Airco (Westland) D.H.9A

Airco (Westland) D.H.9A


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Airco (Westland) D.H.9A

The D.H.9A was a single-engined day bomber produced by matching the fuselage of the unsuccessful Airco D.H.9 with a 400hp Liberty 12 engine. The resulting aircraft was one of the most successful bombers of its period and remained in front line service with the RAF until 1931.

The D.H.9 had been designed by Geoffrey de Havilland to replace his own D.H.4, itself probably the most effective British bomber of the First World War. The failure of the Siddeley Puma engine left the D.H.9 badly underpowered, and with a worse performance than the D.H.4. When the D.H.9 entered front line service the squadrons operating it suffered very heavy losses.

A number of different engines were tested in the D.H.9 in an attempt to solve the problem. The Rolls Royce Eagle VIII had the power but wasn't available in sufficient numbers. The answer was found in the United States, where the new 400hp Liberty 12 engine went from the drawing board to a working engine in only six weeks. Three months later, in October 1917, the Liberty was test-flown in a D.H.4, and it was decided to mount the new engine in the D.H.9.

Airco themselves were working on the D.H.10 twin engined bomber, and so Westland, who already had some experience of building the D.H.9, were given the task of designing the D.H.9A. task. Over the winter of 1917-1918 the Westland design team adapted the basic aircraft for the new larger engine, although they didn't actually receive a Liberty engine until March 1918 and so the prototype D.H.9A was powered by an Eagle VIII.

Westland made two main changes on the D.H.9A. The wing span was increased to just under 46 feet, from just over 42ft 4in, resulting in a 12% increase in wingspan. In the fuselage the plywood partitions of the D.H.9 were replaced by wire cross-bracing, increasing its strength.

The D.H.9 was ordered in very large numbers. By the end of the war 2,250 had been ordered and by December 1918 885 had been completed. Production continued after the end of the war, and eventually around 1,730 were completed from the wartime orders and 267 from post-war orders.

The D.H.9A arrived a little too late to have a significant impact on the course of the First World War. Only four squadrons operated the aircraft on the Western Front, starting with No.110 Squadron, which flew its aircraft to France on 31 August-1 September 1918. Between then and the end of the war the squadron dropped a total of ten and a half tons of bombs in daylight raids on Coblenz, Frankfurt and Mannheim. In two months of operations the squadron lost 17 aircraft to enemy action and 28 in accidents, although seven of those losses came on a single raid over Frankfurt on 21 October. By the end of the war Nos.205, 99 and 18 Squadrons were also operating the D.H.9A in France and Nos.25 and 120 Squadrons were in the process of converting to the type. The D.H.9A was also used by Nos.212 and 273 squadrons at Great Yarmouth to carry out anti-submarine patrols.

The D.H.9A was one of the main aircraft of the post-war RAF, although none of the wartime squadrons continued to operate the type. It was used by Regular and Auxiliary day bomber squadrons, Flying Training Schools and as a general purpose aircraft on the North West Frontier and in Iraq. As a result of the continuing demand for the aircraft from the RAF it was much less widespread in other country's air forces than the basic D.H.9, although some were used by Australia and Canada. The D.H.9A was finally phased out towards the end of the 1920s, and the last aircraft were struck off the RAF's strength in 1931.

Two later aircraft – the Westland Walrus fleet spotter and Westland Wapiti general purpose aircraft – were designed to take advantage of the vast stocks of D.H.9A parts available to the post-war RAF.

Plans had been put in place to produce vast numbers of D.H.9As in the United States, but in the end only four prototypes were completed, with the designation USD-9. Another nine slightly modified aircraft were built as the USD-9A, and on 8 June 1921 one of these became the first aircraft to fly with a pressurised cockpit. Two more became infantry liaison aircraft as the Ordnance IL-1.

Engine: Liberty 12
Power: 400hp
Crew: 3
Wing span: 45ft 11 3/8in
Length: 30ft 3in
Height: 11ft 4in
Tare Weight: 2,800lb
All-up Weight: 4,645lb
Max Speed: 114.5mph at 10,000ft
Service Ceiling: 16,750ft
Duration: 5h 15min
Armament: One fixed forward firing Vickers gun, one or two Lewis guns on rear Scarf ring
Bomb-load: 660lb of bomb under fuselage and lower wing


Westland Wapiti

The Westland Wapiti was a British two-seat general purpose military single-engined biplane of the 1920s. It was designed and built by Westland Aircraft Works to replace the Airco DH.9A in Royal Air Force service.

First flying in 1927, the Wapiti entered service with the RAF in 1928, and remained in production until 1932, a total of 565 being built. It equipped twenty squadrons of the RAF, both overseas (particularly in India and Iraq) and at home, remaining in RAF service until 1940, also being used by the Air Forces of Australia, Canada, South Africa and India. It also formed the basis for the Westland Wallace which partly replaced the Wapiti in RAF use.


