|Trevor Webb, 08.05.2010|
The DH1 was the third of Geoffrey de Havilland's designs to be built.The first two biplanes are basically the same and were followed by the FE1 for the Royal Aircraft Factory who went on to to develop into the FE2, FE2b and FE2d etc.
The DH1 was flown in early 1915 at Hendon by de Havilland himself. It was put into production by Savages of Kings Lynn and a total of 100 were built. An unusual feature was that the gun could be locked in a forward position and fired by the pilot should the observer be unable to do so.
The DH1 was intended to have 120 hp Beardmore engine but the engine was in comparitively short supply, so a 70 hp Renault engine was substituted on the DH1 while eventually the Beardmore engined model was designated DH1A. The production machines were a mixture of DH1 and DH1A versions.
Only 77 were issued to the Royal Flying Corps, mostlyused for Home Defence. However, number 14 Sqadron received six for use in Palestine from Summer 1916.
DH1A: one 120 hp Beardmore water-cooled in-line [DH1 one 70 hp Renault air-cooled V-type]. Span 41 feet 0 inches (12.50 metres), Length 28 feet 11 1/4 inches (8.82 metres), height 11 feet 2 inches (3.40 metres) Take-off weight 2,340 pounds (1,061 kilograms)[DH1 2,040 pounds (925 kilograms)]. Maximum speed 88 miles per hour (141.6 Kilometres per hour)[DH1 80 miles per hour (128.6 kilometres per hour)] at 4,000 feet (1,219 metres). Operational ceiling 13,500 feet (4,115 metres). Climb to 4,000 feet (1,219 metres) in 8 1/4 minutes [DH1 111/4 minutes]. Endurance 2 hours 30 minutes.