STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd (AirCo) / de Havilland - United Kingdom
OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Australia; Belgium; Bolivia; Canada; Chile; Denmark; Estonia; Greece; India; Ireland; Latvia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Paraguay; Peru; Poland; Romania; Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Hejaz); Spain; South Africa; Soviet Union; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States
LENGTH: 30.41 feet (9.27 meters)
WIDTH: 65.35 feet (19.92 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.29 feet (3.44 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,235 pounds (1,014 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 3,799 pounds (1,723 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Armstrong Siddeley Puma water-cooled inline piston engine developing 230 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 113 miles-per-hour (182 kilometers-per-hour; 98 knots)
RANGE: 503 miles (810 kilometers; 437 nautical miles)
CEILING: 15,518 feet (4,730 meters; 2.94 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 540 feet-per-minute (165 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 5/16/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The AirCo DH.9 was a further revision of the DH.4 bomber - again headed by famous aviation engineer Geoffrey de Havilland. Design of the new aircraft was handled by the de Havilland company with serial production managed through the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, better known under the acronym of "AirCo" or "Airco". The model was first flown in July of 1917 and introduced into service that same year. It managed only a short post-war career as it was retired from notable service in 1920. 4,091 of the type were ultimately produced.
The DH.9 shared a few of the major design qualities found on the preceding DH.4 including the undercarriage, tail unit, and wings. The DH.9 differed from the DH.4 in that it positioned the gunner and pilot closer together to better communications between the two and was fitted with a more powerful engine. The new fuselage was also intended to streamline the aircraft and take away stresses from the engine. Initial tests revealed that the base DH.9 was simply too underpowered and not much of an upgrade over the DH.4 (which it was meant to replace) thus the system was redesigned as the DH.9A. The DH.9A model attempted to address performance issues and defensive drawbacks by incorporating a lengthened wingspan and a fixed forward-firing machine gun for the pilot. A trainable machine gun was found at the rear gunner/observer's cockpit for protecting the aircraft's critical "six" position.
Not a spectacular aircraft in any one regard, the DH.9 managed a rather poor service record in World War 1 with more losses due to mechanical and performance issues than actual enemy fire. Notable deficiencies in the series lay in its limited service ceiling, fuel consumption at altitudes higher than 10,000 feet, and general engine reliability. If there was one role that the DH.9 proved at least somewhat adequate in was in coastal patrol assignments when hunting down German U-boats - there was a reduced chance of running into enemy aircraft or ground-based fire in this role. Though generally inadequate over most fronts, the DH.9 was naturally more successful in poorly defended areas during the course of the war, this to be true in the Middle East Theater over Palestine and also over Macedonia.
The DH.9 series saw some life after the war in the civil transportation market with many countries. Final production of the DH.9 extended into 1920 - the United States manufactured the DH.9 with the help of the Engineering Division and designated the aircraft as "USD-9" (1,415 were produced by the U.S.). An American-produced engine - the 400 horsepower Packard "Liberty" - was used to power these DH.9A models.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (113mph).
Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the AirCo DH.9's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units