Contents

The DH.9A was planned as an improved version of the existing Airco DH.9. The DH.9 was a disappointment owing to its underpowered and unreliable engines, and the DH.9A was planned to use much more powerful engines to resolve this. As the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine used in the successful DH.4 was unavailable in sufficient quantities, the new 400 hp (298 kW) American Liberty engine was chosen instead.

As Airco was busy developing the Airco DH.10 twin-engined bomber, detailed design was carried out by Westland Aircraft. The DH.9 was fitted with new, longer span wings, and a strengthened fuselage structure. [1]

The first prototype flew in March 1918, powered by a Rolls-Royce Eagle as no Liberty engines were yet available. [2] The prototype proved successful, with the first Liberty-engined DH.9A flying on 19 April 1918, and deliveries to the Royal Air Force starting in June. [3] By the end of the war, a total of 2,250 DH.9As had been ordered, with 885 being built by the end of the year. As it was decided that the DH.9A would be a standard type in the postwar RAF, the majority of outstanding orders were fulfilled, with 1,730 being built under the wartime contracts before production ceased in 1919.

While the existing aircraft were subject to a programme of refurbishment, a number of small contracts were placed for new production of DH.9As in 1925–26. These contracts resulted in a further 268 DH.9As being built. The new production and refurbished aircraft included batches of dual control trainers and six experimental aircraft powered by 465 hp Napier Lion engines, which reached a maximum speed of 144 mph.

The Soviet Union built large numbers of an unlicenced copy of the DH.9A, the R-1. After the production of 20 DH.4 copies, followed by about 200 copies of the DH.9 powered by the Mercedes D.IV engine (also designated the R-1) and a further 130 powered by the Siddeley Puma (designated R-2), a copy of the DH.9A, powered by the M-5 engine, a Soviet copy of the DH.9A's Liberty entered production in 1924. [4]

US version and pressurised flights

The United States also planned to adopt the DH.9A as a replacement for the DH.4. Development work on the aircraft commenced at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. [5] Modifications included a new fuel system with increased fuel capacity, revised wings and tail surfaces, and replacement of the Vickers machine gun on the port side of the British built aircraft with a Browning machine gun on the starboard side. [6] [7] Plans called for the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation of Buffalo, New York to build 4,000 modified aircraft, designated US D-9A. This order was cancelled with the end of the war and only nine aircraft were built by McCook Field and by the Dayton-Wright Company. [6] [7] One McCook aircraft was highly modified with the addition of a completely enclosed, pressurised cockpit. In 1921, test pilot Lt. Harold R. Harris made the world's first high-altitude flight in a pressurised aircraft in the USD-9A at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. [5]


Specifikace (D.H.9 s motorem Siddeley-Deasy Puma)

Technické 﫚je

  • Posฝka: 2 muži (pilot, stᖞlec/pozorovatel)
  • Rozpětí: 12,919 m
  • Délka: 9,271 m
  • Výška: 3,442 m
  • Nosná plocha: 40,32 m²
  • Hmotnost prázdného stroje: 1011 kg
  • Vzletová hmotnost : 1719 kg
  • Pohonná jednotka:𕦭ový (stojatý) ᘞstiválecSiddeley-Deasy Puma
  • Výkon pohonné jednotky: 230 hp (172 kW)

Výkony

Výzbroj

    Vickers rá៮ 7,7 mm ovlný pilotem
  • 1 nebo 2 kulomety Lewis rá៮ 7,7 mm na okruhu Scarff ovlné pozorovatelem
  • 209 kg pum

Civilian use

Because of the large number of surplus DH.9s available after the war many were used by air transport companies. They provided a useful load carrying capability and were cheap. Early air services between London, Paris and Amsterdam were operated by DH.9s owned by Aircraft Transport and Travel. A number of different conversions for civil use were carried out, both by Airco and its successor the de Havilland Aircraft Company and by other companies, such as the Aircraft Disposal Company. [ 8 ] Some radial powered DH.9Js continued in use until 1936. [ 9 ]


Contents

The DH.4 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland as a light two-seat day bomber powered by the new BHP engine. The prototype first flew in August 1916, powered by a prototype BHP engine rated at 230 hp (170 kW). [ 2 ] While the DH.4 trials were promising, the BHP engine required major redesign before entering production, and the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine was selected as the DH.4's powerplant. The first order for 50 DH.4s, powered by 250 hp (186 kW) Eagle III engines was placed at the end of 1916. [ 3 ]

The aircraft was a conventional tractor biplane, of all wooden construction and with two bay wings. The crew of two were accommodated in widely spaced cockpits, separated by the fuel tank. [ 3 ] The observer was armed with one or two .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns fitted on a Scarff ring, while a synchronised Vickers machine gun was fitted to the nose. A bombload of 460 lb (210 kg) could be fitted to external racks. While the crew arrangement gave good fields of view for the pilot and observer, it caused communication problems between the two crew members, particularly in combat, where the speaking tube linking the cockpits was of limited use. [ 4 ]

