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Mosquito windscreen bulge - what is it?


dad's lad
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One of those clickbaits from Facebook showing pictures of the Mosquito. I was interested in the 7th picture down captioned

"RAF night fighter pilot Eric Loveland and navigator Jack Duffy in the cockpit of their Mosquito March 1945".

Just in front of the windscreen appears to be some sort of faring that I've never seen on any Mosquito before.

Any clues as to what it is and any clearer pictures?

https://m.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/warbird-de-havilland-mosquito.html#6493c7db182309d474e1d0df0699eca7.jpg

 

Edited by dad's lad
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Not sure if I'm looking at the same thing some of you are (not the wiper gubbins), but I think there's the edge of a Dark Green area that gives the visual impression of a "nostril" bulge down the centerline, forward of the windscreen.

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I'm not seeing anything in that photo that isn't standard fighter Mosquito as per the 3D render Troy posted. The plate over the top of the fuselage was standard fit, and runs in a smooth curve from the front cockpit bulkhead (just out of shot, left) under the windscreen and into the instrument panel coaming. The windscreen wiper mounting bracket sits on top of this panel on the centreline, againas per phot and 3D rendering. Note this panel, if the aircraft is as it appears to me is in standard night fighter scheme, is painted mostly dark green but with a small bit in the port aft corner in medium sea grey. The rest of the airframe visible in shot is also medium sea grey. The light patch with the dark squiggle above this panel is background detail immediately behind the aircraft.

The windscreen is standard fighter, thre's nothing passing through it.

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I think @gingerbob is right, its an optical illusion caused by the very small angle to the front screen accentuated to curvature of the bottom of the windscreen, the paint demarcation finished the job & causes the effect of a bulge. Once Gingerbob pointed it out it quickly became clear to me though I was taken in initially.

Steve.

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46 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

Not sure if I'm looking at the same thing some of you are (not the wiper gubbins), but I think there's the edge of a Dark Green area that gives the visual impression of a "nostril" bulge down the centerline, forward of the windscreen.

I'm with gingerbob. The area looks so dark that it gives a false impression of a bulge on top of the nose.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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It's the bulge around a strike camera.  Some of the Banff wing aircraft had them.  There's a shot from the front of FBIV PZ202 on p.30 of the Franks DataFile on the Mosquito.  That one has it centrally whereas the others had it offset.

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If anyone still has difficulty in seeing this feature as a bulge, look at where it meets the windscreen.  There are three indications that may help you.  The small dark crescent is the gap where this bulge fits against the windscreen, and is completely absent on the standard aircraft.  Looking back to the view of the wiper system, this has two distinct brackets on top of the plate.  These would be visible on the photo but they are not, because they are covered by the bulge.  The usual Mosquito nose drops almost straight down from the windscreen, not following the curve visible here.

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1 hour ago, The Wooksta! said:

It's the bulge around a strike camera.  Some of the Banff wing aircraft had them.  There's a shot from the front of FBIV PZ202 on p.30 of the Franks DataFile on the Mosquito.  That one has it centrally whereas the others had it offset.

It's definately not that installation. PZ202 was an FB.VI, and the photo shows the camera directly above the 4 x 303 MG's, the camera therefore is in front of the 303 ammunition tanks and the camera window is in the metal nose cone forward of the ammunition tank access doors. The bulkhead at the rear of the ammunition tanks isn't in shot in the photo in question, ergo this camera fairing wouldn't be visible either even if it was fitted. This type of camera fairing was rare but not unique to PZ202, PZ438 NE-F of 143 Sqn. had the same arrangement, photo's of it and a model I built here:-

If the photo in question is NF30 NT531, or any other NF30 for that matter, the whole of the area forward of the cockpit bulkhead previously occupied by the 0.303 fit carried the radar equipment, so no strike camera there either.

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45 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

If anyone still has difficulty in seeing this feature as a bulge, look at where it meets the windscreen.  There are three indications that may help you.  The small dark crescent is the gap where this bulge fits against the windscreen, and is completely absent on the standard aircraft.  Looking back to the view of the wiper system, this has two distinct brackets on top of the plate.  These would be visible on the photo but they are not, because they are covered by the bulge.  The usual Mosquito nose drops almost straight down from the windscreen, not following the curve visible here.

Sorry Graham, I can't see any bulge, it all looks standard to me.

