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Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd / Airco DH 6

 

dh6

 

 

The DH.6 was designed for an RFC's urgent requirement for a trainer in autumn 1916, for ease of manufacture, mainenance and repair. Instead of two cockpits, there was one communal cockpit which made it easier for the tutor to instruct his pupil. The dual controls could be disengaged by the instructor in the case of an emergency, by means of a handle alongside the cockpit position. The aircraft had a two-bay wing that had been designed for low speed and good handling, a robust fin and horn-balanced rudder and was powered by a 90 hp RAF.1a engine.
 
Two prototypes, A5175 and A5176, were built, each with a communal tandem‑seat cockpit, and powered by a 90‑hp RAF la air-­cooled V‑engine. The four rectangular wing panels were interchangeable, as were the tailplane halves.
 
The prototype was built in October 1916, and after flight trials was immediately accepted by the War Office. An initial 200 were ordered in January 1917. But these were to be built by the Graham-White Aviation Company because the Airco Company was already heavily committed to the production of the DH.4 and DH.5. Then in April a further 500 were ordered, so other manufacturers had to be brought in to assist. Among these were: the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company, Kingsbury Aviation Co. Hraland & Wolff and Canadian Aeroplanes. This was the first British-designed aircraft to be built in Canada.
 
Production of 2950 by several British com­panies (900 of them by Airco) began in January 1917. Most of these retained the RAF (Royal Aircraft Factory) powerplant, but some utilized a cowled 90‑hp Curtiss OX­5 or an 80‑hp Renault.

 

 Airco-DH6-03

 

DH6s began to be phased out of the RFC in late 1917 with the arrival of the Avro 504 as the standard British trainer, but about 200 were put into service in early 1918 with 34 flights of the RNAS (five operated by the US Navy) on antisubmarine coastal patrol. Flown as single-seaters, they could carry a 45.5-kg (100-lb) bombload.


About 70 D.H.6s were sent to RFC Home Defence units in 1918.

 

 Airco-DH6-pit
DH 6

 

The RAF possessed 1050 of the type in October 1918, and more than 50 were put on to the civil register after the Armistice.

 

Airco-DH6-2
Airco DH.6 of the Royal Flying Corps

 

Variation:
Blackburn Alula D.H.6

 

Engine: 90‑hp RAF la
Wingspan: 10.95 m / 35 ft 11 in
Length: 8.32 m / 27 ft 3.5 in
Height: 3.2 m / 10 ft 9.5 in
Empty weight: 662 kg / 1460 lb
Gross weight: 919 kg / 2026 lb
Maximum speed: 106 km/h / 66 mph
Endurance: 2 hr 30 min
Armament: 1 x .303 Vickers mg (rear cockpit)

 

 

 

 


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