As production continued, DH.4s were fitted with Eagle engines of increasing power, settling on the 375 hp (280 kW) Eagle VIII, which powered the majority of front line DH.4s by the end of 1917. Because of the chronic shortage of Rolls-Royce aero engines in general, and Eagles in particular, alternative engines were also investigated, with the BHP (230 hp/170 kW), the Royal Aircraft Factory RAF3A (200 hp/150 kW), the Siddeley Puma (230 hp/170 kW) and the 260 hp (190 kW) Fiat, all being used in production aircraft. [ 3 ] None of these engines could match the Rolls-Royce Eagle, however there were simply not enough Eagles available.

In American production, the new Liberty engine proved suitable as a DH.4 powerplant although the engine produced a slightly inferior performance to the Eagle. The Liberty was also to eventually power the British DH.9A.

Production

Production was by Airco, F.W. Berwick and Co, Glendower Aircraft Company, Palladium Autocars, Vulcan Motor and Engineering, and the Westland Aircraft Works in the UK. A total of 1,449 aircraft (from orders for 1,700 aircraft) were made in the UK for the RFC and RNAS. [ 5 ] SABCA of Belgium made a further 15 in 1926. [ 6 ]

In the United States, the Boeing Airplane Corporation, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, the Fisher Body Corporation, and the Standard Aircraft Corporation produced the DH-4 with the Liberty L-12 engine for the American air services. A total of 9,500 DH-4s were ordered from American manufacturers, of which 1,885 actually reached France during the war. [ 1 ]

After the war a number of firms, most significantly Boeing, were contracted by the U.S. Army to re-manufacture surplus DH-4s to DH-4B standard. Known by Boeing as the Model 16, deliveries of 111 aircraft from this manufacturer took place between March and July 1920, with 50 of them returned for further refurbishments three years later. [ 7 ]

In 1923, the Army ordered a new DH-4 variant from Boeing, distinguished by a fuselage of fabric-covered steel tube in place of the original plywood structure. These three prototypes were designated DH-4M-1 (M for modernized) and were ordered into production alongside the generally similar DH-4M-2 developed by Atlantic Aircraft. A total of 22 of the 163 DH-4M-1s were converted by the Army into dual-control trainers (DH-4M-1T) and a few more into target tugs (DH-4M-1K). Thirty of the aircraft ordered by the Army were diverted to the Navy for Marine Corps use, these designated O2B-1 for the base model, and O2B-2 for aircraft equipped for night and cross-country flying. [ 8 ]


Airco (Westland) D.H.9A - History


Honest opinion required on the D.H.9 performance.

Was it such a bad aircraft in hindsight. :-/

In my humble opinion, the DH9 did not recieve the correct engine until the advent of the DH9A in August 1918. The 230HP Puma was way too puny to power an aircraft that grossed out at around 3600 lbs. The figures that I have is a top speed of 112mph at 10,000 ft. While this is respectable, it is misleading, as this is obviously without bombs. With a bomb load of two 230 lb bombs, I have figures of 97.5 mph at 15,000 ft, taking 45 minutes to obtain this height. This speed seems to compare favorably with the Albatros D.Va and Pfalz D.IIIa at that height, but I'm sure that it was a sitting duck for the Fokker D.VII that it met in the summer of 1918. There were other engines tried, but the Puma was by far the most widely used. Many crews did their duty and flew this machine until a better aircraft could come along. Thankfully there were DH4's and DH9A's to shoulder the burden.

I have a few questions still however.

1. What was the number of D.H.9a's in service 11.11.1918 compared to the D.H.9.

2. How many squadrons were equipped with the D.H.9a

3. From my own squadron records the majority of losses / crashes seemed to be caused by the 230hp Pumas unreliability. The basic airframe and a/c was sound, once again from squadron records there are a number of incidents where the squadron 'held it's own' against German scouts.

I do agree with all your comments, however I think history is unfairly painting a rather tainted picture of the D.H.9 role. *

The DH 9 in of itself was not a bad aircraft, it was not well suited for its role at the front is all.

Consider this two ex-AFC airmen, Ray Parer and John McIntosh, flew a Puma engined DH 9 from England to Australia in the 1919-1920 England-Australia Air Race. It took them seven months in all, delayed by repairs in then isolated places. Whilst they were not winners (That honour went to the Smith Brothers, Shiers and Bennett in a Vimy), they were the only other competitors to actually finish the race. Many other aircraft, more advanced designs in some cases didn't even come close. The DH-9 showed itself to be tough, somewhat dependable, and relatively easy to maintain in difficult circumstances.

I think this says a lot for the oft maligned DH 9. Count me in as a supporter.