Ref your identifying points, please see below, I've tied the features you mention between the photo in question and the 3D render Troy posted

The small dark crescent is the gap where this bulge fits against the windscreen, - visible in both at end of RED line

Looking back to the view of the wiper system, this has two distinct brackets on top of the plate. - LIGHT BLUE port bracket, and PINK stbd bracket

Additionally,

Wiper Arm - LIGHT GREEN

Wiper blade - YELLOW - note this is at a different angle to the arm than in the 3D render

Port edge of fuselage top plate - PURPLE

Top visible edge of fuselage - DARK BLUE

 

Mos3.jpg

 

The usual Mosquito nose drops almost straight down from the windscreen, -

The Fighter nose drops about 15 degrees from the horizontal from the base of the windscreen to the top of the forward cockpit bulkhead when the fuselage datum is horizontal.

With the aircraft at rest, the fuselage datum is 12-13 degrees from the horizontal, therefore the fuselage in front of the windscreen drops approx 2-3 degrees from the horizontal with the aircraft at rest, ie about what you see in the above photo marked in dark blue.

 

The plate we are looking at I'm sure is armour plate, and either buts up to or slots under the windscreen. The windscreen was armoured, and the forward cockpit bulkhead was 2 pieces of plate bolted into position.

There's a lot of NF30 detail shots here, including period photo's and photos during restoration that show the fuselage with the plate and without it. In the latter you can see where the plate cutout would fit inside the windscreen mounting post.

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I entirely agree that the crescent you have marked is the edge of what is probably an armour plate.  However that wasn't what I meant, and perhaps should have been more precise (although I did say where it meets the windscreen as the "bulge" does not meet the corner of the metal frame).  I see a dark crescent between what you have marked as the end of the starboard wiper and the base of the yellow arm, and this is where the bulge (if there is one) meets the windscreen.

 

I don't see (in the photo) any of the structure that sits forward of the wipers in the CAD view.  They are shown as extending to and even sitting on the armour plate.  If the drawing is in error then this point doesn't hold.

 

The edge of the armour plate is seen to go across the top of the nose forward of the windscreen centre, or at least the wipers, although it is notched to meet the corner frame.  It makes more sense that it would proceed all the way to the windscreen, but if that straight line is the meeting point then that would imply a considerably deeper lower frame than I can see elsewhere.

 

Taking a different approach and looking at the DH camouflage pattern, as published in Guideline's Combat Colours 6, the Dark Green should extend across the entire front of the windscreen to meet the Medium Sea Grey at the port corner, but photos do show some variation in this so it isn't a lot of help.  Staring at the photo again and again, I can just about see what you see, but feel that there is a difference in slope of the visible edge of the armour plate that does not match with the limiting curve we see, which you interpret as the far edge of the fuselage (or rather as far round as can be seen).

 

However the presence of some unknown device appears pretty unlikely.

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Took some digging to find something. I believe it is just an illusion created by the camouflage demarcation. Here is a photo of Jan Malinski in the cockpit of his 307 Sqd NF.XXX EW-I NT526, with a very similar pattern. I, too, wanted to see something that wasn't there. What do you guys think?

 

jJTniq.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I don't see (in the photo) any of the structure that sits forward of the wipers in the CAD view. 

All I can see forward of the wiper is exactly as per the Cad view

The armour plate is shaped to the curve of the top of the fuselage, runs from the port windscreen upright to the starboard one, and buts up to (or sits under) the armoured glass. The port edge of the plate, and the cutout where it sits inside the port windscreen upright frame are clearly visible above.

The windscreen wiper assembly sits on top of the armour plate and runs up the front of the windscreen in the centre.

There's a curved metal plate frame round the bottom face of the windscreen between the outside vertical frames and the wiper mounting bracket (ORANGE)

There's triangular brackets either side of the windscreen wiper drive shaft, Port BLUE, Stbd PINK.

Windscreen wiper arm GREEN

Wiper Blade YELLOW

The lighting is from low on the left, the dark marks on the windscreen are shadows of the wiper arm and it's end fittings (RED arrows)

Everything forward of this is the plate, and as per TPC post above, the dark green doesn't come all the way to the port side of the windscreen

 

 

mos5.jpg

 

mos4.jpg

 

 

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Not worth much, but I see a distinctly different shape in the pic by @TBC, being much closer to the CAD design. My impression is the „device“ in the o.p. has a smaller radius and reaches up higher in relation to the windshield. It would help no end if the first pic showed more of the nose.

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