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de Havilland DH98 Mosquito FB Mk.VI

Aircraft Overview:

First flown in 1942, the Mosquito FB Mk.VI fighter-bomber was intended for ‘intruder’ strike missions, and became the most numerous and widely-used Mosquito variant. Based on the F Mk.II day fighter version without Air Interception radar, it retained the formidable armament of four Browning 0.303 in machine-guns in the nose and four Hispano 20 mm canon in the belly. But it was also given a bomb-bay behind the cannon, which enabled it to carry two 500 lb bombs internally (with fins cropped to fit) plus another two under the wings. Since it operated primarily at low altitude, the FB.VI was unpressurised, and retained single-stage supercharged Merlin engines. Targets for 2TAF (Second Tactical Air Force) FB.VI Mosquitos included power stations, communications centres and V-weapon sites, but operations also included one-off special raids e.g. on Amiens jail and several Gestapo HQs. Coastal Command FB.VIs used eight underwing 60 lb RPs in anti-shipping strikes. Despite problems with wood and glue in tropical conditions, FB.VI Mosquitoes also operated in the Far East Royal Navy trials with an FB.VI in 1944 achieved the first landing of a British twin-engined aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier (HMS Indefatigable), and led to the navalised torpedo-reconnaissance Sea Mosquito TR Mk.33.

Aircraft Specifications:

Power Unit: Two 1,460 hp Rolls Royce Merlin 21

Wing Span: 54 ft 2 in (16.5 m)

All-up Weight (A.U.W): 22,258 lb (10,096 kg)

Max Speed: 378 mph (608 kph)

Ceiling: 33,000 ft (10,058 m)

Range: 1,855 miles (2,985 km)

On Display at the Museum:

The Museum’s FB.VI TA122 was one of the relatively small numbers of variants built at Hatfield. It was taken on charge at 44MU on 10th March 1945 and issued to 49 ARF. It was then passed 605 Squadron at Coxyde in Belgium on 3rd April soon moving to Volkel in Holland on 25th April where 605 was re-numbered 4 Squadron on 31st August, becoming part of the 140 Wing at Gutersloh in November 1946.In November 1948 it went to No.1 BR & SD pool and as reissued to 4 Squadron on 13th January 1949 at Whan and later Celle in Germany. The aircraft was finally struck off charge on 30th June 1950when it was reduced to spares. The fuselage was used by Deflt University for training before being moved to the Royal Netherlands Airforce base at Gilze-Rijen.

In November 1975 the fuselage was given to the Museum and finally delivered on 26th February 1978.

The wings of this aircraft are from TR 33 TW233 , recovered from Israel in 1980.