I wish that I could answer all your questions, but I only know that there were four units equipped with the DH9A by war's end. The first to be equipped was 110 Sqn. It was formed in June 1918, and sent to France in August. I have a figure of 885 DH9A's built by Westland by the end of 1918. The standard engine was the 400HP Liberty V12.

I too think that the DH9 was a descent aircraft, only detractor being it did not have the engine power (when equipped with the Puma) to carry the load it was required. Because the engine was derated from it's original horsepower of 300, due to development problems, it was underpowered.

Add in that it was required to carry the same load as the DH4 having 40 percent less power, it is amazing that the crews performed as well as they did. Let's not forget though the great improvement in crew communication and safety by relocating the gas tank and moving the crew closer together.

I am sure that other forumites, especially the 'British experts' can give you more insight into the questions you ask.

P.S. with it's 'hunnish' appearance, it sure had the look of a thoroughbred!

the thing I find most interesting about the DH9, is that it was ordered into mass production by persons unknown at the War Office in spite of serious engine problems which were never resolved.

The BHP was designed by Bruce Halford of Airco but mostly made by the Siddely-Deasley car company. The Siddely Deasley version was a drastic re-design that to all intents and purposes was a new design, not interchangeable in the field, and obviously not compatible from the point of spares interchangeability. Despite the Siddely Puma being about as reliable as my motorbike, it was ordered in vastly greater quantities than the standard BHP which was known as the Galloway Adriatic.

On 14th November1917 Trenchard wrote the following to the director general of Military Aeronautics, Maj General Salmond:

"I do not know who is responsible for deciding upon the DH9, but I should have thought that no-one would image we should be able to carry out long distance bombing raids by day next year with machines inferior in performance to those we use for this purpose at present. I consider the situation critical and I think every endevour should be made at once to produce a machine with a performance at least equal to the existing DH4 (275 hp Rolls Royce) and to press on with the output with the utmost energy. I am strongly of opinion that unless something is done at once we shall be in a very serious situation next year with regard to this long distance day bombing."

The whole sorry mess was another RFC cock-up.

With regard to the DH9A, by the end of the war, 205, 18, 99, & 110 squadrons were equipped. 155 & 156 were "working up", and 49, 123, & 133 were scheduled to re-equip.

Sir Richard Williams, later CAS of the RAAF, reported that the Puma powered D.H.9 was the worse aircraft he ever encountered. He served in the Middle East with No.1 Squadron, AFC. He often saw D.H.9s lost on raids when their engine let them down.

After the Armistice, Australia received the D.H.9 as part of the Imperial gift to enable Australia to start an air arm. Williams wanted the Bristol Fighter, however the RAF wanted all the Bristols for themselves and Australia received D.H.9, D.H.9a bombers and S.E.5a fighters. The D.H.9a were used as bombers and the D.H.9s for reconnaissance as there was no other use for them.

Lawrence Wackett (later Sir Lawrence) worked on improving the Puma at the RAAF experimental department. However, the RAAF had a lousy record on the D.H.9.

Jack Bruce mystery that one mystery of the War was why the D.H.4 was taken out of service and replaced by the D.H.9 when it could have continued in service until the D.H.9a was ready.

No matter how you cut it, the D.H.9 was a lemon.

As to Parer and McIntoshe's flight, it was made in peace time and was really a series of crashes from one point to another.

See Williams, R "These Are Facts", published by AWM, Australia.

OK I have heard enought, the DH.9 was an operational failure. :'(

It only goes to show the calibre and bravery of the men flying it was of the highest order. Knowing your going into battle with a under-rated engine prone to failure makes the contribution of the DH.9 Squadrons even more impressive.


Airco (Westland) D.H.9A - History



























de Havilland (Airco) DH-9A
Single-engine Two-seat Taildragger Biplane Light Bomber, U.K.

Archive Photos 1

de Havilland DH-9A &ldquoNinak&rdquo (F1010) on display (c.1994) at the Royal Air Force Museum London, Hendon Aerodrome, London, England (35mm photo by John Shupek copyright © 2002 Skytamer Images)

Overview 2

  • Airco DH-9A
  • Role: Light bomber/General purpose
  • Manufacturer: Airco
  • First flight: March 1918
  • Introduction: 1918
  • Retired: 1931
  • Primary user: Royal Air Force
  • Number built: 1,997
  • Developed from: Airco DH-9
  • Variants: Westland Walrus, de Havilland DH-15

The Airco DH-9A was a British single-engined light bomber designed and first used shortly before the end of the First World War. It was a development of the unsuccessful Airco DH-9 bomber, featuring a strengthened structure and, crucially, replacing the under-powered and unreliable inline 6-cylinder Siddeley Puma engine of the DH-9 with the American V-12 Liberty engine.

