Airco DH.9

The Airco DH.9 was a single-engine bomber of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which was to replace the DH.4. Due to poor performance, however, only the modified Airco DH.9A could meet the expectations.


Development and construction:

In early 1917, the company Aircraft Manufacturing Company and its chief developer Geoffrey de Havilland was commissioned to develop a successor to the produced Airco DH.4.

Since the DH.4 was a fairly successful aircraft and the production lines in the factories should continue to be operated without major modifications as far as possible, many of the structural parts were taken over. So the wings, the rudder and the chassis stayed the same, only the hull was changed and a new engine should be installed.

The new aerodynamic fuselage was designed to significantly improve communication with the observer through a different pilot's sitting position, which was described as one of the biggest drawbacks in the DH.4. The pilot was now placed at the level of the rear edge of the lower wing, which was now placed further away from the tank of the aircraft.

The prototype of the aircraft was equipped with a 234 hp B.H.P. Engine of the company Galloway Engineering Co. equipped. After the first flights and the presentation of the airplane were successful, in July 1917 with the conversion of DH.4 on DH.9 aircraft began. After a few built machines, the engine was changed to the Siddeley Puma of Galloway Engineering Co. However, this could not reach the desired output of 305 hp, which meant that the overall DH.9 performance was even weaker than the DH.4.

Nevertheless, around 3.200 aircraft were built until the end of the war.



Airco DH.9


Airco DH.9


Airco DH.9




Use in the First World War:

From November 1917, the first aircraft were delivered to the Western Front to the 108th squadron.

In March 1918, 6 squadrons were equipped with the aircraft and carried out the first attacks.

It turned out that the aircraft performed too low a performance. The result was that it led to high losses and failures of the aircraft on the Western Front. In part, the pilots and mechanics had to modify their Airco DH.9 themselves so they could perform reasonably well. Between May and November 1918 alone lost the 99th and 104th squadron 54 of their aircraft and 94 had to remain because of technical accidents on the ground.

It was not until the built in the US Packhard-Liberty 12-cylinder engine was installed for testing, reasonable performance could be achieved. However, since the production of the Airco DH.10 had already started, the company Aircraft Manufacturing Company could not release any capacity to build the modified DH.9. The company therefore awarded the contract to Westland Aircraft Works, which further modified the aircraft and delivered from June 1918 under the name DH.9A to the front. A total of 885 pieces of this type were built.

Due to the significant improvement received the DH.9A shortly after the introduction of the reputation to be one of the best British strategic bomber of the war.



Airco DH.9A




Technical specifications:

Designation: Airco DH.9
Country: Great Britain
Typ: Bomber
Length: 9,27 meters
Span: 12,92 meters
Height: 3,44 meters
Mass: 1.012 kg empty
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: one 6-cylinder inline engine Siddeley Puma with 234 hp
Maximum speed: 178 km/h
Reach: Max. 700 kilometers
Armament: one rigid 7,7-mm Vickers machine gun in front

one or two 7,7-mm Lewis machine guns on turntable

up to 209 kilograms of bombs




Designation: Airco DH.9A
Country: Great Britain
Typ: Bomber
Length: 9,22 meters
Span: 14,01 meters
Height: 3,45 meters
Mass: 1.270 kg empty
Crew: Max. 2
Engine: one Packhard-Liberty V12 engine with 405 hp
Maximum speed: 198 km/h
Reach: Max. 950 kilometers
Armament: one rigid 7,7-mm Vickers machine gun in front

one or two 7,7-mm Lewis machine guns on turntable

up to 209 kilograms of bombs






You can find the right literature here:


The First Air War, 1914-1918

The First Air War, 1914-1918 Hardcover – December 1, 1990

In this concise study, Kennett tells the complete story of World War I's air battles, from Eastern to Western front, from the skies of Europe and its seas to those of the Middle East and Africa.

Click here!



