Geoffrey de Havilland built his first (unsuccessful) aircraft in 1909. His second, flown in 1910, was bought by the War Office, and de Havilland was taken on as designer at the
De Havilland (Airco) D.H.4
Balloon Factory (later Royal Aircraft Factory), where between 1911 and 1914 he designed the F.E.2, S.E.1, S.E.2, B.E.1, and B.E.2. In 1914 he joined the Aircraft Manufacturing Company at Hendon, designing the D.H.2 pusher fighter, D.H.3, and D.H.10 twin-engined bombers, D.H.5 fighter, and D.H.4 day bomber. The latter was extensively built in the
De Havilland D.H.53 Humming Bird
D.H.53 Humming Bird
U.S.A..The D.H.9 and 9a were variations; the 9a equipped post-war RAF bomber squadrons and it, too, was built in the U.S.A.. Nearly 3,000 were constructed in Russia as the R-1.

The D.H.53 Humming Bird ultralight was the best entrant in the 1923 Air Ministry Light Aeroplane competition, but de Havilland realised that their
De Havilland D.H.66 Hercules
D.H.66 Hercules
passion for lightness was an error, and in 1925 produced the first Moth to more sensible proportions. Perhaps the most famous light aircraft ever built, it was sold all over the world. A number of cabin monoplanes and a military version, the Tiger Moth, followed; over 8,000 Tigers were built for various
De Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito
D.H.98 Mosquito
air forces.

The three-engined D.H.66 Hercules was flown by Imperial Airways from 1926, and in the 1930s many domestic and foreign airlines used the twin-engined D.H.84/89 Dragon/Dragon Rapide and four-engined D.H.86 Express.

In 1934 de Havilland designed the all-wood D.H.88 Comet twin-engined racer for entrants in the "MacRobertson" England-Australia race. At a fixed unit
De Havilland D.H.100 Vampire
DH.100 Vampire
price of GBP5,000 this gamble paid off; three were entered, and one of these won the speed prize. By 1939 the firm was producing the D.H.91 Albatross, a fast airliner with four engines; the twin-engined D.H.95 Flamingo feederliner and the diminutive D.H.94 Moth Minor. All production of these ceased at the outbreak of
De Havilland D.H.106 Comet
D.H.106 Comet
war, which also cut short a promising bombertrainer, the D.H.93 Don. In 1938 work started on a fast unarmed wooden bomber, the D.H.98 Mosquito. It became one of the most versatile aircraft of its time, and by the end of the war a single-seat fighter version attained a speed of 760km/h. The
Hawker Siddeley Trident
Vampire, de Havilland's first turbojet fighter, Venom, Sea Venom and later Sea Vixen, served for a decade after the war.

Back in civil work, the company produced the twin-engined Dove, four-engined Heron and, in 1949, the first jet airliner in the world, the D.H.106 Comet. The Comet 1 ran into constructional problems, but
De Havilland DH.125 / Hawker Siddeley HS.125 / BAe 125
the Mark IV achieved success. The last DH designs were the D.H.121 Trident, a three-engined airliner for BEA, and the D.H.125 executive jet (both first flown 1962). Both were still in production in 1978, long after the company's absorbtion into the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1960, and the D.H.125's successors were still in production at the turn of the new century.

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All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum

Biplane 1
Biplane 2
D.H.53 Humming Bird
D.H.60 Moth
D.H.66 Hercules
D.H.71 Tiger Moth
Giant Moth
Hawk Moth
D.H.80 Puss Moth
Swallow Moth
D.H.82 Tiger Moth
D.H.83 Fox Moth
D.H.84 Dragon
D.H.85 Leopard Moth
D.H.89 Dragon Rapide
D.H.87 Hornet Moth
D.H.88 Comet
D.H.90 Dragonfly
D.H.91 Albatross
D.H.93 Don
D.H.94 Moth Minor
D.H.95 Flamingo
D.H.98 Mosquito
DH.100 Vampire
Hornet / Sea Hornet
D.H.104 Dove / Devon
D.H.112 Venom
D.H.106 Comet
D.H.114 Heron
D.H.110 Sea Vixen