Colloquially known as the &ldquoNinak&rdquo (from the phonetic alphabet treatment of designation &ldquonine-A&rdquo), it served on in large numbers for the Royal Air Force following the end of the war, both at home and overseas, where it was used for colonial policing in the Middle East, finally being retired in 1931. Over 2,400 examples of an unlicensed version, the Polikarpov R-1, were built in the Soviet Union, the type serving as the standard Soviet light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft through the 1920s.

Design and Development 2

The DH-9A was planned as an improved version of the existing Airco DH-9. The DH-9 was a disappointment owing to its under-performing and unreliable engines, and the DH-9A was to use a more powerful engine to resolve this. As the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine used in the successful DH-4 was unavailable in sufficient quantities, the new 400 hp (298 kW) American Liberty engine was chosen instead.

As Airco was busy developing the Airco DH-10 twin-engined bomber, detailed design was carried out by Westland Aircraft. The DH-9 was fitted with new, longer-span wings and a strengthened fuselage structure.

The first prototype flew in March 1918, powered by a Rolls-Royce Eagle as no Liberty engines were yet available. The prototype proved successful, with the first Liberty-engined DH-9A flying on 19 April 1918, and deliveries to the Royal Air Force starting in June. By the end of the war, a total of 2,250 DH-9As had been ordered, with 885 being built by the end of the year. As it was decided that the DH-9A would be a standard type in the postwar RAF, the majority of outstanding orders were fulfilled, with 1,730 being built under the wartime contracts before production ceased in 1919.

While the existing aircraft were subject to a program of refurbishment, a number of small contracts were placed for new production of DH-9As in 1925-26. These contracts resulted in a further 268 DH-9As being built. The new production and refurbished aircraft included batches of dual control trainers, as well as six aircraft powered by 465 hp Napier Lion engines, which were capable of a maximum speed of 144 mph.

The Soviet Union built large numbers of an unlicensed copy of the DH-9A, the R-1. After the production of 20 DH-4 copies, followed by about 200 copies of the DH-9 powered by the Mercedes D.IV engine (also designated R-1) and a further 130 powered by the Siddeley Puma (designated R-2), a copy of the DH-9A powered by the M-5 engine, a Soviet copy of the DH-9A&squos Liberty, entered production in 1924. The Polikarpov R-4 was a modification of the R-1, with the engine lowered and moved forward by 140 mm (5.5 in) to improve both the forward visibility and the C.G position. The nose shape was improved by fairing and by installing a retractable ventral radiator. Overall length was increased by 389 mm (15.3 in). Landing legs were changed from wood to steel. Testing showed insufficient improvement over the R-1 to justify production but late R-1s incorporated some of the modifications.

United States Version and Pressurized Flights

The United States also planned to adopt the DH-9A as a replacement for the DH-4. Development work on the Americanization of the aircraft commenced at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. Modifications included a new fuel system with increased fuel capacity, revised wings and tail surfaces, and replacement of the Vickers machine gun on the port side of the British built aircraft with a Browning machine gun on the starboard side. Plans called for Curtiss to build 4,000 modified aircraft, designated USD-9A. This order was cancelled with the end of the war and only nine were built by McCook Field and Dayton-Wright. One McCook aircraft was additionally modified with an enclosed, pressurised cockpit. In 1921, test pilot Lt. Harold R. Harris made the world&squos first high-altitude flight in a pressurised aircraft in the USD-9A at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Operational History 2

First World War

The DH-9A entered service in July 1918 with No. 110 Squadron RAF, moving to France on 31 August 1918 to serve with the RAF&squos Independent Air Force on strategic bombing missions. Its first mission was against a German airfield on 14 September 1918. A further three squadrons commenced operations over the Western Front before the Armistice, with 99 Squadron (also serving with the Independent Air Force) replacing DH-9s, while 18 Squadron and 216 Squadron replaced DH-4s. Despite the superior performance of the DH-9A over the DH-9, the DH-9A squadrons suffered high losses during their long range bombing missions over Germany. Other squadrons flew coastal patrols from Great Yarmouth before the end of the year.

The United States Marine Corps Northern Bombing Group received at least 53 DH-9As, and commenced operations in September 1918.

Interwar RAF Service

While the squadrons in service at the end of the First World War quickly disbanded or re-equipped in the postwar disarmament, the DH-9A continued in service as the RAF&squos standard light bomber, with 24 squadrons being equipped between 1920 and 1931, both at home and abroad.

The first post war operations were in southern Russia in 1919, in support of the &ldquoWhite Army&rdquo against the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War. In September 1919, the RAF personnel were ordered to return home, leaving their aircraft behind. A squadron of DH-9As was deployed to Turkey in response to the Chanak Crisis in 1922, but did not engage in combat.

