|In Detail - D.H. Mosquito main landing gear covers retraction cables
venerable Wooden Wonder does not need any introduction among aviation
fans or modelers. A few years back, while shooting a walkaround of the
D.H. Mosquito TT.35 on display at the RAF Museum
Cosford, UK, I noted an interesting detail on the main landing gear
struts. A couple of days later I checked the same detail on the D.H. Mosquito B.35 at the RAF Museum London.
each main landing gear leg, there is a pair of rollers over which a
cable was passing, connecting to the wheel well doors. Getting closer,
it became clear that it was part of the doors' retraction mechanism. A
look over at the parts of my Mosquito kits, plus a quick search on the
internet revealed that, although some model manufacturers add the
rollers as raised details molded on the struts, very few modelers add
the corresponding cables.
This example was photographed by your editor during a visit to the RAF Museum Cosford,
November 2016, and it shows clearly the system:
is also evident that the cable is pulled by the landing gear strut as
it retracts into the wheel well, and the balance between both doors is
maintained by a pulley installed on the transverse bar of the retraction
The back of the doors, however, are pulled by a much simpler system: cables and springs:
I said, not many modelers add such detail to their models, but I found
out that it was used in all Mosquitos throughout its career, including
for the colors, the Mosquito landing gear was sprayed with aluminized
lacquer, but the rollers, on the few wartime photos I have checked,
appears in a darker metallic color. Brass, maybe?
I don't know if
the strut was all sprayed in aluminium and the rollers peeled off, or it
was something assembled after painting. In museum examples, they are
generally painted as the rest of the strut.
If you have
any interesting information about the history of this artifact, please drop