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Mosquito windscreens


Kingswear1
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Good question.  After 50 years looking at planes and looking at Mosquitoes and never seeing/thinking about that.  I wonder if its to do with the fighter version needing a flat screen for the reflector gun sight to work properly:shrug:

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2 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Yes.

Nominate Graham for the succinct answer of the year :D

 

One more thought stemming from that.  Why didn't they standardise the front screens as flat for every mark of Mossie?  I'm assuming they kept on using the split angled screen for bomber versions right through all the production for a reason?  

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Production reasons?  No wish to change the jigs for the bomber fuselages?  Because a flat windscreen is a little draggier?  Supermarine kept trying to get a curved windscreen onto the Spitfire but the AM kept on rejecting it.  Not just for the distortion but also the armour-plating, I believe.  Well, it makes sense.  I don't know why the Admiralty eventually accepted it for the Seafire Mk.47.

 

Strictly speaking, I think, it is the problem with distortion from an angled windscreen that makes the sight less effective.  They hadn't yet reached the stage of projecting directly onto the screen as a Head-Up Display.

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Armor glass is/was made in flat sheets. It's too thick to bend. As the first Mosquito fighters were nightfighter that would be attacking enemy bombers that could be shooting back, crew protection was important, hence the flat windscreen. That was continued for all fighter versions, be they nightfighters or Coastal Command attackers.

High altitude bombers didn't need it.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Must admit I thought it was due to the armoured screen being a requirement on the Mosquito fighter variants, that set the canopy apart from the others.

 

Great question from John T though, why not standardise on that type of canopy across Fighter and Bomber variants?

Mosquitos were built up a bit like our plastic kits, so I guess the fuselage molds for the fighter incorporated a certain cutout for that canopy, and the quite different bomber molds stayed with their canopy cutout style.

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Our B.35 undergoing restoration has the Vee windscreen and the panels are armoured as well so it was not just on the FB's and NF's. One perhaps minor reason for retaining the vee on the bombers might be that it would be awkward to find a place to mount the wiper motor. The unit was mounted on the bulkhead separating the cockpit from the gun bay on the fighters but on the bomber there can be no such bulkhead as the forward area has to remain open.

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On 10/20/2021 at 8:18 PM, 71chally said:

why not standardise on that type of canopy across Fighter and Bomber variants?

 

I believe speed was of the utmost importance for the bomber/recce variants, hence the V-shaped windscreen was kept.

This apparently had a higher priority than absolutely standardizing all aircraft to a single windscreen type (i.e. two types in production is not that inefficient).

 

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Hallo

The front sectiom of the canopy from this a/c Fighter & Bomber are totaly different. 

Steering, sights, dashboard, nose section etc.

We built both in 32 from HK & Tamiya.

Happy modelling 

 

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Flat clear screen is always better for night flying and also for a better forward view for a fighter,.... as well as being an armoured unit too. At the time it was designed, the other Mossie variants were used for day flying only.

  

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The principles of aviation science are the same for everyone, I'll write about the Soviet ones. Curved surfaces of the cockpit glass create the least aerodynamic drag, but also create the strong optical distortions that interfere with accurate observation. Therefore, flat glass surfaces were used in cockpits where it was required to install gunsights and bomb sights, this is visible on all military aircraft in the pre-digital era. Even on the SEPECAT Jaguar a glass panel in front of the sight flat, because Jaguar was created by people who had real experience of war and who knew that even the failure of the sighting station was not a reason for not completing a combat mission. When the cockpit canopy has no optical distortion, an experienced shooter can hit the target using only his eyes and improvised means, the old school knew this very well.

Edited by DLinevitch
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7 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Yes, and so did the new school, but... the Mosquito bomber canopy is not curved.  It is a vee shape, each panel is flat, but angled to the direction of flight.

Yes, I didn't write about armor. Basically, this decision is associated with the need to put transparent armor. If you make an armored front of the original form, it will be more difficult to make, more expensive and heavier, the economy always matters.

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Two smaller panels making a Vee, no great problem.  They did do that for the bombers.  The key question remains about why a new windscreen was required for the fighter, and I still suspect that an angled pane would not be ideal for a gunsight.  However the change may also be linked to the complete redesign of the nose.

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My knowledge of the P47 is limited but perhaps some sort of parallel with its canopy and the need for a flat screen to enable the gunsight to operate as Graham has suggested? Early P47's had a split screen but had to have an inner flat screen which I believe was for the sighting of the gun sight, which was then dispensed with with later versions which adopted a flat front screen.

 

Just a thought.

 

Regards

Colin.

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14 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

My knowledge of the P47 is limited but perhaps some sort of parallel with its canopy and the need for a flat screen to enable the gunsight to operate as Graham has suggested? Early P47's had a split screen but had to have an inner flat screen which I believe was for the sighting of the gun sight, which was then dispensed with with later versions which adopted a flat front screen.

 

Just a thought.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

The inner flat panel was armoured glass, the same as in early P-40's. This was for pilot protection. The shape of the windscreen was for aerodynamic reasons.

 

 

 

Chris

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But presumably it also provided a flat surface for the gun sight to focus on as well possibly? 

 

Just guessing as I've no idea how the reflector or later gyro gunsights actually operated.

 

Regards

Colin.

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Most, if not all early reflector gunsights had a flat piece of glass that the sight ring was shone on, from the light bulb inside the sight.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflector_sight

 

https://www.historicflyingclothing.com/en-GB//r-a-f-reflector-gun-sight-mark-ii/prod_13888#.YYAgh2f4Ccw

 

https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/84915-124-reflector-gunsight/

 

 

 

 

Chris

 

 

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2 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

But presumably it also provided a flat surface for the gun sight to focus on as well possibly? 

 

Just guessing as I've no idea how the reflector or later gyro gunsights actually operated.

 

Regards

Colin.

Well you guessed correctly, but for much later sights.

IIRC then late Tempest and late Corsairs had sights that shone on the windscreen.

The British GM2 and American K-14 gyro sights did not.

 

Introducing the new sights would be a major design task; you could not replace an old sight with such one and this meant that it had to be incorporated on the production line.

 

/Finn

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On 10/20/2021 at 4:52 PM, JohnT said:

Why didn't they standardise the front screens as flat for every mark of Mossie?

 

I would expect like most things in aviation weight & cost. Don't add more of either if it isn't really needed for a particular application.

 

The flat windscreen would have been more difficult to produce so costly, and was probably a lot heavier.

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