The DH-9A was one of the key weapons used by Britain to manage the territories that were in its control following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following the Great War. Five squadrons of DH-9As served in the Middle East, occasionally carrying out bombing raids against rebellious tribesmen and villages. An additional radiator was fitted under the fuselage to cope with the high temperatures, while additional water containers and spares (including spare wheels lashed to the fuselage) were carried in case the aircraft were forced down in the desert, the DH-9A&squos struggling under ever heavier loads. Despite this the aircraft served successfully, with the Liberty engine being picked out for particular praise for its reliability (&ldquoas good as any Rolls Royce&rdquo) in such harsh conditions. Some DH-9A aircraft were also transported to India to supplement the British Indian Army.

At home, the DH-9A continued on in regular RAF service until 1930, also forming the initial equipment of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF).

Soviet Service

The R-1 and R-2 were heavily used by the Soviet Air Forces through the 1920s as its standard light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. The Soviets deployed them in support of the Chinese Kuomintang forces in the Northern Expedition against warlords in 1926-27, and against Chinese forces for control of the Chinese Eastern Railway in Manchuria in 1929. R-1s and R-2s were also used in support of operations during the Basmachi Revolt in central Asia.

Variants 2

  • Airco DH-9A: Original version.
  • de Havilland DH-9AJ: Single prototype with Bristol Jupiter engine.
  • de Havilland DH-9R: Racing aircraft with sesquiplane wings and powered with a Napier Lion engine - (one built).
  • Airco DH-15 Gazelle: DH-9A fitted with a BHP Atlantic inline engine, one conversion.
  • Airco DH-16: Civil transport with widened fuselage seating four passengers in a glazed cabin behind the pilot, who sat in an open cabin, nine built. Rolls Royce Eagle or Napier Lion Engine.
  • de Havilland DH-49: Proposed modernized version with Eagle IX engine (not built).
  • Engineering Division USD-9A: United States built version, 9 built. One modified with a pressurised cockpit.
  • Engineering Division USD-9B: USD-9A fitted with more powerful Liberty engine and greater area wings.
  • Armstrong Whitworth Tadpole: One prototype conversion for a naval three-seat spotter/reconnaissance aircraft.
  • Westland Walrus: Production version of the Tadpole conversion with the Napier Lion III engine (36 built).
  • Polikarpov R-1: Polikarpov R-1 and R-2 copy of DH-9A built in Soviet Union, originally at Duks Aircraft Works, supervised by Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov. Early aircraft were powered by Mercedes D.IV or Armstrong Siddeley Puma engines, but most were powered by the M-5 copy of the Liberty Engine. Over 2,400 built from 1922 to 1932.
  • Polikarpov R-1 BMW: R-1 fitted a 240 hp (179 kW) BMW IVa engine, 20 built.
  • Polikarpov MR-1: Twin-float seaplane version, 124 built.
  • Polikarpov PM-2: Prototype floatplane fitted with metal floats.
  • Polikarpov R-4: R-1 with better forward view and CG position, forward profile cleaned up with fairings and a retractable ventral radiator. Stronger landing gear. No production but changes incorporated into late R-1s.

Operators 2

  • Afghanistan: Afghan Air Force - Airco DH-9As and Polikarpov R-1s
  • Australia: Royal Australian Air Force: 30 received as an imperial gift in 1920 plus one attrition replacement purchased in 1921. The aircraft were in service from 1920 to 1930. No. 1 Flying Training School RAAF (22 aircraft: A1-1/2/5/7-11/13-21/23/24/26/29/30), No. 1 Squadron RAAF (12 aircraft: A1-4/5/7/9/12/14/20-22/25/26/28), No. 3 Squadron RAAF (8 aircraft: A1-3/6/8/10/24/25/27/28), Central Flying School RAAF (4 aircraft: A1-16/17/26, E8616)
  • Canada: Canadian Air Force (1918-1920) No. 2 Squadron CAF, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Iran: Imperial Iranian Air Force
  • Latvia: Latvian Air Force
  • Mongolia: Mongolian People&squos Air Force: Polikarpov R-1s and R-2s
  • Portugal: Portuguese Air Force
  • Switzerland: Swiss Air Force. One aircraft only.
  • United Kingdom: Royal Air Force (Nos. 3, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 22, 24, 25, 30, 39, 45, 47, 55, 60, was 84, 99, 100, 110, 205, 207, 221, 273, 501, 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605 Squadrons RAF)
  • United States: United States Navy, United States Marine Corps
  • Soviet Union: Soviet Air Force: Polikarpov R-1s and R-2s

