De Havilland D.H.18
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De Havilland D.H.18

The designation D.H.17 was allocated to a project for a twin-engined 16-passenger biplane which was not built. The next type number, de Havilland D.H.18, was allocated to a large singleengined biplane accommodating eight passengers in an enclosed cabin; the pilot was seated in an open cockpit behind the wings. Built at Hendon, the D.H.18 first flew early in 1920 and was delivered to Aircraft Transport & Travel Ltd for use on the Croydon-Paris service. However, this D.H.18 had a short life, terminated by a forced landing near Croydon in August of the same year.

During 1920 the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which had been building de Havilland designs, was re-formed as the de Havilland Aircraft Company Ltd. The new organisation built two modified aircraft designated D.H.18Aforlnstone Air Line, followed by a third. These were kept busy on Continental services until the first, having accumulated high flying hours, was withdrawn from use in September 1921; another was lost in a crash only two months after delivery. The third production D.H.18A, delivered to Instone in June 1921, was passed to Daimler Hire Ltd in April 1922, only to be destroyed over France a few days later in a mid-air collision with a Farman Goliath.

The last two aircraft were designated D.H.18B, and had plywood-covered fuselages and increased weights; they served with Instone for a short time before the second was dismantled in 1923. The first was used in Air Ministry flotation tests, being deliberately landed in the sea off Felixstowe in May 1924. Strangely, the last surviving D.H.18 was the first production aircraft which, following its withdrawal from Instone's use in 1921, was delivered to RAE Farnborough for test purposes. It was finally scrapped in 1927.

De Havilland D.H.18A three-view drawing (700 x 641)

 ENGINE1 x Napier Lion inline piston engine, 336kW
    Take-off weight2956 kg6517 lb
    Empty weight1833 kg4041 lb
    Wingspan15.62 m51 ft 3 in
    Length11.89 m39 ft 0 in
    Height3.96 m13 ft 0 in
    Wing area57.71 m2621.18 sq ft
    Max. speed206 km/h128 mph
    Cruise speed161 km/h100 mph
    Ceiling4875 m16000 ft
    Range644 km400 miles

Joe Tarnopol, 20.09.2011

I got thru e-bay an 8X11 color "Sectional View of a Modern Passenger Aeroplane as Used on the London-Paris Royal Air Male Route". -definitely the AIRCO DH-18. Anyone know about this?? Rarety??


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