Aircraft of World War I 1914-1918 (Essential Identification Guide)

Aircraft of World War I 1914-1918 (Essential Identification Guide) 2nd Edition

Illustrated with detailed artworks of combat aircraft and their markings, Aircraft of World War I: The Essential Aircraft Identification Guide is a comprehensive study of the aircraft that fought in the Great War of 1914–18. Arranged chronologically by theatre of war and campaign, this book offers a complete organizational breakdown of the units on all the fronts, including the Eastern and Italian Fronts. Each campaign includes a compact history of the role and impact of aircraft on the course of the conflict, as well as orders of battle, lists of commanders and campaign aces such as Manfred von Richtofen, Eddie Rickenbacker, Albert Ball and many more. Every type of aircraft is featured, including the numerous variations and types of well- known models, such as the Fokker Dr.I, the Sopwith Camel and the SPAD SVII, through to lesser-known aircraft, such as the Rumpler C.1, and the Amstrong Whitworth FK8. Each aircraft profile is accompanied by exhaustive specifications, as well as details of individual and unit markings. Packed with more than 200 color profiles of every major type of combat aircraft from the era, Aircraft of World War I 1914–1918 is an essential reference guide for modellers, military historians and aircraft enthusiasts.

Click here!



World War One Aircraft Carrier Pioneer: The Story and Diaries of Captain JM McCleery RNAS/RAF

World War One Aircraft Carrier Pioneer: The Story and Diaries of Captain JM McCleery RNAS/RAF Hardcover – June 13, 2011

Jack McCleery was born in Belfast in 1898, the son of a mill owning family. He joined the RNAS in 1916 as a Probationary Flight Officer. During the next ten months he completed his training at Crystal Palace, Eastchurch, Cranwell, Frieston, Calshot and Isle of Grain, flying more than a dozen landplanes, seaplanes and flying boats, gaining his wings as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant. In July 1917 he was posted to the newly commissioning aircraft carrier HMS Furious, which would be based at Scapa Flow and Rosyth. He served in this ship until February 1919, flying Short 184 seaplanes and then Sopwith 1½ Strutters off the deck. He also flew a large number of other types during this time from shore stations at Turnhouse, East Fortune and Donibristle.

He served with important and well-known naval airmen including Dunning, Rutland (of Jutland) and Bell Davies VC. He witnessed Dunning’s first successful landing on a carrier flying a Sopwith Pup in 1917 and his tragic death a few days later. He also witnessed the Tondern raid in 1918, the world’s first carrier strike mission. He took part in more than a dozen sweeps into the North Sea by elements of the Grand Fleet and Battle Cruiser Fleet. He carried out reconnaissance missions off the coast of Denmark, landing in the sea to be picked up by waiting destroyers. He witnessed the surrender of the High Seas Fleet. Promoted to Captain, he acted as temporary CO of F Squadron for a time postwar.

Click here!



A World War 1 Adventure: The Life and Times of RNAS Bomber Pilot Donald E. Harkness

A World War 1 Adventure: The Life and Times of RNAS Bomber Pilot Donald E. Harkness Paperback – June 25, 2014

A deeply personal and revealing eyewitness narrative of one airman's life as a bomber pilot in England 's RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) in WWI. It is a true story, an adventure, and a war memoir carefully constructed from Captain Donald E. Harkness's unpublished diaries, letters, sketches and photographs - only recently uncovered nearly a century later - that documented his remarkable experiences and military adventures over England, France and Belgium. The first book written by a highly decorated WWI flyer from New Zealand that captures the "behind the scenes" life of RNAS pilots, as well as the surprises, terrors, traumas, humor, and sheer excitement of an aerial form of combat never before experienced by anyone, anywhere - and only eleven short years after the Wright Brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk. With a talent for writing, Don begins an epic journey at a major turning point in history when the world is poised at the dawn of flight, and bracing itself for unknown dangers of unprecedented sophistication and savagery. Don's journal reveals unique insights and vivid imagery of another time and experience, to wit: - the terror and devastation of a Zeppelin bombing raid in London - the training regimen of early flying schools, and their serious & comic episodes - the wonder, awe, and poetry of flying aloft in the majestic heavens - vivid bombing raids, plus the raid that earned him the DSC - his crash-landing and capture - working with the underground to help downed pilots evade capture - London's unrestrained exuberance on Armistice Day; . . . and much, much more.

Click here!






This post is also available in: Deutsch (German) Français (French) Italiano (Italian) 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified)) Русский (Russian) Español (Spanish) العربية (Arabic)

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!