series 1. This was made possible by shortening the tail of the 500 pounds (230 kg) bomb so that these four larger weapons could be carried (or a 2,000 lb (920 kg) total load). The B Mk IV entered service in May 1942 with 105 Squadron.
In April 1943 it was decided to convert a B Mk IV to carry a 4,000 lb (1,812 kg), thin-cased high explosive bomb (nicknamed “Cookie”). The conversion, including modified bomb bay suspension arrangements, bulged bomb bay doors and fairings, was relatively straightforward, and 54 B.IVs were subsequently modified and distributed to squadrons of RAF Bomber Command’s Light Night Striking Force 27 B Mk IVs were later converted for special operations with the Highball anti-shipping weapon, and were used by 618 Squadron, formed in April 1943 specifically to use this weapon. A B Mk IV, DK290 was initially used as a trials aircraft for the bomb, followed by DZ471, 530 and 533. The B Mk IV had a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 miles (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m).
The de Havilland Mosquito operated in many roles during the Second World War, being tasked to perform medium bomber, reconnaissance, tactical strike, anti-submarine warfare and shipping attack and night fighter duties, both defensive and offensive, until the end of the war.
In July 1941, the first production Mosquito W 4051 (a production fuselage combined with some prototype flying surfaces – see section of Article “Prototypes and test flights”) was sent to No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (PRU), operating at the time at RAF Benson. Consequently, the secret reconnaissance flights of this aircraft were the first active service missions of the Mosquito. In 1944, the journal Flight gave 19 September 1941 as date of the first PR mission, at an altitude “of some 20 000 ft.”
On 15 November 1941, 105 Squadron, RAF, took delivery of the first operational Mosquito Mk. B.IV bomber, serial no. W4064. Throughout 1942, 105 Sqdn, based at RAF Horsham St. Faith, then from 29 September, RAF Marham, undertook daylight low-level and shallow dive attacks. Apart from the famous Oslo raid, these were mainly on industrial targets in occupied Netherlands, plus northern and western Germany. The crews faced deadly flak and fighters, particularly FW 190’s, which they called “snappers.” Germany still controlled Continental airspace, and the FW 190’s were often already airborne and at an advantageous altitude. It was the Mosquito’s excellent handling capabilities, rather than pure speed, that facilitated those evasions that were successful. During this daylight-raiding phase, aircrew losses were high – even the losses incurred in the squadron’s dangerous Blenheim era were exceeded in percentage terms. The Roll of Honour shows 51 aircrew deaths from the end of May 1942 to April 1943. In the corresponding period, crews gained three Mentions in Despatches, two DFM’s and three DFC’s.
The Mosquito was first announced publicly on 26 September 1942 after the Oslo Mosquito raid of 25 September. It was featured in The Times on the 28 September, and the next day the newspaper published two captioned photographs illustrating the bomb strikes and damage.
De Havilland DH98 Mosquito B.Mk.35 TA634
If seeing the prototype Mosquito displayed on a rare excursion outside the hanger were not reason enough to head down to Salisbury Hall over the Easter holidays, the fact that she would be enjoying the company of one of her hangar-mates during the weekend made this a doubly significant occasion. TA634 is an example of the last bomber version of the Mosquito, with this aircraft entering RAF service just too late to see operations during the Second World War. Optimised for higher altitude performance, these magnificent aircraft had the ability to carry a 4,000 lb ‘Cookie’ High Capacity blast bomb in its modified bomb bay and when combined with a pair of 60 gallon drop tanks, could carry this devastating weapon all the way to Berlin.
This particular machine was one of the last Mosquitos built at the de Havilland Hatfield site, constructed as a B.Mk.35 variant and making its first flight in 1945. It was later to become one of the 146 Mosquito B.35s converted for target towing duties, going on to see service with CAACU (Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit) from November 1953. Its final service posting was to No.3 CAACU at Exeter in September 1959, where in conjunction with several other Mosquitos, would provide target towing support for air and ground units around the country – interestingly, in May 1963, TA634 was one of the aircraft which took part in the ‘Official last flypast’ by Mosquitos at Exeter, before the aircraft were retired from this role and replaced by jet powered aircraft.
