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Davis Aircraft Corp D-1

 

davisac-d1
D-1W

 

Walter C. Davis was a former WWI pilot who had been working in his family’s business, the Davis Automobile Company of Richmond, Indiana, when it was sold in 1928. Redirecting his talents back to flying, he purchased the production rights to the Vulcan V-3 and began work on the first Davis aircraft in March 1929. He hired Vulcan test pilot, Pat Love, and engineer Dwight Huntington and opened his factory in Richmond, Indiana.
 
Huntington’s slight re-design of the aircraft included adding the gently curved leading edge to the vertical stabilizer. Davis then set up dealers in California, Dayton, Boston, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh. Air racing success continued in 1929 and all seemed well. The advent of the Great Depression ultimately led to the demise of Davis Aircraft, but the company struggled on.
 
Davis-D1-02
Davis D-166 - N647N
 
In December 1929, two new models were engineered with different engines, the D-1 with a 65 hp LeBlond and the D-1K with the 100 hp Kinner K-5. Both models were certificated, but sales lagged. Davis countered by aggressively pursuing direct sales to buyers and attended trade shows in St. Louis, Detroit and New York. He added the D-1-66 (later D-1-85) with an 85 hp LeBlond engine and cut prices, but then lost the entire finished inventory of planes to a fire.
 
The D-1 is a parasol-winged aircraft of mixed construction with a two-spar wing and a rectangular welded steel-tube fuselage, the whole being covered by fabric. There are tandem open cockpits and it is fitted with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage which is attached by struts to the fuselage top and bottom. The wing is braced by struts from the lower fuselage. Various engines of between 60 to 125 hp (45 to 93 kW) have been fitted.
 
Davis-D1-03
 
Produced 1929-1930, the D-1 was used by sporting pilots and by private pilot owners for leisure flying. Davis Aircraft Corp. produced three models of the D4 series. The first two models were the D-1-85 with an 85 hp Le Blond engine and the D-1-K with a 100 hp Kinner engine. The third model, the D1-W was equipped with a 125 hp Warner Scarab seven-cylinder radial air-cooled engine. The Dl-W features complete dual controls for its tandem seats.
 
In September 1930, Art Chester bought a Davis D-1-85 parasol, and flew it to victory in the 25 mile event at the September 1930 National Air Races. A late model D-1W "The Whistler II" was built in 1933 for Davis with a canopy. It was raced in the 1934 Miami air race by Art Davis winning the category at 133.478 mph. NC150Y which was destroyed in a crash at the 1932 Nationals.It was later owned by movie star Richard Arlen, and restored to become a Grand Champion antique.
 
Davis-D1-04
D-1-W 
 
Unfortunately, the commercial market for airplanes just wasn’t there and in 1932 Davis turned to the production of lawn mowers. A few additional planes left the factory in 1933 but they were apparently made up from existing parts inventory or airframes returned to the factory for various reasons. They received new serial and registration numbers. Most Davis aircraft were sold ($2,965 with a 60hp LeBlond in 1929) in the United States but at least one went to Argentina. Fourteen examples remained in 2001 in various states of airworthiness and several were still airworthy in 2011.
 
 
Variants:
 
D-1 
23 built
Engine: 60 hp (45 kW) LeBlond 5D
Span: 30 ft 2 in
Length (overall): 19 ft 10 in
Gross Weight: 1,334 lb
Useful Load: 495 lb
Baggage: 20 lb
Fuel: 20 gal
Oil: 2 gal
High Speed: 101 mph
Cruise Speed: 85 mph
Landing Speed: 38 mph
Range: 350 sm
Type Data: ATC 256
Year of Introduction: 1929
Price (1929): $3,285
Price (1930): $2,995
 
D-1 
Engine: LeBlond 70 5DE, 70 hp
Span: 30 ft 2 in
Length (overall): 19 ft 10 in
Gross Weight: 1,334 lb
Useful Load: 495 lb
Baggage: 20 lb
Fuel: 20 gal
Oil: 2 gal
High Speed: 101 mph
Cruise Speed: 85 mph
Landing Speed: 38 mph
Range: 350 sm
Type Data: ATC 256
Year of Introduction: 1929
Price (1929): $3,285
Price (1930): $2,995
 
D-1 
Engine: LeBlond 70 DE, 70 hp
Span: 30 ft 2 in
Length (overall): 19 ft 10 in
Gross Weight: 1,334 lb
Useful Load: 495 lb
Baggage: 20 lb
Fuel: 20 gal
Oil: 2 gal
High Speed: 101 mph
Cruise Speed: 85 mph
Landing Speed: 38 mph
Range: 350 sm
Type Data: ATC 256
Year of Introduction: 1929
Price (1929): $3,285
Price (1930): $2,995
 
D-1-66 
4 built
Engine: 85 hp (63 kW) LeBlond 5DF
Span: 30 ft 3 in
Length (overall): 21 ft 6 in
Gross Weight: 1,380 lb
Useful Load: 526 lb
Baggage: 47 lb
Fuel: 20 USgal
Oil: 2-1/2 USgal
High Speed: 112 mph
Cruise Speed: 97 mph
Landing Speed: 40 mph
Range: 360 sm
Type Data: ATC 317
Year of Introduction: 1930
Total Production: 4
Price (1930): $3,395
Price (1931): $2,795
 
D-1-85
Engine: 1 × LeBlond, 85 hp
 
D-1-K 
11 built
Engine: 100 hp (75 kW) Kinner K-5
Span: 30 ft 3 in
Length (overall): 19 ft 10 in
Gross Weight: 1,461 lb
Useful Load: 536 lb
Baggage: 27 lb
Fuel: 25 USgal
Oil: 2-1/2 USgal
High Speed: 130 mph
Cruise Speed: 100 mph
Landing Speed: 40 mph
Range: 400 sm
Type Data: ATC 272
Year of Introduction: 1930
Total Production: 11
Price (1930): $3,995 to $4,185
Price (1932): $2,295
 
D-1-L 
prototype of the D-1-166 (1 built)
Engine: 90 hp (67 kW) Lambert R-266
 
D-1-W 
(8 converted from D-1-K)
Engine: Warner Scarab, 125 hp (93 kW)
Length: 20 ft 4 in (6.20 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 2 in (9.19 m)
Height: 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
Empty weight: 925 lb (420 kg)
Gross weight: 1,461 lb (663 kg)
Maximum speed: 142 mph (229 km/h; 123 kn)
Cruise speed: 122 mph (106 kn; 196 km/h)
Stall speed: 46 mph (40 kn; 74 km/h)
Initial climb rate 1,360 fpm.
Range: 480 mi (417 nmi; 772 km)
Service ceiling: 14,800 ft (4,511 m)
Crew: one
Capacity: one passenger
 
D-1-W 
Engine: Warner Super Scarab SS-50A, 145 hp
Propeller: Sensenich Model 86CA-69
Wing span: 30 ft. 3 in
Wing area: 145 sq. ft
Airfoil: Goettigen 387 modified
Length: 21 ft. 6 in
Height: 7 ft. 3 in
Empty weight: 1134 lb
Weight loaded: 1471 lb
Baggage: None
Fuel: 30 USgal
Oil: 3 USgal
Maximum speed: 142 mph
Cruising speed: 123 mph
Landing speed: 46 mph
Initial rate of climb: 1,270 fpm
Service ceiling: 19,000 ft
Normal range: 480 mi
Starter: Eclipse Y-150
Type Data: Memo 2-394
 
Davis-D1-ld
D-1W
 
 
 
 


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