In Detail - D.H. Mosquito main landing gear covers retraction cables

The 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.

In 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

It 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 arms.

This is a nice detail that can be added to your model. Note that the E&M manual of the F-8  (T.O. 01-150JA-2 / 1944) highlights the turnbuckles used to adjust the cables:

The back of the doors, however, are pulled by a much simpler system: cables and springs:

Like 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 Sea Mosquitos.

As 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 me a line.


Rato Marczak © 2021