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Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd / Airco DH 1

Geoffrey de Havilland was hired by the Airco firm in June of 1914 as lead designer and began developing the Airco "DH.1". The DH.1 was a two-seat reconnaissance scout biplane fitted with a water-cooled inline engine in a "pusher" arrangement.

Geoffrey de Havilland piloted the prototype DH 1 fighter and reconnaissance aircraft on its first flight in early 1915. A two-seat pusher biplane with the observer in the front cockpit, which also housed a forward-firing machine-gun, the DH 1 was powered by a 70-hp Renault engine, instead of the originally specified 120-hp Beardmore powerplant. An order for 100 was placed with Savages of Kings Lynn and production models differed from the prototype in having dual controls, a modified nacelle, reinforced bracing wires and a simplified undercarriage.

Beardmore engines eventually became more plentiful and with this engine the type was designated DH.1A. With an all-up weight increase of nearly 136 kg (300 lb), including a 10% additional fuel load, it was 13 km/h (8 mph) faster than the DH 1 and had a more rapid rate of climb.

Only 73 D.H.1/1As were delivered to the RFC and these were utilized mainly on home defence and training duties. No 14 Squadron had six DH1As which were operational in Palestine from the summer of 1916 on escort duty. Some survived in Britain until 1918, but all had been withdrawn from service before the Armistice.

DH 1
Engine: Renault, 70­hp
Span: 12.50 m / 41 ft 0 in
Length: 8.82 m / 28 ft 11.25 in
Height: 3.4 m / 11 ft 2 in
Empty weight: 615 kg / 1354 lb
Loaded weight: 927 kg / 2044 lb
Maximum speed: 132 km/h / 80 mph
Ceiling: 4114 m / 13,500 ft
Endurance: 4 hr
 
DH 1A
Engine: Beardmore, 120­hp
Span: 12.50 m / 41 ft 0 in
Length: 8.82 m / 28 ft 11.25 in
Height: 3.4 m / 11 ft 2 in
Empty weight: 1610 lb / 730 kg
Loaded weight: 2340 lb / 1061 kg
Maximum speed: 144 km/h / 90 mph
Ceiling: 4114 m / 13,500 ft
Endurance: 4 hr
 
DH 1A
Engine: Austro-Daimler, 120­hp
Span: 12.50 m / 41 ft 0 in
Length: 8.82 m / 28 ft 11.25 in
Height: 3.4 m / 11 ft 2 in
Empty weight: 1610 lb / 730 kg
Loaded weight: 2340 lb / 1061 kg
Maximum speed: 144 km/h / 90 mph
Ceiling: 4114 m / 13,500 ft
Endurance: 4 hr
 
 
 
 


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