De Havilland D.H.114 Heron
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De Havilland D.H.114 Heron

Adopting the same philosophy that had produced the highly successful fourengined D.H.86B after the D.H.84 Dragon, de Havilland continued the success of the Dove by designing a scaled-up version designated de Havilland D.H.114 Heron. Simplicity and reliability were the keynotes for the new aircraft, which provided accommodation for a crew of two and 14 passengers (17 if no toilet was installed). Fixed tricycle landing gear eliminated the complications of a hydraulic system, and excellent short-field performance was assured by good wing design coupled with the use of variable-pitch propellers, driven by Gipsy Queen 30s which had a long operating period between overhauls. The prototype was flown for the first time on 10 May 1950.

The first production Heron 1 was acquired by New Zealand National Airways, this and all subsequent aircraft having a tailplane with considerable dihedral. The seventh production example served as the prototype for the Heron 2, incorporating retractable landing gear which gave an increase in speed and a reduction in fuel consumption. This proved to be the most popular version, representing almost 70 per cent of the 150 Herons built. Despite these relatively small production figures, the Heron saw service in 30 countries, some with major airlines, many as luxury transports (including four operated by The Queen's Flight at RAF Benson), and about 25 of the total were used as communications aircraft by nine military services.

In their later years Herons were the subject of a number of modification programmes, the Riley Turbo Skyliner produced by the Riley Turbostream Corporation in the USA being typical of reengined aircraft. This replaced the standard powerplant by 216kW Avco Lycoming IO-540 engines, with or without turbochargers according to customer requirements. Far more ambitious was the conversion carried out by Saunders Aircraft Corporation of Gimli, Manitoba. Designated Saunders ST-27, this had a fuselage lengthened by 2.59m to provide accommodation for a maximum of 23 passengers, the wing rebuilt to incorporate a redesigned main spar and the four Gipsy engines replaced by two 559kW Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada PT6A-34 turboprop engines. A total of 12 ST-27 conversions was completed and the prototype of an improved ST-28 was built before Saunders went into receivership.

De Havilland D.H.114 Heron

 MODELHeron 2D
 ENGINE4 x de Havilland Gipsy Queen 30-2 inline piston engines, 186kW
    Take-off weight6123 kg13499 lb
    Empty weight3697 kg8151 lb
    Wingspan21.79 m72 ft 6 in
    Length14.78 m49 ft 6 in
    Height4.75 m16 ft 7 in
    Wing area46.36 m2499.01 sq ft
    Cruise speed295 km/h183 mph
    Ceiling5640 m18500 ft
    Range1473 km915 miles

De Havilland D.H.114 HeronA three-view drawing (700 x 684)

Comments1-20 21-40
Sven, 08.09.2015

4 X Gipsy queens = Music. Keep posting dont let the spooks and morons ruin this site. Iv grown to like it.

Anders Jacobsen, 17.02.2015

Welcome to Sweden and Västerås Flygmuseum (Västerås Flying Museum) in 2015 and see (maybe even join for a flight?) the last airworthy DH114 Heron in the world reg. N415SA.

kelvin williamson, 03.02.2015

I was the Chief Pilot of Voyageur Airways in the late 80's and had the pleasure of flying the ST-27. There are no ST-27 flying anywhere in the world as far as I know and I had the pleasure of flying C-FCML ST-27 single Pilot YYZ to YSB on June 5th 1990 and my last flight July 13th 1990. There were not many flights of the Saunders after this date if any.

Ross jamieson, 14.12.2014

Oops does not seem to give the email . It is


Ross Jamieson

Ross jamieson,, 14.12.2014

I have dads log books. Welcome to contact,me at email above,

Johnny F. Andresen, 04.09.2014

Only a couple of questions for the DH-114 Heron.

1. Fuel Consumption in USG/Hr?
2. Flap damage speed (Vfe)?
3. Gear damage speed (Vle)?

Johnny F.

Mike Willett, 24.09.2013

From 1977 into the 80's I took care of 3 Heron's for Aviation Service (HATS) in Honolulu primarly engine rebuilding. Loved every minute I was there. Great well built aircraft. Engines ran for ever.
Aloha, Mike

Hans Nielsen, 19.09.2013

Falcks flyvetjeneste(Falck Air) had a DH 114 Heron 2D, OY-AFO, Construction no.;14147 delivered in june 1964. The plane was used for ambulance flights and scheduled flight between Beldringe Airport near Odense and Copenhagen airport Kastrup, the company got 4 more plus 2 DH 104 Dove

Thomas J Mackle, 24.05.2013

I flew Herons for Swift Aire Lines out of San Luis Obispo, CA and chalked up over 6,000 hours in type before we moved on to turbo props. One of the six DH 114 aircrafts was Anders Jacobsen's N415SA. I have a plethora of Heron stories but the best one was loosing all four engines after a FBO put jet fuel in our fuel tanks. We survived. Email me if you want to read the whole story. It will put chills down your spine.

