De Havilland D.H.86
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De Havilland D.H.86

Designed and built in response to an Australian government requirement for a multi-engined aircraft to be used by QANTAS for service across the Timor Sea, between Singapore and Australia, the de Havilland D.H.86 was awarded its Certificate of Airworthiness on 30 January 1934, only four months after a start of work on the project. The aircraft was of wooden construction with fabric covering, and powered by four de Havilland Gipsy Six engines. The first flight was made on 14 January 1934 at Stag Lane, in the hands of Hubert Broad, and certification trials were conducted at Martiesham. The prototype and two identical aircraft were equipped for single-pilot operation. The latter were used by Railway Air Services from 21 August 1934 on a new Croydon-Birmingham- Manchester-Belfast-Glasgow route. A second crew member (navigator/ wireless operator) was carried, accommodated behind the pilot. However, QANTAS and Imperial Airways required that two pilots should be seated side-by-side, and in August 1934 the prototype re-emerged from the Stag Lane factory with a longer and wider nose to provide the necessary accommodation. The first of 29 production examples was one of four flown by Holyman Airways in Australia, and other operators comprised QANTAS (six), Imperial Airways (five), Jersey Airways (six), Misr Airwork, Egypt (four), Hillman's Airways (three) and Wrightways (one).

De Havilland D.H.86A three-view drawing (700 x 674)

 ENGINE4 x de Havilland Gipsy Six inline piston engines, 149kW
    Take-off weight4649 kg10249 lb
    Empty weight2943 kg6488 lb
    Wingspan19.66 m65 ft 6 in
    Length14.05 m46 ft 1 in
    Height3.96 m13 ft 0 in
    Wing area59.55 m2640.99 sq ft
    Max. speed267 km/h166 mph
    Cruise speed229 km/h142 mph
    Ceiling5305 m17400 ft
    Range1287 km800 miles

Hussar, 13.04.2010

Do any DH 86 still exist?

Roy Scaife, 29.09.2008

Were the Qantas aircraft fitted with flaps?

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