Discussion in 'Aviation' started by TamH70, Jul 30, 2010.
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What was the radar cross-section of the last-model Mosquito fighter-bomber?
stick a large IKEA bedroom-set on top of a white van, then drive up and down any major UK runway in the dark to see if your noticed.
Is this a trick question?
Did it have one,it was made out of wood.
the material its made out of isnt as important as the shape. (IIRC the B-49 was far smaller than the similar sized B-47 due to the flying wing shape with very few sharp corners and flat vertical surfaces). it probably would have been pretty smaller than a Lancaster, say, but still fairly easily detectable. the props and the vertical fin would show up quite well I would imagine from my laymans knowledge of the subject. I'm sure there are people here who know more than I regarding this.
Wasn't it flown under the radar technology of the day too though?
I was under the impression that both the Boche and British early warning radar systems had bother picking up the Mosquito at all, even when they were not doing their usual "flying so low that the observers could pick up flowers for their girlfriends" thing.
I would think minimal, because I'm pretty sure wood is non-reflective when it comes to radar waves.
There would be some off any bombs, guns, sights, engines, fire extinguishers and the like, but not a huge amount.
This is why I love this site!
What an 'off the wall' question.
Tam, the question that needs to be answered is: Why do you want to know??
Best of luck anyway!!
I have an idea but it needs working on. Anyway, wouldn't lots of civvy fliers absolutely love to get hold of new-built, certified fit to fly, very fast two-engined beauties, where if you did manage to damage one, you could get spare parts from the nearest forest?
Good reply and best of luck.
And yes, probably the most beautiful aircraft of WW2
PS if you need a hand let me know!!!
theres a bloke in NZ who has built a mould to make Mozzie fuselages, hes restoring one at the mo, with the idea of making other from scratch.
Mosquito Aircraft Restoration, Auckland New Zealand
Bloody hell, this is up there with some of the random questions my Mushroomettes come out with!
As someone whose career has been centred upon radar use, both on the ground and from the air, I shall attempt to answer.
Firstly, it is a misconception that wood is the purveyor of some mythical stealth quality. It probably has a degree of radar absorbency at certain wavelengths, but not much. RCS is far more reliant upon shape and the application of radar absorbent material than construction material per se.
In addition, whilst the Mossie airframe was largely built of wood, the engine nacelles, principle control surfaces and propellers were metal; the latter in particular present a very tasty radar signature.
During WWII, the Mossie was routinely tracked by German radar. However, only the types superlative speed and altitude performance made it such a difficult target to engage. Indeed, Heinz Knokes seminal book I Flew for the Fuhrer describes how air-air destruction of a Mosquito was considered particularly noteworthy. As a result, special units using supercharged variants of several types (notably the bf109 and Ju8 were developed with the specific aim of challenging Mosquito ops; highly accurate Oboe bombing of German cities being especially annoying to Goering (he was famously vexed on 20 Jan 43, the 10th anniversary of the Nazis seizure of power, when a carefully timed Mosquito attack knocked out the main Berlin broadcasting station and put his live speech off air!).
However, it was not until the arrival of Me262 jets (a small number of which were equipped with Neptun radar) very late in the war that the Mosquito was properly challenged at high level. As mentioned, the Mossie was also employed in low level strike and intruder ops which also reduced or avoided radar detection times.
Therefore, whilst I cant give an exact RCS figure Tam, I suspect that the Mossie had a relatively average RCS for an aircraft of its size. Luftwaffe radar was able to track it throughout the war and only its outstanding performance allowed such a low attrition rate.
Thanks for that MM, it sort of blows a lot of the myths about the Mosquito being the first stealth fighter out of the water.
Now what to do about those metal engine nacelles, control surfaces and propellors? What to do, what to do?
(disappears into metaphorical shed and starts plotting)
What about modern composites, such as carbon fibre? RAM paint? Also, don't forget the air intakes inboard of the nacelles - they'd be pretty good trihedral reflectors! Funny you should raise this thread, I have a colleague (light blue) at work who's been thinking along the same lines... It would make a great "sports tourer"!
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