Lee Howard, 27.02.2013

I'm currently writing the history of the Dove and Heron and would appreciate contact with any former air or groundcrew with reminicences of their time operating the aircraft. I'd also like to know if anyone knows the whereabouts of the logbooks of RW Jamieson - a New Zealander and former DH demonstration pilot who later returned to NZ. Many thanks in anticipation.

Brian Hill, 16.07.2012

I had the privilege to fly the Riley conversion for two years in the mid 1970's. I took my first commercial flying job with Shawnee airlines out of MIA. After a bit more than 1500 hrs I can attest to the greatness of this aircraft. I loved every minute my 6 foot two inch frame was crammed in the ever so small cockpit. I had the pleasure to fly all over the Bahamas and made several flights into Havana Cuba. i was lucky to be selected for the first crew to fly a commercial aircraft from the USA to Cuba when the embargo was lifted . This aircraft was a beautiful flying machine for sure, The low Wing design made for the smoothest landings I have ever seen in any aircraft in my carrier. something about the way it went into ground effect made the transition from air to ground sometimes so smooth passengers could not feel it. LOVE THE HEREON!

HAPPY MILES, 11.11.2011

I have 2 herons 1 flying 20 engs. and parts to last a life time

Anders Jacobsen, 09.08.2011

Hello Scott.
The DH114 Heron is a lovely airplane to fly, a good performer and has a high useful load. Unfortunately there are not many left flying so getting one can be difficult. As far as I know there are only two airworthy Heron´s worldwide today. N415SA DH114-2x Riley Heron based at Västerås Aviation Museum, Sweden and N82D DH114-2D (former Queens Flight) with original Gipsy engines based in Oregon, US. She burns about 60 Gal/hr of 100LL and with todays fuelprices becoming expensive to operate. Spares are almost impossible to get. I would go for a turbine aircraft if you are planning to travel frequently.
Best Regards

Scott McGuire, 28.07.2011

We are looking for an economical operating aircraft to fly regularly from Houston, TX USA to Lima, Peru. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts on the Heron for this run.

Chuck Bell, 09.05.2011

New Years Day 1971 I flew from Dallas Love Field to Wichita Falls/Sheppard AFB, TX in a King Airways Heron. The weather was turbulent and miserable.
The sturdy little aircraft felt as though it bounced from cloud to cloud. I was happy for four motors, and a short flight.
40 years later I remember this flight for the unique plane and the way it responded to the task. I chose it over a Texas International Air DC-9, which had delivered me to Dallas on Christmas Eve.

John Park, 15.12.2010

We have the original Prototype Heron for sale here at the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bullcreek WA Australia for $20,0000. Need restoring. Is As Where Is.

John Ives, 02.09.2010

I owned and ran the last commercial operation of heron Aircraft in the world. They were used for long haul tourist flights around Australia.

We also probably did the last long haul flight in a piston powered 4 engine propellor aircraft (a Heron) on either of these two flights.

the first was from Staverton (UK) to Sydney (Australia) in 1993. The second was an extend Air cruise through the Pacific from Stydney through to the Cook Islands.

If anyone can be that I would be very surprised.

Currently I am re writing the history of the Heron Aircraft and its operations. My aim is to document including at least one picture of every serial number.

Anders Jacobsen, 26.05.2010

Hello Marcos.
The V-speeds in the AFM for the Riley Heron (Lycoming engines) we operate are:
V1=70 Kts
V2=77 Kts
Climb speed one engine out=97 Kts
Climb Speed two engines out=90 Kts

Anders Jacobsen

Anders Jacobsen, 26.05.2010

I´m presently one of only two (shortly three) Heron pilots in Sweden. We are currently operating DH114-2X Riley Heron s/n 14064 reg N415SA out of Västerås, Sweden. She´s a beauty to fly and to look at (see pictures on the internet searching the Our plan is to operate the a/c for airshows and to fly-ins in Sweden/Scandinavia. Next airshow coming up is in Västerås 30th of May 2010.

Anders Jacobsen

Marcos De Bonis, 11.05.2010

I would appreciate to receive V-speeds for Heron Continental powered.Because I'm a commercial pilot I cannot imagine flying this beauty w/o them.
Thank you in advance
M. De Bonis-São Paulo-Brazil.

1-20 21-40

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