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IAF Aircraft Inventory: de Havilland Mosquito

First flown in December 1940, the “Wooden Wonder” was built of ply and balsa. The first Israeli Mosquito arrived shortly before the end of the War of Independence, but it was only with the arrival of 67 former French examples in 1952 that the Mosquito squadron was formed. Eventually, more than a hundred examples were in service. Before the 1956 Sinai campaign the Mosquito squadron was active mostly in the reconnaissance role, using the Mosquito's long range and high service ceiling to bring back intelligence from as far as Baghdad and the Egyptian-Libyan border without the fear of being intercepted. Gathering was intensified in the months leading up to the campaign, with more than 30 sorties staged every month. Once operation “Kadesh”, Israel's part in the Suez campaign, was launched, the Mosquito was used primarily in the ground attack role, attacking both Egyptian force concentrations and enemy airfields. The type was finally retired in 1957.

Specification: de Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI
Type: two-seat long-range fighter bomber.
Powerplant: 2 * Rolls-Royce Merlin 25.
Performance: max speed — 380 mph at sea level, operational range — 1,885 miles.
Weights: max takeoff weight — 10,096kg.
Dimensions: span — 16.51m, length — 12.34m.
Armament: 4 * 20mm cannon and 4 * 7.7mm machine guns with 4 * 227kg bombs internally and externaly.

Sources: IAF Inventory