Author Topic: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0  (Read 954 times)

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Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2021, 01:26:06 pm »
"By the looks of it, you failed them all."

The 618 research has hit a wall, largely because I think I've got most of everything available. At least, I looked in all the usual places.

But the references themselves can be wrong. The Sharp/Bowyer the on the type lists all of the aircraft converted for Highball, although it doesn't list DK290. However, I'm not sure if that aircraft carried the full kit and not just mock ups for aerodynamic tests.  This list threw up an oddity. DZ582 isn't listed as one of the original aircraft modified but I have a photo of it with Highball but before the Oxtail mods - indeed, I did it years back with the Tamiya kit and the original Paragon conversion as one of the Operation Servant Tirpitz raiders - so the list is clearly wrong. Or is it the photo caption? The serial isn't clear enough in the photo to be sure.

Another airframe that's missed off the list is DZ493, listed in many sources online as being written off when the undercarriage collapsed after the aircraft swung in take off and hit something. The location? Weybridge. Pilot? Someone called Hutchinson and DZ493 is listed as being allocated only to 618 Sqn. Weybridge is the Vickers facility that did the Highball conversion and Hutchinson was the CO.

Finally, someone on a Highball thread on the Key Aero forum has had confirmation that the Oxtail aircraft had a bulletproof bulkhead in front of the controls that sealed off access to the nose from the cockpit. That's never been mentioned in any of the references. Too late for the Oxtail one I have ready to prime, but I do know that the fighter bulkhead will fit the bomber nose in the Tamiya kits, so an easy fix for the future.

You know where the comments go.
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht

Offline The Wooksta!

  • Slayer of "V" Bombers
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 8084
  • Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?
Re: The Wooksta's Mosquito Blog: Plan V3.0
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2021, 07:33:32 pm »
"Ah hah! Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha! Driving instructor my bottom! You're a vampire and there's no denying it!"

Still trying to track down Highball related stuff and have unearthed several areas of further research.  I knew that post war, the Navy were trialling the weapon under the codename "Card" but the tests seem to have been carried out by the Maritime Armament Experimental Establishment.  They were based at various places, Spilsbury and Conningsby seem to be two of them.  They had four Highball aircraft, a BVI, DZ579, which had received all the Oxtail mods but 618 didn't take it for their Australian tour and it ended up crashing into the sea, killing the crew, after splashback from a drop ripped off the tailplane.  Another of the Oxtail modified aircraft that 618 left behind may have been used by the unit (although the production list says it was with the AAEE) but it ended up as an instructional machine. 

Of the two Sea Mosquitoes used by MAEE, we have the serials - TW228 and TW230 - although I've yet to find a photo of either aircraft, but I do have several of aircraft close to them in the production run, TW227, TW229 and TW232.  Being in the first block, they don't have the Lockheed undercarriage nor the folding wing, so building them just got easier and they're that shade more colourful too, as the other aircraft in the block are in EDSG/Dark Slate Grey over Sky with Type C markings.

The other Highball aircraft used by MAEE was PZ281, an FB.6, and apparently the remark was made that "Highball and guns are a potent combination".  Ironically, several aircraft built on the line at the same time went to 618 in '44 as continuation trainers. PZ281 ended it's days as an instructional machine, having only been used by De Havilland and then Vickers for Highball/Card development.

Several photos of members of the MAEE in front of a glazed nose single stage Merlin Mosquito have surfaced on another site, although it's hard to tell if it's a Highball modified aircraft.  Personally, I think it's either a B.XX or B.XXV, two of the latter serving with the AAEE.

So, a Highball Sea Mosquito and a Highball FB.6 now get added into the build mix.

Not a Mosquito but 618 related.  I've got the wings on for the Beaufighter II whilst the Spitfire VIII is at a similar stage.  I just want to know what filter it had underneath - short or long and the rudder style.  Normally, I'd be quite happy to just make it up, but I've done the research to do it properly, so I may as well continue.

Edit: I've found a photo of PZ281!  Google search found it and apparently it was taken at Wisley.  Now I *think* that was a Vickers facility and the photo isn't particularly large but it does appear that the underside aft of the cannonbay has had some modifications.  And the eagle eyed amongst whoever is following this thread may spot another Mosquito in the hangar in the background that would appear to have four blade props.  The resolution/size is too low to make out the Highball mods for sure, but that, I am confident, is DZ579 or one of the Highball Sea Mosquitoes.



The photo does clarify several things about that production batch, namely paddle props and night fighter camouflage. Interestingly, it appears to have bomb racks under the wings.

A search for a better quality copy of the photo proved useless - it was in a 2014 ebay auction and thus long gone - but the search DID turn up the serials for three Avengers that were at Wisley as part of the Highball trials, the serials being FN766, FN795 and JZ317. 

So, more pieces of the puzzle are turning up.  A victory of sorts after all.

Comments for those bored enough to follow the thread and can actually be arsed to reply go here:
https://www.whatifmodellers.com/index.php?topic=49042.0
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 07:48:43 pm by The Wooksta! »
"It's basically a cure -  for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. The potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner."

"An inaccurate parcel of dog turds!"

The Plan:
www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,34762.0.ht