DH-9A (Airco) Specifications 2

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 30 ft 3 in (9.22 m)
  • Wingspan: 45 ft 11 3/8 in (14.005 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m)
  • Wing area: 486.75 ft 2 (45.221 m 2 )
  • Empty weight: 2,800 lb (1,270 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,645 lb (2,107 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Liberty 12A water-cooled V-12 engine, 400 hp (300 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 123 mph (198 kph, 107 kn) at S/L, 114.5 mph (184.3 kph 99.5 kn) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
  • Endurance: 5 h 25 min
  • Service ceiling: 16,750 ft (5,110 m)
  • Time to altitude: 15 min 45 sec to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
  • Guns: 1 × forward firing Vickers machine gun, 1 or 2 × Lewis guns on Scarff ring
  • Bombs: Up to 740 lb (340 kg) on underwing and fuselage racks
  1. Shupek, John. The Skytamer Photo Archive, photos by John Shupek, copyright © 2002 Skytamer Images (Skytamer.com)
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Airco DH-9A

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Airco (Westland) D.H.9A - History




The Airco DH.9 (from de Havilland 9) also known after 1920 as the de Havilland DH.9 was a British bomber used in the First World War. A single-engined biplane, it was a development of Airco's earlier, highly successful DH.4 and was ordered in very large numbers for Britain's Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.

An unreliable engine which did not deliver the expected power meant, however, that the DH.9 had poorer performance than the aircraft that it was meant to replace. This resulted in heavy losses to squadrons equipped with the DH.9, particularly over the Western Front. It was subsequently developed into the DH.9A with a more powerful and reliable engine.

Design and development

The DH.9 was designed by de Havilland for the Aircraft Manufacturing Company in 1916 as a successor to the DH.4. It used the wings and tail unit of the DH.4 but had a new fuselage. This enabled the pilot to sit closer to the gunner/observer and away from the engine and fuel tank. The other major change from the DH.4 was the choice of the promising new BHP/Galloway Adriatic engine, which was predicted to produce 300 hp and so give the new aircraft an adequate performance to match enemy fighters.

By this time, as a result of attacks by German bombers on London, the decision was made to almost double the size of the Royal Flying Corps, with most of the new squadrons planned to be equipped with bombers. [1] Based on the performance estimates for the DH.9 (which were expected to surpass those of the DH.4), and the similarity to the DH.4, which meant that it would be easy to convert production over to the new aircraft, massive orders (4,630 aircraft) were placed.

The prototype (a converted DH.4) first flew at Hendon in July 1917. [2] Unfortunately, the BHP engine proved unable to reliably deliver its expected power, with the engine being de-rated to 230 hp in order to improve reliability. This had a drastic effect on the aircraft's performance, especially at high altitude, with it being inferior to that of the DH.4 it was supposed to replace. This meant that the DH.9 would have to fight its way through enemy fighters, which could easily catch the DH.9 where the DH.4 could avoid many of these attacks.

While attempts were made to provide the DH.9 with an adequate engine, with aircraft being fitted with the Siddeley Puma, a lightened and supposedly more powerful version of the BHP, with the Fiat A12 engine and with a 430 hp Napier Lion engine, these were generally unsuccessful (although the Lion engined aircraft did set a World Altitude Record of 30,500 ft (13,900 m) on 2 January 1919 [3] ) and it required redesign into the DH.9A to transform the aircraft.

The first deliveries were made in November 1917 to 108 Squadron RFC, with several more squadrons being formed or converted to the DH.9 over the next few months, and with nine squadrons operational over the Western Front by June 1918.

The DH.9's performance in action over the Western front was a disaster, with heavy losses incurred, both due to its low performance, and engine failures (despite the prior de-rating of its engine). For example, between May and November 1918, two squadrons on the Western Front (Nos. 99 and 104) lost 54 shot down, and another 94 written off in accidents. [4] The DH.9 was however more successful against the Turkish forces in the Middle East, where they faced less opposition, and it was also used extensively for coastal patrols, to try and deter the operations of U-boats.

Following the end of the First World War, DH.9s operated by 47 Squadron and 221 Squadron were sent to southern Russia in 1919 in support of the White Russian Army of General Denikin during the Russian Civil War. [5] The last combat use by the RAF was in support of the final campaign against Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (known by the British as the "Mad Mullah") in Somalia during January—February 1920. [5] Surprisingly, production was allowed to continue after the end of the war into 1919, with the DH.9 finally going out of service with the RAF in 1920. [6]

Following the end of the First World War, large number of surplus DH.9s became available at low prices and the type was widely exported (including aircraft donated to Commonwealth nations as part of the Imperial Gift programme. [3]

The South African Air Force received 48 DH.9s, and used them extensively, using them against the Rand Revolt in 1922. Several South African aircraft were re-engined with Bristol Jupiter radial engines as the M'pala, serving until 1937. [7]

Because of the large number of surplus DH.9s available after the war many were used by air transport companies. They provided a useful load carrying capability and were cheap. Early air services between London, Paris and Amsterdam were operated by DH.9s owned by Aircraft Transport and Travel. A number of different conversions for civil use were carried out, both by Airco and its successor the de Havilland Aircraft Company and by other companies, such as the Aircraft Disposal Company. [8] Some radial powered DH.9Js continued in use until 1936. [9]


Airco (Westland) D.H.9A - History

Westland Wapiti

Data current to 16 April 2021.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3232304)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 513), RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario c1938.

