RAF trials – a high altitude radar guided dogfight
The arms race continued in all areas of the war. When the high altitude Junkers 86P was seen as a ‘speck of silver’ high above Britain in 1942, countermeasures were needed. It was ‘only’ a reconnaissance aircraft but it could not be allowed to operate unchallenged – the military build up in Britain was now moving up a gear or two.
One of the aircraft adapted to counter it was the Mosquito. The high altitude version was also stripped down of armament, given longer wings and an improved engine. The ace night fighter John Cunningham was one of the first operational pilots to give it a trial flight, in April 1943. His regular Navigator, C.F. Rawnsley, was with him, and wrote a memorable account of their first flight: