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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

High Altitude Mosquito

De Havilland Mosquito: The wooden fighter-bomber that could do it all
Imperial War Museums

I'm reading Night Soldiers by Alan Furst, a WW2 espionage novel. In part 4, our hero, the Russian trained Bulgarian spy Khristo is now working for the allies. He has been parachuted into 'Czechoslovakia' and is skulking around Prague doing basic spy stuff, collecting information and radioing it up to a Mosquito flying in orbit around the city in the middle of the night at 35,000 feet. 35,000 feet? Really? Then the above video pops up on YouTube and yes, they did fly at 35,000 feet. But how did the pilots survive, not all of the Mosquitos were pressurized? Which brings us to the second video.

High Altitude Flight during WWII
390th Memorial Museum Foundation

Seems oxygen was one of the lessor problems of high altitude flight. The cold was the biggest problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem besides the cold, which is easily fixed with an electrically heated flying suit is the O2. Above 20k, you need it blown into your mouth, i.e., positive pressure as there is not enough pressure differential from your lungs to ambient air pressure to absorb O2. If you get close to 40k in altitude, that's where the real blood boiling issues start.