The Westland Wapiti was a two-seat general-purpose military single-engined biplane of the 1920s. It was designed and built by Westland Aircraft Works to replace the Airco DH.9A in RAF service. The Wapiti was first flown in 1927 and entered service with the RAF in 1928. It remained in production until 1932, with a total of 565 being built. It equipped twenty squadrons of the RAF, both overseas (particularly in India and Iraq) and in the UK, remaining in RAF service until 1940. It also served with the Royal Australian Air Force, the RCAF, the Royal South African Air Force and with the Indian Air Force. The Wapiti is named for the elk, one of the largest species of the deer family and one of the largest land mammals in North America and eastern Asia. (Wikipedia)

RCAF No. 3, No. 10 and No. 100 Squadrons flew the Westland Wapiti. T he first Westland Wapiti Mk. II (Serial No. J9237), was taken on strength by the RCAF for winter trials on 17 March 1930. The RCAF acquired a further 24 Wapiti Mk. IIA (Serial Nos. 508-513) and (Serial Nos. 527 -544), on 5 March 1936.

No. 3 (Bomber) Squadron departed Calgary, Alberta for their new wartime station at Halifax, Nova Scotia immediately on 26 Aug 1939. after being alerted about impending hostilities. Seven aircraft made the trip eastwards, (Serial Nos. 509, 510, 513, 532, 535, 542 and 545). Three more Wapitis joined the flight from RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, (Serial Nos. 538, 541 and 544). The Wapitis from Calgary made a number of stops which included North Bay, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario and a refuelling stop at Megantic, Quebec. Other more easterly stops included Millinocket, Maine and Moncton, New Brunswick. The squadron was re-designated as No. 10 (BR) Squadron at Halifax on 5 Sep 1939.

No. 10 Squadron, RCAF, was formed as a bomber squadron at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 5 September 1939. Mobilized on 10 Sep 1939, it was redesignated No. 10 Bomber Reconnaissance (BR) Squadron on 31 Oct 1939. As part of Eastern Air Command, the squadron flew Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA from Sep 1939 to May 1940, Douglas Digby Mk. I from April 1940 to April 1943, and Consolidated Liberator Mk. II, Mk. V and G.R. Mk. VI aircraft from April 1943 to Aug 1945, on East Coast anti-submarine duty. The squadron was active for the duration of the Second World War. While based on the East Coast of Canada and Newfoundland, it established an RCAF record for 22 attacks on U-boats and successfully sank three (U-520 on 30 Oct 1942, U-341 on 19 Sep 1943, and U-420 on 26 Oct 1943), garnering the unofficial title "North Atlantic Squadron."

No. 10 (BR) S quadron was disbanded at Torbay, Newfoundland, on 15 Aug 1945 . During its service, the squadron lost seven aircraft and 25 aircrew, of whom 24 were killed or missing, 1 wounded, and had 27 non-operational fatalities, includingthree drowned and six non-fatal. Members of the squadron earned 24 DFCs, 6 AFCs, 1 GM, 1 AFM, 3 BEMs and 33 MiDs. (Samuel Kostenuk and John Griffin, RCAF Squadrons Histories and Aircraft, 1924-1968 (Samuel Stevens Hakkert & Company, Toronto & Sarasota, 1077), National Museums of Man, National Museums of Canada, pp. 31-32.

Westland Wapiti Mk. II (1), (Serial No. J9237), Mk. IIA (24), (Serial Nos. 508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513, 527, 528, 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, 538, 539, 540, 541, 542, 543, 544), for a total of 25 aircraft.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642446)

Westland Wapiti Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. J.9237) on skis.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642445)

Westland Wapiti Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. J.9237) on skis.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642443)

Westland Wapiti Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. J.9237) on skis.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545909)

Westland Wapiti fuselage used for instruction.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203302)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 509), No. 3 Squadron.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3256692)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 544), (Serial No. 541), and (Serial No. 538), No. 3 (Bomber) Squadron, at Rockcliffe, Ontario, 30 Aug 1939. These aircraft were en route to their war station at Halifax, Nova Scotia, from their former base at Calgary, Alberta.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583641)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. A43), RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario, 8 Dec 1944.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581156)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 513), Trenton, Ontario.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581107)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF, pilot's hood open, 3 July 1937.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581105)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, port side pilot's hood open, 3 July 1937.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581106)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, pilot's hood, rear view, 3 July 1937.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545983)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 510), No. 3 Squadron, 1938.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3545901)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 510), No. 3 Squadron, 1938.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642469)

Westland Wapiti Mk. IIA, RCAF (Serial No. 510), No. 3 Squadron, 31 Aug 1939.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 33581416)

Seven Wapitis of No. 3 Squadron, RCAF, after arrival at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 30 August 1939.

(RAF Photo)



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