De Havilland (Airco) D.H.5
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De Havilland (Airco) D.H.5

Characterised by the pronounced negative stagger of its mainplanes, which resulted from an attempt on the part of Geoffrey de Havilland to combine the performance of the tractor biplane with the cockpit visibility of pusher aircraft, the D.H.5 was flown late in 1916, and entered service in May 1917. Immensely strong and possessing docile handling qualities, but easily outflown by contemporary fighters at altitudes above 3050m, the D.H.5 was of wooden construction with plywood and fabric skinning. Power was provided by a 100hp Le Rhone 9J nine-cylinder rotary and armament consisted of a single 7.7mm Vickers gun. Some 550 were built by the parent company; Darracq Motor Engineering; March, Jones and Cribb, and British Caudron, but the D.H. 5 was deemed to be of limited success and had been withdrawn from operations by the end of January 1918.

De Havilland (Airco) D.H.5A three-view drawing (1280 x 996)

    Take-off weight677 kg1493 lb
    Empty weight458 kg1010 lb
    Wingspan7.82 m26 ft 8 in
    Length6.71 m22 ft 0 in
    Height2.78 m9 ft 1 in
    Wing area19.70 m2212.05 sq ft
    Max. speed164 km/h102 mph

Klaatu83, 05.06.2013

It is something of a mystery why this aircraft should have been ordered into production at all, because it was markedly out-preformed by the Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Triplane, Sopwith Camel and SE-5, all of which were already at least in existence in prototype form, and some of which were actually in mass-production, by the time the prototype DH-5 was test-flown. Although it was said to be very strong and very good at diving, the DH-5 was incapable of flying high enough to take tactical advantage of that fact. Placing the upper wing behind the pilot gave him good forward visibility, but concealed enemy aircraft attacking from behind and above which, given the DH-5's poor altitude performance, was the direction from which they could usually be expected to come. About the only mission the DH-5 proved to be suited to was ground strafing but, being unarmored, casualties tended to be high. As a result, the DH-5 was withdrawn from combat by the end of 1917, barely a year after the first flight of the prototype.

Duncan, 12.11.2012

Hello De Haviland fan,

Does anyone know where they build the Airco DH-5

Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?

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