The museum’s Mosquito B.Mk.35 was pulled out from the hangar into some particularly unfriendly Hertfordshire skies
Following her service retirement, this Mosquito was flown to Liverpool’s Speke Airport, where she was destined to become the centrepiece display in a new terminal complex building and became the property of Liverpool Corporation. In the end, this development did not take place as originally intended, but rather than rot away in some forgotten corner of the airfield, TA634 was returned to airworthy condition and starred in the feature film ‘Mosquito Squadron’, which was shot on location at Bovingdon Airfield, not far from Hatfield, where the aircraft was built. She was flown for the final time on 16th July 1968, when she returned to her owners at Speke Airport and something of an uncertain future.
Although the two Mosquitos were initially dragged out under grey, rain heavy skies, the clouds parted for a golden half hour during the afternoon
With the Mosquito Museum now established at Salisbury Hall and their quest to secure as many de Havilland and specifically Mosquito related artefacts as possible, there really did only seem to be one logical home for TA634 – she was acquired by the museum in 1970 and officially handed over on 15th May 1971. For a ten year period between 1980 and 1990, the aircraft underwent a concerted period of conservation and restoration and now forms part of arguably the world’s finest collection of Mosquitos. She is currently presented in the markings of an RAF No.571 Squadron aircraft 8K-K ‘King’, (ML963) which is thought to have completed 84 missions with the squadron, 31 of which were flown all the way to Berlin. On one particularly challenging mission, the aircraft was required to fly at low level and skip-bomb a 4,000lb delayed action ‘Cookie’ into the Bitburg railway tunnel on New Year’s Day 1945, in an effort to prevent the Germans sending reinforcements to the front line during the Battle of the Bulge.
De Havilland 98 Mosquito B Mk IV Cockpit Port side 12
Hypothetical view of de Havilland 98 Mosquito B Mk IV cockpit interior. This is the port side, the pilot's station. The starboard side was done mostly as a colored pencil sketch:
Some or most of the utility and add-on wiring is missing here, along with the white tubing that carries oxygen to the regulator valve, and then, to the economizer. Regulator is also missing.
The spaghetti tubing that sends dried air to the space between the double-pane windows isn't present, although the drier cartridge is hanging next to the economizer, above the fire extinguisher in the nose.
The pump for the deicing spray on the windscreen is visible near the bottom of the instrument panel, but no fluid reservoir, tubing or spray nozzle is present.
There ought to be one or two more racks of flare cartridges
The pilot's seat belt release isn't installed on the seat side, nor is there any evidence of the belts themselves.
The radio channel select box should connect at the bottom face, not at the left side as shown.
All together, therefore, not bad. It looked something like this. A symphony of gray-green, black and dark gray, with red highlights and primary color bits and bobs. Rudder pedals are silver (aluminum paint) I made the boot over the base of the control column the same green cloth as the head-protector pad in the roof of the nose.
I notice that a few modellers have taken this kit to task in terms of the nose contour and engine cowl profile. Aaron has examined the kit carefully and his conclusion is that these possible ‘issues’ don’t seem to be that obvious and there’s no denying that this model certainly looks like a Mosquito B Mk.IV. The bottom line is the new Tamiya model is expected to be released at the same or similar price point to this offering from HKM and that means this kit will have considerable competition on its hands.
In any event, keep a very close eye on Build Now – we will definitely be bringing you 2 builds of this HKM kit (from Aaron S and Dave C) plus at least one of the forthcoming Tamiya de Havilland Mosquito – so, whichever way you go, you’ll get fantastic help and insight into building both models ☺ happy days indeed!
SMN Quick summary Star rating out of 5
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||****|
|Level of detail||****|
De Havilland Mosquito B Mk.IV
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew which served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder". The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace. A single passenger could be carried in the aircraft's bomb bay, which would be adapted for the purpose.
