WWII Wooden Wonders

The DeHavilland Mosquito is a well known fighter/ bomber of World War II. Would you be surprised to find out that it was constructed mostly of wood? Not only was it made of wood but there were other military aircraft made of wood during WWII as well.
But first let’s take a look at the Mosquito….
DeHavilland Mosquito DH-98
Dehavilland Mosquito
During the war it was thought that if an airplane were built by manufacturers outside of the aircraft industry and out of non strategic materials such as wood, not only could an untapped workforce of cabinet makers and carpenters be utilized, but production could be simplified thereby enabling a faster construction rate of aircraft so vital to the war effort.
The Mosquito, also known as “The Wooden Wonder”, “The Timber Terror”, or “Mossie” is the most famous of these wooden aircraft so I thought we should take a look at how it was built, since these techniques are similar to those used in building other aircraft made of wood.
Apply glue1. Glue is applied to build up a “sandwich” of plywood for the outer aircraft skins. Apply wood veneers2. Wood veneers of birch or spruce were layered with balsa wood cores in between. This is done over a mold so that the final shape is held when cured.
Apply pressure3. Pressure is applied by bands for tight bonds. Remove from mold4. Here the fuselage skin is removed from the mold.
Construct bulkheads5. Bulkheads are prepared for the inner structure of the aircraft to be joined to the skins later. Join halves6. After the bulkheads have been attached to the fuselage skins, everything is glued and clamped together.
Finished fuselage7. The finished fuselage ready to be attached to the wings. Ribs to spar8. Wing ribs are being attached to the wing spar for the internal structure “skeleton” of the wing.
Skin wing9. Finally, the wing is covered with wood veneers. Join aircraft parts10. The fuselage and wings meet and are joined at 4 attachment points. This is a very light yet extremely strong aircraft.
Add systems11. The final systems are added as well as the engines and the aircraft is ready for action! Total Mosquitos built……. 7,781
Max Speed……………. 415 mph
Production years…….. 1940-50
More WWII Wooden Aircraft
Here are some other aircraft that were constructed mostly out of wood:
ITALY- Ambrosini SAI.207Ambrosini 207
ITALY- Ambrosini SAI.403Ambrosini SAI.403
ENGLAND- Avro AnsonAvro Anson
ENGLAND- Armstrong Whitworth A.W.41 AlbemarleArmstrong Whitworth Albemarle
FRANCE- Caudron C.714Caudron C714
UNITED STATES- Cessna AT-17/UC-78 BobcatCessna AT-17
UNITED STATES- Fairchild PT-19PT-19
GERMANY- Focke Wulf TA-154Focke Wulf TA-154
GERMANY- Heinkel He 162 VolksjägerHE-162
GERMANY- Horten HO-229HO-229
RUSSIA- Yakovlev Yak-1Yak 1

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