When production of the Mosquito began in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Entering widespread service in 1942, the Mosquito was a high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft, continuing in this role throughout the war. From mid-1942 to mid-1943, Mosquito bombers flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe. From late 1943, Mosquito bombers were formed into the Light Night Strike Force and used as pathfinders for RAF Bomber Command's heavy-bomber raids. They were also used as "nuisance" bombers, often dropping Blockbuster bombs – 4,000 lb (1,812 kg) "cookies" – in high-altitude, high-speed raids that German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept.
As a night fighter from mid-1942, the Mosquito intercepted Luftwaffe raids on the United Kingdom, notably those of Operation Steinbock in 1944. Starting in July 1942, Mosquito night-fighter units raided Luftwaffe airfields. As part of 100 Group, it was a night fighter and intruder supporting RAF Bomber Command's heavy bombers that reduced bomber losses during 1944 and 1945. As a fighter-bomber in the Second Tactical Air Force, the Mosquito took part in "special raids", such as the attack on Amiens Prison in early 1944, and in precision attacks against Gestapo or German intelligence and security forces. Second Tactical Air Force Mosquitos supported the British Army during the 1944 Normandy Campaign. From 1943, Mosquitos with RAF Coastal Command strike squadrons attacked Kriegsmarine U-boats (particularly in 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, where significant numbers were sunk or damaged) and intercepted transport ship concentrations.
The Mosquito flew with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other air forces in the European, Mediterranean and Italian theatres. The Mosquito was also operated by the RAF in the South East Asian theatre, and by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) based in the Halmaheras and Borneo during the Pacific War. During the 1950s, the RAF replaced the Mosquito with the jet-powered English Electric Canberra.
O ministério do ar não demonstrou interesse no aparelho, e o arquivou. Só depois do início da guerra em 1940 foi permitido ao construtor começar a produção. O primeiro protótipo construído secretamente em Salisbury Hall voou pela primeira vez a 25 de Novembro de 1940.
Quando o aparelho foi demonstrado aos céticos militares e oficiais do governo, estes ficaram impressionados que este bombardeiro possuía da manobralidade de um caça, atingindo uma velocidade máxima de 650 km/h. Terminados os testes oficiais começou a produção em série em Junho de 1941.
Sua estrutura era construída com madeira compensada, o que tornava a aeronave leve e resistente. A utilização de madeira trazia algumas vantagens como tornar a estrutura da aeronave muito resistente, conservando sua integridade geral em caso de avaria da estrutura ou da fuselagem.
A primeira operação foi um reconhecimento fotográfico sobre Brest, La Pallice e Bordéus a 20 de Setembro de 1941 e que foi um sucesso. O único Mosquito utilizado conseguiu escapar dos três Messerschmitt Bf 109 que tentaram abatê-lo.
A versão seguinte a de bombardeiro, foi designada Mosquito B.MK.IV. As entregas começaram em Novembro de 1941 equipando o Esquadrão Nº105, baseado em Swanton Morley, Norfolk. O inverno serviu para as tripulações se familiarizarem com o avião, que era bastante diferente do seu antecessor, o Bristol Blenheim, muito mais lento e mal armado.
Também houve uma versão de caça noturno, carregando um radar e armamento de quatro metralhadoras de 7,7 mm e 2 canhões de 20 mm.
O Mosquito NF.MK.II entrou em serviço no Esquadrão Nº158, tendo realizado seu primeiro ataque em Abril de 1942. A seguir equipou o Esquadrão Nº23, sendo a primeira unidade a operar o Mosquito no Mediterrâneo, baseado na ilha de Malta, em Dezembro de 1942.
Foi também exportado para União Soviética, França, Nova Zelândia, Turquia, Jugoslávia e produzido nas fábricas da De Havilland no Canadá e na Austrália. O número total de produção foi de 7.781. Muitos exemplares continuaram a prestar serviço na Royal Air Force (RAF) após a guerra.
Protótipo do De Havilland Mosquito.
Mosquito B Mark IV Serie 2.
105º Esquadrão preparando-se para decolagem.
Mosquito do esquadrão 613 de Manchester em Junho de 1944.
Protótipo do DH98 Mosquito no de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre em Hertfordshire próximo à Londres.